LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Past incident provides roadmap

Published 2:42 pm Friday, January 15, 2021

On July 28, 2012, three anti-nuclear bomb peace activists from the Plowshares organization broke into a supposedly impenetrable maximum-security compound in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The building, run by the Department of Energy, that was their target is called Y-12, and it is the “Fort Knox” of uranium. Their goal was to write pro peace slogans and to hang a banner with a biblical prophecy on the building.

With much surprise, the 82-year-old nun and her two 50-ish-year-old accomplices succeeded in their goal. They surrendered to the security force, were arrested and faced trial in a Federal court. Because of a statute of the U.S. criminal code on domestic terrorism, they were tried as terrorists and were looking at a sentence of 30 years in prison.

The nun received a five-year sentence, but only served 35 months. her friends were given nine-year sentences and served five years in jail because of their previous offenses. The Federal Justice Department needs to be vigorous in applying the statute of domestic terrorism to the cases that will be before them in the coming months. If three peace activists get sentenced to five to nine years in jail for trespassing and vandalism, the participants of the storming of the caapitol building should be judged much harsher for the disruption and destruction they inflicted on our government, on the Capital Building and on our peace of mind.