Nuclear Activism: Three elders walk two hours, pass through four fences, to reach uranium storage building

In this summer of record-breaking heat and drought, puppy Shadow and I walk during the early mornings. I often pay attention to sidewalks, the messages scrawled on them. Sometimes they are for upcoming events, religious, entertainment, or networking. This morning, however, large, in red chalk, not scrawled, on the beautiful shaded Indiana University campus that is now, once again, repopulating with a new crop of students: “NO FUTURE.”

Nothing more. Just that. No future.

Last May, when classes were over and the kids headed out of town, I came across this message on I.U. sidewalks, in multiple places, HOOKUP.COM. Check out the website. Yep. You got it.

The two messages may be related. For when there is no future, the young might as well indulge in momentary, usually drunken or stoned, hook-ups.

Even so, the “no future” signal gives me hope, that students are waking up to our plight. And it may be that not until we see and feel fully what lies ahead, will we individually and collectively transform to meet it in a different way. And in that meeting, all will be changed.

Meanwhile, the older generation of activists continue their largely unsung saga of courageous resistance.

82-Year-Old Nun Shuts Down Top-Secret Nuclear Facility

August 3, 2012


82-Year-Old Nun Shuts Down Top-Secret Nuclear Facility

Three activists, including an 82-year-old nun, have succeeded in closing temporarily the US government’s only facility for handling, processing and storing weapons-grade uranium.

With the “Nuns on the Bus” tour for social justice in full swing, it seems that social activism is defining a lot of nuns in the US. Excellent!

The facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, also known as “The Atomic City,” was shut down on Wednesday after at least three protesters, including 82-year-old Megan Rice, cut through perimeter fences to reach the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key nuclear bomb component, is stored.

This is awesome news; the facility is enormous, seemingly impenetrable, and dominates the town of Oak Ridge. That anyone even had the idea to try and break in is inspiring.

Ironically, WSI Oak Ridge, the private contractor responsible for protecting the facility, is a subsidiary of the world’s biggest security firm G4S, which came up short by 3,500 of the 10,400 security guards it had guaranteed to provide at the Olympic Games in London.

Time for this security company to do some re-evaluating, maybe?

From rawstory:

The activists, who called themselves Transform Now Plowshares, painted slogans and threw what they said was human blood on the wall of the facility, according to government officials.

Although the activists triggered security sensors they were still able to reach the building’s walls before WSI Oak Ridge staff intercepted them.

In a statement the three activists said they had passed through four fences and walked for “over two hours” before reaching the uranium storage building, on which they hung banners and crime-scene tape.

The activists’ spokeswoman, Ellen Barfield, said three were arrested and charged with vandalism and criminal trespass.

The three, identified as Megan Rice, 82, Michael Walli, 63, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, are being held in custody and appeared for a hearing on Thursday before a US magistrate judge in Knoxville, Tennessee.

A detention hearing was set for today, when prosecutors must show the defendants are a flight risk and a danger to the community in order to keep them in custody, according to court officials. The trial date is 9 October.

Not surprisingly, a spokeswoman for G4S declined to comment, but government officials said the contents of the facility were not compromised.

But somebody is going to get into big trouble for this security breach.

The security failure was an embarrassment both for the security firm and for the National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, the Energy Department branch that operates U.S. nuclear weapons plants. “It was obviously a pretty serious incident,” NNSA spokesman Joshua McConaha told Reuters.

Peter Stockton, a former congressional investigator and security consultant to the Energy Department, expressed skepticism at government assertions the nuclear material was not at risk.

“It is unbelievable this could happen,” Stockton told Reuters. “The significance is outrageous. If they were terrorists, they could have blown open the door and got inside.”

I think we need to re-think our image of nuns!

Related Stories

“Nuns on the Bus” Tour America For Social Justice

American Nuns Push Back Against Rome

Photo Credit: bsabarnowl

This entry was posted in 2012, conscious dying, conscious grieving, culture of secrecy, dark doo-doo, elder wisdom, local action, waking up. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Nuclear Activism: Three elders walk two hours, pass through four fences, to reach uranium storage building

  1. Annie says:

    Great posts here, Ann. Liberation is a process, and a new History is being actualized.

    *And it’s no accident so many of us grey-haired ones are present. In case you missed it, here is 93 year old Pete Seeger strummin’ and singing on the Colbert Report last night: Here he is last December singing/teaching “Solartopia,” a song he and 2 others wrote:

    Must relay this message from Mars upon Curiosity landing:

    It’s a good day to smile,

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