Protests, jury selection begin ahead of Y-12 trespassing trial

Protests, jury selection begin ahead of Y-12 trespassing trial

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The group staged a demonstration on Market Square. The group staged a demonstration on Market Square.
They then marched down Market Street to protest in front of the federal courthouse. They then marched down Market Street to protest in front of the federal courthouse.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Jury selection began Monday for the trial of three anti-nuclear activists who broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Supporters rallied Monday afternoon in Market Square before the court proceedings got underway.

Demonstrators then marched down Market Street to the federal courthouse.

Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed are members of Transform Now Plowshares and are on trial for trespassing on Y-12 property last summer.

The community of activists is planning events each day as the trial is underway.

It's a presence designed to attract attention to their message and to what won't be said in court.

"A lot of what our colleagues would like to have said in court about why they did what they did. The concerns they have about national military strategy and international law, those have been shutdown. They're not going to be allowed to talk about that stuff, so we have to do it other places," said Ellen Barfield with Transform Now Plowshares.

The trio could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

The three were arrested in July 2012, after making their way through fences, writing slogans and spreading blood on the uranium storage facility.

The incident prompted a security overhaul at Y-12.

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