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Fwd: TNP Judge sentences CW'ers Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed to 62 months and Sr Megan Rice to 35 months ... message from Ralph Hutchison OREP

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  • Bob Waldrop
    The criminalization of dissent to the Empire continues! The non-violent protestors who exposed the serious security weaknesses in the government s storage
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2014
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      The criminalization of dissent to the Empire continues! The non-violent
      protestors who exposed the serious security weaknesses in the
      government's storage warehouse for highly enriched weapons grade
      uranium, were sentenced to three to five years in federal prison! They
      were able to get all the way inside, through four different fences, and
      poured blood on the walls before anyone noticed they were there.

      This is a terrible travesty of justice.

      Bob Waldrop
      Romero Catholic Worker
      Oklahoma City

      -------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Ralph Hutchison <orep@...>
      Date: Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM



      Judge Amul R. Thapar passed sentence on Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice
      and Michael Walli on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in federal court in
      Knoxville, Tennessee. The three were convicted in May 2013 for their
      nonviolent action called Transform Now Plowshares at the Y12 Nuclear
      Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on charges of depredation of
      property and sabotage--the convictions carried possible maximum
      sentences of 30 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines, based on
      factors including history, recommended sentences ranging from 6-10
      years.

      Sentencing began at 1:30pm; the three were permitted to be in the
      courtroom together by Judge Thapar.

      Michael Walli received a sentence of 62 months on each count, to be
      served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

      Greg Boertje-Obed received a sentence of 62 months on each count, to
      be served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

      Megan Rice received a sentence of 35 months on each count, to be
      served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised probation.

      "Judge Thapar has tried to strike a compromise that reflects the
      nature of this nonviolent action but satisfies the government's demand
      that Megan, Michael and Greg's sentence send a deterrent message to
      the wider community. For now, their bodies remain in prison. But their
      voices are free, reminding us that the central issue of this action
      and trial have not been resolved--as long as the government continues
      to produce thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction in Oak Ridge or
      anywhere, people are required to resist," said Ralph Hutchison,
      coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

      At the hearing, each of the Plowshares resisters spoke, reminding the
      court of the central purpose of their action--to call the court's
      attention to the ongoing violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation
      Treaty at the Y12 plant in Oak Ridge. In testimony at hearings leading
      up to the trial, former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey
      Clark called the production of nuclear weapons components at Y12
      "unlawful," and the work there "a criminal enterprise."

      Megan, Michael and Greg entered Y12 in the wee hours of the morning on
      July 28, 2012, cutting four fences and traversing a
      lethal-force-authorized zone, arriving at the Highly Enriched Uranium
      Materials Facility, the nation's warehouse of weapons grade highly
      enriched uranium. They poured blood on the walls of the HEUMF and
      spray painted "Plowshares Please Isaiah," and "The Fruit of Justice is
      Peace." They also chipped a corner of the concrete wall with a small
      hammer, a symbolic act reflecting the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah
      who said, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares."

      The statement issued at the time declared the United States in
      violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and said Y12 was
      chosen for the action because of plans for a multi-billion dollar bomb
      plant to be built there--the Uranium Processing Facility. The sole
      purpose of the UPF (pricetag now $19 billion) is to produce
      thermonuclear cores for warheads and bombs. Y12 is an active weapons
      production facility--workers today are performing Life Extension
      Upgrades on the W76 warhead at Y12.

      Supporters outside the courtroom said, "The United States is breaking
      its own law when it builds bombs in Oak Ridge. Any goverment that
      would lock up Megan, Michael and Greg is desperate to hide the truth.
      By their actions, they have broken the silence; their sacrifice
      challenges each of us to speak up for a safer world. In prison or out,
      Michael, Greg and Megan will continue to pray and work to save the
      life of the planet."

      for more information:
      Paul Magno 202 321 6650
      Ralph Hutchison 865 776 5050
      http://orepa.org/

      --
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