Australian news, and some related international items

Vale Sister Megan Rice – an anti-nuclear hero

Catholic sister who spent 2 years in prison for nuclear weapons protest dies at 91, Catholic News Service   13 Oct 21,

ROSEMONT, Pa. (CNS) — Sister Megan Rice, whose yearslong crusade against nuclear weapons included serving two years behind bars for a felony, died Oct. 10 at the Rosemont residence of her religious order, the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She was 91.

Colleen Carroll, director of communications for the order, said the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

“It is incredible to consider how the bravery of this small, smiling, unassuming woman in standing up to the entirety of the U.S. military-industrial complex could bring so much awareness to the devastation our nation’s idolatry of nuclear weapons inflicts on people here in the U.S. and around the world,” Johnny Zokovitch, executive director of Pax Christi USA, said in a statement.

“All of Pax Christi USA grieves at her passing, but we give thanks for her witness, for her life and for the challenge that she issued by standing up nonviolently for a better world for all of us,” he said.

Sister Rice’s bold campaign against nuclear weapons launched her into the spotlight and caused her to become the issue’s ad hoc spokeswoman.

In July 2012, at age 82, she and two other members of Transform Now Plowshares breached security to stage a protest at the self-styled “Fort Knox of uranium,” the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The facility creates and houses materials for making nuclear weapons.

The three activists cut through fences and reached the warehouse that stores bomb-making uranium. There, they splashed blood on the wall, hung banners and spray-painted messages condemning nuclear weapons.

The action sparked national shock and outrage, led to a congressional investigation of the security at Y-12 and sent Sister Rice and her companions, Michael Walli, then 63, and Greg Boertje-Obed, then 57, to prison.

On Feb. 18, 2014, in U.S. District Court, Sister Rice, of Washington, was sentenced to 35 months in prison on each of two counts — one count of depredation of property and one count of sabotage.

Sister Rice toured the country to protest the United States’ nuclear arsenal as the star of the film. She also spoke to a congressional hearing and at the United Nations in New York City on the issue of nuclear disarmament.

And she continued her activism through vigils, marches, prayers and visits to classrooms.

“It’s illegal to deal in weapons of mass destruction — immoral and illegal,” Sister Rice declared during an April 8, 2018, event at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where the documentary was being screened.

“We’re not being taken to the international court of justice and indicted the way Iran or some other place would,” she said.

……….In the 1980s, Sister Rice got involved in the anti-war movement, participating in protests against a variety of American military actions, military sites and nuclear weapons installations.

She was arrested more than three dozen times in acts of civil disobedience, including her anti-nuclear weapons activism.

October 14, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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