Nun, 83, Guilty of Breaking Into Nuclear Plant

Says she did it for 'healing and forgiveness and love'

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2013 10:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – The 83-year-old Catholic nun and two other activists who broke into the country's only weapons-grade uranium processing facility last year have been found guilty of damaging government property and injuring national defense. The trio face up to 30 years each in prison, but won't know their fate until later today, reports Oak Ridge Today. Supporters in the courtroom sang "Love, love, love, love. People, we are made for love," as nun Megan Rice, Michael R. Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, were taken into custody, the Washington Post reports.

The three activists cut through four chain fences and spray-painted biblical messages on the walls of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where most of the country's weapons-grade uranium is stored. "Our intent was to bring healing and forgiveness and love," said Rice, but prosecutors say they caused $8,532 of damage to property and also threatened national defense. "Three senior citizens showing up with backpacks is a threat to the United States of America?” questioned their defense attorney. "That threatens us? I don’t think so ... Opposing [nuclear weapons] is not something that opposes the national defense of the United States."

Activist Sister Megan Rice attends a rally by supporters before her trial with fellow anti-nuclear weapons activists Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 56, on Monday, May 6, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. The activists, who call themselves Transform Now Plowshares, say in court filings that after they refused to plead...
Activist Sister Megan Rice attends a rally by supporters before her trial with fellow anti-nuclear weapons activists Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 56, on Monday, May 6, 2013, in Knoxville,...   (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Michael Patrick)
In photographs provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, anti-nuclear weapons activists Greg Boertje-Obed of Washington, D.C., Sister Megan Rice of Nevada, and Michael R. Walli of Duluth, Minn., are pictured. Officials say the three protesters have been arrested for trespassing and defacing a building in the Y-12 National...
In photographs provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, anti-nuclear weapons activists Greg Boertje-Obed of Washington, D.C., Sister Megan Rice of Nevada, and Michael R. Walli of Duluth, Minn., are pictured....   (AP Photo, U.S. Marshals Service via Knoxville News Sentinel)
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