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Shut Down Creech

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Transform Now Plowshares action at Y-12 nuclear weapons complex

[See for further updates: http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/ ]

From: Nuclear Resister, July 28, 2012:

Before dawn on July 28, 2012, Michael R. Walli (63), Megan Rice shcj (82), and Greg Boertje-Obed (57) carried out a disarmament action at the Oak Ridge Y-12 nuclear facility.

Calling themselves Transform Now Plowshares, they hammered on the cornerstone of the newly built Highly-Enriched Uranium Manufacturing Facility (HEUMF), splashed human blood and left four spray painted tags on the recent construction which read: Woe to the empire of blood; The fruit of justice is peace; Work for peace not for war; and Plowshares please Isaiah.

Under the cover of darkness they intermittently passed beyond four fences in a walk for over two hours through the fatal force zone. “We feel it was a miracle; we were led directly to where we wanted to go” said Greg.

After navigating through the complex they came to a long, white, windowless building marked HEUMF. “It was built like a fortress”, Greg said describing the four guard towers.

Unimpeded by security, they attached two banners to pillars of the building. “Transform Now Plowshares” read the first with a green and black icon showing part bomb part flower. A second stated “Swords into Plowshares Spears into Pruning Hooks–Isaiah”. In addition, between the pillars they strung red crime tape.

When confronted by a guard they read aloud their statement. “He was on his walkie-talkie but he heard it” Megan confirmed. Before receiving orders to halt they had opportunity to offer guards bread, and display a bible, candles and white roses. Though initially forced to endure a kneeling posture for an extended period, guards responded to complaint and allowed the activists to stand off and on. Meanwhile they continued singing.

Later that day, they were interviewed by the DOE investigative unit and given conditional charges of two felony counts for vandalism and trespass. They spoke to supporters from Blount County Jail at 12:30 pm saying they had not been processed yet. All are scheduled for arraignment in Blount County Court on Monday.
“We’re still opposing the filthy rotten system” Michael said. “Jesus has no nukes in heaven and no torture in heaven.”

Please send letters of support.

[money order only, if mailed]
INMATE’S FULL NAME: _____________
MARYVILLE, TN 37804-5022

From: Transform Now Plowshares, July 30, 2012:

Michael Walli, Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed made their initial appearance before federal magistrate Bruce Guyton in Knoxville, Tennessee at 11:15am today—Monday, July 30, 2012. The proceedings were nearly over before Greg required the judge to read the charges against them—the trio were charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, for their Transform Now Plowshares action on Saturday, July 28 at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

In court, the defendants were calm and composed. They spoke clearly, answering the judge’s questions directly. It was a pro forma hearing until the judge asked them each if they had a chance to review the complaint against them.

“Yes,” answered Mike Walli, the first to be questioned. Do you have any questions, the judge asked. “I note the charge listed relates only to what I have done,” Mike said, “and does not include the illegal nuclear weapons production taking place at Y12.”

The judge moved on to ask Megan Rice the same series of questions. When he got to “Have you had a chance to review and do you understand the charges contained in the document?” Megan answered, “It is incomprehensible that our charge against the activities at Y12 is not part of this conversation.” Megan referred to the indictment against Y12 the activists carried with them (and which was released after the action by supporters).

The judge moved on to Greg, asking him if he understood the complaint. Greg, who was representing himself, said, “I thought you were going to ask me if I wanted the complaint read first.” The judge smiled and said, “You’re right, I should do that. You are representing yourself quite well.” Then he went on to ask Greg the question he had already put to Mike and Megan, who had waived the reading. Greg answered that he normally prefers to have the charges read publicly. It was only then the public heard the formal charge— “that you willfully and without authorization entered the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y12 Complex…” The language of the charge mirrors the authorizing statute—the three were charged with simple trespass, a criminal misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and a sentence of up to one year imprisonment and one additional year of post release supervision.

No charges for destruction of property or defacing property were entered at the hearing, though they could come later.

