Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Anti nuclear nun likely to spend rest of her life in prison

William Killian, the US attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, wrote to the judge asking him to reject any consideration of non-violence and setting out in stark terms how the US government views this white-haired octogenarian and her co-defendants.

Rice,-Sister-Megan-82Octogenarian nun awaits sentence for protest break-in at US nuclear plant.Guardian, 27 Jan 14 Megan Rice was charged with sabotage for breaking into Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee On Monday morning, three days short of her 84th birthday, Sister Megan Rice ate a hearty breakfast of pancakes and oatmeal at the ungodly hour of 4.30am in Knox county jail, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rice, a white-haired Catholic nun and anti-nuclear activist, was in fine spirits, giving a broad smile and a thumbs-up sign through the glass partition that separates her from visitors to the jail where she is awaiting sentence, according to her good friend, Pat McSweeney.

McSweeney took Rice letters of support from the anti-nuclear community to bolster her spirits. ”Don’t worry about me, I’m fine” Rice told her.

Rice was charged with federal sabotage, along with co-defendants Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, a carpenter, and Michael Walli, 64, a Vietnam veteran, for breaking into the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, and they will learn their fate on Tuesday when they appear before Judge Amul Thapar in a federal court in Knoxville, to be sentenced.

The charge of sabotage, under a statute of the US criminal code used against international and domestic terrorism, carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

In May, Judge Thapar suggested that their sentences will be more lenient than the maximum, saying that their non-violence would be relevant. But in the last month, the US government have turned up the heat on three.

William Killian, the US attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, wrote to the judge asking him to reject any consideration of non-violence and setting out in stark terms how the US government views this white-haired octogenarian and her co-defendants.

If Thapar decides to accept Killian’s recommendations, Rice could remain in prison for the rest of her life. ………

She said she expected to go to prison, but cites her personal responsibilities under the Nuremberg principles for “committing only that which is the responsibility superseding all domestic and international laws; opposing and exposing crimes of government and contracting agents.”

Rice believes the case against them will only serve to galvanise others into taking action. But her supporters and her family have deep concerns over the length of any prison sentence imposed.

Her niece, Megan Finnerty, who was at Knoxville on Monday to visit her aunt, said : “She’s such a positive person and very spiritual. She always makes wherever she lands her home. But over time, prison is very gruelling. Breakfast is at four in the morning and it’s not healthy food. When she was in Georgia she was always cold.”……..

o the US government, Rice, Walli and Boerje-Obed are “recidivists and habitual offenders”, guilty of “very serious criminal offences” that “warrant serious sentences” according to Killian’s memo to the judge. Rice has been arrested for civil disobedience related to the peace movement more than three dozen times and has served two previous six-month prison sentences, for trespass during protests against the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, that provides military training to Latin American government personnel.

If anything, Killian said, the sentences could be even harsher, citing a previous case where peace protesters, including Catholic priest, Father Carl Kabat, an anti-nuclear activist, got 18 years in prison for breaking into a military installation.

Rice and her fellow co-defendants actions and the ensuing publicity of their case has rankled with the government. They not only broke into one of the most sensitive and secure nuclear facilities in the country, thus exposing a security chasm, damaging credibility domestically and abroad, but they have showed no remorse, it said. Instead, Killian said, they “revelled in their violations”, using it to gain publicity for their cause.

To her supporters, however, Rice and her fellow defendants are spirited peace protester, driven by a moral crusade against nuclear weapons…….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/octogenarian-nun-sentence-nuclear-protest

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January 28, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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