Catholics are no strangers to protests, and even nuns and priests have been arrested on occasion during protests. This week, an 83-year-old nun was convicted for her participation in a break-in protest at a nuclear facility last July.
According to a BBC News report, Sister Megan Rice and two other protesters, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were convicted this week of sabotage and depredation of government property. The trio cut a fence and broke into the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which processes and stores uranium for use in nuclear weapons. They threw baby bottles filled with human blood onto the walls of the facility.
The protesters are part of a group called Transform Now Plowshares. The group issued a statement in conjunction with the protest, stating that the facility is “an ongoing criminal endeavor in violation of international al treaty law…” From a separate statement:
We come to the Y-12 facility because our very humanity rejects the designs of nuclearism, empire and war. Our faith in love and nonviolence encourages us to believe that our activity here is necessary; that we come to invite transformation, undo the past and present work of Y-12; disarm and end any further efforts to increase the Y-12 capacity for an economy and social structure based upon war-making and empire-building.
Sister Rice is well-known for her anti-war activism. According to a New York Times feature on Rice published in August 2012, she has been arrested “40 or 50 times” for civil disobedience.
Rice and her fellow protesters now face up to 20 years in prison for what authorities believe is one of the most serious U.S. nuclear facility security breaches in history.