The judge assigned Chris Irwin to represent Mike Walli, a reunion of sorts. Chris represented Mike during the proceedings following the July 5, 2010 action at Y12. Francis Lloyd was appointed to represent Megan Rice —Francis represented Jean Gump during the 2010 proceedings. Greg Boertje-Obed was given permission to represent himself, and the public defender, Bobby Hudson, was assigned to be “elbow counsel.”

When the prosecutor, Melissa Kirby, listed reasons for denying bail to the defendants (they all waived their rights to a hearing), she noted they had “bragged about their action to the media,” and were flight risks, etc. Mike Walli noted for the judge that he had been released in 2010 and appeared “under my own steam as agreed,” for all hearings and the trial. Francis Lloyd noted the defendants had made no statements to the media that were not protected under the first amendment; Greg noted that Plowshares actions are carried out in obedience to Isaiah’s prophecy that swords shall be turned into plowshares, that Ms. Kirby was wrong to characterize Plowshares as “an organization,” and noted that in similar actions in other jurisdictions, judges had permitted testimony about international law and some juries have found defendants not guilty.

In all, the proceedings took about half an hour and concluded with the scheduling of a preliminary hearing on Thursday, August 2, at 1:30pm EDST, in East Tennessee District Court in Knoxville, TN. Until then, it is expected the defendants will be held at Blount County Detention Facility. You can write to them at:

INMATE’S FULL NAME: _____________
MARYVILLE, TN 37804-5022


Our history with Blount County is pretty sketchy with regard to mail. The 2010 Y12 protestors were denied mail because “we don’t have the staff to screen the quantity of mail you are getting.” So we encourage mail, but be aware it may come back to a month later, unopened, at the whim of jail authorities.


“Come let us go up

to the mountain of God

to the house where God lives.

That God may teach us God’s ways

That we may walk in God’s paths….

For God will bring justice among the nations and bring peace between many peoples. They will hammer their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not lift swords against nations. No longer will they learn to make war.

Come, let us walk in the light of God.” Isaiah 2

Brothers and sisters, powers that be, we come to you today as friends, in love. We, like many of you, are people of faith, inspired by many who have gone before us, people like the prophets, Isaiah and Micah, Jesus as well as Gandhi, and the countless who call us ‘to beat swords into plowshares’. May we now transform weapons into real, life-giving alternatives, to build true peace.

We come to the Y-12 facility because our very humanity rejects the designs of nuclearism, empire and war. Our faith in love and nonviolence encourages us to believe that our activity here is necessary; that we come to invite transformation, undo the past and present work of Y-12; disarm and end any further efforts to increase the Y-12 capacity for an economy and social structure based upon war-making and empire-building.

A loving and compassionate Creator invites us to take the urgent and decisive steps to transform the U.S. empire, and this facility, into life-giving alternatives which resolve real problems of poverty and environmental degradation for all.

We begin together by preparing our minds and hearts for this transformation. And so we bring gifts to symbolize this transformation, instruments that serve life, peace and harmony, truth and healing to this nuclear weapons plant and everywhere.

We bring our life-symbols: blood, for healing and pouring out our lives in service and love. Our very humanity depends on lives given, not taken. But blood also reminds us of the horrific spilling of blood by nuclear weapons.

-our hammers, to begin the transforming work of deconstructing war machines, creating new jobs which address real problems, eliminate poverty, heal and foster the fullness of life for all.

We bring our truth-symbols: candles, for light transforms fear and secrecy into authentic security;

-flowers, the White Rose of forgiveness, acceptance of friendship and genuine reconciliation.

-the crime tape and an Indictment, which point out truth and end lies which have blinded and dulled the very conscience of nations, and serve the interests of justice for healing global relationships.

-a Bible, to remind ourselves to become sources of wisdom and to inspire our acts of conscience as we carry on.

Lastly we bring food, symbolized by this bread, strengthening us as we build this new world where people do not feel compelled to build nuclear weapons in order to feed their families. So may we break and share this bread together in joy and genuine friendship as we work together, empowered by our Creating God


Michael Walli Greg Boertje-Obed Megan Rice shcj

Transform Now Plowshares

Gonna take Us All, Jon Fromer (RIP

To keep the spirit!


We are all Bradley Manning!