One 85-year-old nun and two sixtyish male activists have absolutely no regrets about breaking into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at the National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 2012. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Greg Boertje-Obed look back on their action “with great satisfaction…we did what we had planned to do” and “yeah, it was worth it.” As devoted members of the Plowshares Movement, they intend to continue to expose and oppose the military-industrial complex in the service of nuclear disarmament and world peace. To enter the inner sanctum which holds enough uranium to end the world as we know it, they used bolt cutters on the wire fences. To voice their protest, they threw one vial of human blood and spray-painted the walls with antiwar and biblical messages. The speed (seven minutes!) with which they breached such high-security territory caused the government great embarrassment. They were charged with sabotage and injuring government property. On May 16, to widespread surprise, they were released before completing their 3- and 5-year terms respectively.
Although the sabotage charges were dropped, it looks as if the government will have to wait unto eternity to collect the $52,953 fine imposed for the break-in: the three Christian pacifists have taken a vow of poverty, own no assets and have no intention of paying anything. While Sister Megan Rice is pleased to be free, her seriousness of purpose is unchanged. “To die in prison would be an honor,” she maintains.