Nun Sentenced to 35 Months in Prison for Anti-Nuclear Protest
A Federal District Judge sentenced an 84-year-old Roman Catholic nun to 35 months in prison Tuesday for breaking into a nuclear facility on July 28, 2012.
Sister Megan Rice was found guilty of damaging more than $1,000 worth of U.S. government property at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Protesters Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, and 63-year-old Michael Walli were also sentenced to five years for breaking into one of the nation’s most secured uranium facilities.
In an attempt to protest against nuclear weapons, the trio cut through four fences and snuck past armed guards before finally making their way onto the premises.
The vandalization went on for more than two hours. The activists used banners, spray paint, and blood to recite Biblical slogans of peace.
One of the last properties they destroyed was a storage building that housed $548 million worth of uranium. It was in that moment that a security guard caught Sister Rice and her partners-in-crime.
“The protesters put themselves at a high risk of losing their life in performing this act,” a National Nuclear Security Administration said, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
However, it appears that the nun has placed herself in similar situations numerous times.
According to The New York Times, Sister Rice joined a nunnery at the age of 18, and by the 1980s, she was a member of an anti-nuclear demonstration group. One of her most well-known punishments was serving six months in prison for kneeling down in front of a truck, blocking its way into a Nevada nuclear site.
Evidently, the anti-nuclear activist has always been resilient to law enforcement. According to her, the government’s 70-year industry of criminalization should be of main concern.
“We spend more on nuclear arms than on the departments of education, health, transportation, disaster relief and a number of other government agencies that I can’t remember,” she told the newspaper.
In a closing statement to Judge Amul Thapar, Sister Rice appeared to be unapologetic. She requested to receive the maximum prison sentence.
“Please have no leniency with me,” CS Monitor reported her saying. “To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”
Here is an interview done by HLN:
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