Three demonstrators who were able to penetrate deep into secure territory at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge have released photos taken during that breach.
Michael Walli, Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed are part of the Transform Now Plowshares resisters organization. On July 28, the three cut through several fences at Y-12 and managed to paint messages and smear blood on the Uranium Processing Facility building before they were caught.
In an email to 10News, the group says they want to raise attention about the ongoing production of nuclear weapons of mass destruction in Oak Ridge and the plans for a new $7.5 billion weapon production facility.
In the email the activists say "We came to Y12 in a spirit of hope, not fear. We were authorized-even required-to act by the responsibilities placed on us as citizens. The Nuremberg principles, codified by the United Nations after World War 2, require citizens to refuse cooperation with unlawful government acts insofar as it is morally possible. We also felt called, as children of God, to act on behalf of all God's children, including and especially those who are threatened daily by the machines of war and the power of empire."
"In one sense, the pictures speak for themselves," say the three in the email. "But they don't tell the whole story. The whole story is about more than the fact we got through the ultra high security 'deadly force authorized' zone. The whole story includes why we went there and the message we took. We carried with us a Bible, hammers, candles, bread, white roses and blood. We attempted to embody the prophecy God gave to Isaiah, to beat swords into plowshares. We tried to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ, who calls us to find our true security in love and compassion."
The three are charged with trespassing, a felony charge of destruction of government property in a special government maritime territory, a misdemeanor charge of federal trespassing, and a felony charge for causing more than $1,000 in damage to government property "by means of cutting, painting, and defacing."
Since the breach, DOE has terminated the security contract with WSI, and several officials have been reassigned. The security guard who first confronted the protestors has been fired.