Transform Now Plowshares action at Y-12 nuclear weapons complex

See here for August 3 court updates.
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.”
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“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

Oak Ridge Y-12 Indicted for War Crimes

Today, through our nonviolent action, we—Transform Now Plowshares—indict the U.S. government nuclear modernization program, including the new Uranium Processing Facility planned at Oak Ridge and the dedication of billions of public dollars to the continuation of the Y-12 facility.

WHEREAS, This program is an ongoing criminal endeavor in violation of international treaty law binding on the United States under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI):

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

WHEREAS, The United States is bound by the United Nation’s Charter, ratified and signed in 1945. Its preamble affirms that its purpose is to “save future generations from the scourge of war”. It directs that “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation”. Article II regards the threat to use nuclear weapons as ongoing international criminal activity.

WHEREAS, The Nuremberg Principles, also promulgated in 1945, primarily by the U.S., prohibit crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. They render nuclear weapons systems prohibited, illegal, and criminal under all circumstances and for any reason.

WHEREAS, The U.S. government is obligated as well by the Non Proliferation Treaty, in force since 1970 that requires the signers to pursue negotiations in good faith and to eliminate nuclear weapons at an early date. The U.S. government is also obligated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits full-scale nuclear explosions.

THEREFORE, The work planned at Oak Ridge violates all these agreements and is thus criminal.

Oak Ridge Y-12 is slated to receive more than $6.5 billion in federal funding over the next decade for continuing nuclear weapons production. The new Uranium Processing Facility is expected to sustain a nuclear arsenal of 3000-3500 weapons beyond the middle of the century. Additional production facilities are sought as well. Instead of eliminating nuclear weaponry, Oak Ridge Y-12 perpetuates it through the nuclear modernization program.

Against these continuing violations of treaty law, we assert our human right to civil resistance. Furthermore we affirm as crucial the human right to be free from these crimes. The Nuremberg Principles not only prohibit such crimes but oblige those of us aware of the crime to act against it. “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity…is a crime under International Law”.

The ongoing building and maintenance of Oak Ridge Y-12 constitute war crimes that can and should be investigated and prosecuted by judicial authorities at all levels. We are required by International Law to denounce and resist known crimes.

For the sake of the whole human family threatened by nuclear weapons, and for the sake of our Planet Earth, which is abused and violated, we indict the Oak Ridge Y-12 nuclear weapon facility and all government officials, agencies, and contractors as responsible for perpetuating these war crimes.



Michael R. Walli, 63

A member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington DC. Roman Catholic layman currently residing in the belly of the beast, Washington D.C.

Sr. Megan Rice, 82

Born in N.Y.C., a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus since 1950. serving as a teacher in the US until 1962 and until 2003, in West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana). In 2005  joined the staff of  Nevada Desert Experience, an interfaith Peace movement for non-violent resistance to nuclear weapons and war.

Greg Boertje-Obed, 57,

married, with one college-bound daughter; from Duluth, MN., member of Veterans for Peace, former US Army officer from Fort Polk, La.; studied, worked, and lived in Louisiana for 13 years; housepainter.