"Transform Now Plowshares" protestors back in town

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Their break-in shook the Y-12 National Security Complex, and sent shockwaves across the country.

Now, as the three protesters get ready to go to trial, they talked about their faith, and why they did it.

To Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice and Michael Walli , it's very simple: their faith and beliefs compelled them to expose what they call the illegal activities are going on behind the walls.

When they visited with Maryville College students on Thursday night, they said they're not afraid of going to jail.

"We all identify as coming from a Christian background, and we feel that based on the New Testament, the making of nuclear weapons is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus," said Boertje-Obed.

That's why in July 2012, the three say they broke into Y-12, not even concealing their identities, and left their mark.

"We took our time, and we met no real opposition. We cut through the fences smoothly, and even the motion detector fence," said Boertje-Obed.

"Our intention is to bring our love, compassion, healing and friendship to those who have to be employed in such an industry," said Rice.

They knew the consequences of their actions, but it doesn't matter to them because they feel there is a bigger reason, from above, why they tore through the gates.

"The gift of life is so sacred. So just common sense tells me that it is very wrong to produce that which is polluting and sabotaging all of life," said Rice.

Y-12 told me they could not address the break-in because this case is still in litigation. They released a statement on improving security:

"These improvements include changes to the leadership team, modifications to the PIDAS (perimeter intrusion detection and assessment system) with the installation of additional concertina wire and animal fencing and physical security upgrades (such as additional sensors and cameras)."

The three were back in town for their pre-trial hearing today, their trial is set for May 7.

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