As Y-12 intrusion came to a close, anti-nukes protesters reportedly offered bread to the armed guards
It was 4:30 in the morning, and after traversing the sprawling Y-12 site for nearly two hours, the unimpeded protesters had reportedly reached the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility -- the nation's Fort Knox for bomb-grade uranium -- and had sprayed paint and blood on the windowless, fortresslike facility and attached a couple of banners with messages damning the production of nuclear weapons.
According to information released this evening by supporters of the three protesters, who collectively called themselves "Transform Now Plowshares," the trio finally encountered an armed security guard at HEUMF.
When confronted by the guard they read aloud a prepared statement, the group said in information distributed this evening.
"He was on his walkie-talkie but he heard it," Megan Rice, an 82-year-old nun and veteran protesters, said in information parlayed by her supporters from the Blount County jail this evening.
According to information from the Plowshares group, who described the predawn encounter with a security officer, "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."
Some supporters of the protest group declared the Y-12 entry a success, but, in a statement attributed to Michael Walli, one of those arrested at the Oak Ridge plant, "We're still opposing the filthy rotten system. Jesus has no nukes in heaven and no torture in heaven."
Posted by Frank Munger on July 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM
High-level embarrassment? Y-12 spokesman says protesters risked their lives
Earlier today, I asked federal spokesman Steve Wyatt if the pre-dawn intrusion by unarmed peace protesters -- ranging in age from 57 to 82 -- was an embarrassment for the security team at the government's Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. The three protesters reportedly spent two hours wandering through Y-12, finally reaching the plant's fortress-like storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.
Here's Wyatt response this evening:
"The protesters entry into the protected area was detected and a security response was performed. The protesters put themselves at a high risk of losing their life in performing this act. We are thankful that did not occur. There will be lessons learned from this incident that we will use to further refine and improve our security posture at Y-12."
Posted by Frank Munger on July 28, 2012 at 7:42 PM
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