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Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge Seeks to Press Federal Charges

Will protesters at this years Oak Ridge's Y-12 Plant risk federal fines and prison sentences?
April 12, 2002
Knoxville, TN

Today as activists make their way from all points of the world to speak out against the government's nuclear rebuilding initiatives and to call for disarment and peace at ORNL's Y-12 plant, word has came from Oak Ridge that protestors who violate the law may face federal punishment for their struggle to free the people and the earth from the nuclear burden.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports "For the first time protesters arrested for trespassing or other acts of civil disobedience will be charged with federal offenses, according to a top official at the nuclear installation." In the past those arrested have usually had charges dropped or have been required to pay a maximum fine of $50, ORNL now plans to seek maximum prosecution of protesters. "Federal trespassing charges carry a maximum sentence of a year in jail, with potential fines up to $100,000." Such fines for nonviolent civil disobedience are not likely to be attempted, but in the case that they are, it would be a drastic change to the policy that has been unwritenly followed in the past with minimal tresspassing charges under state and city statutes.

This change in practice has come after the plant says signs have been vandalized and security is at possible risk. In the past, police have been positioned at enterances to arrest protesters who cross onto off limit areas of the plants enterance. In past demonstrations, all actions have been nonviolent, and keeping with the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance message of peace, all actions carried out will remain peaceful.

The demonstrations this weekend, the 13th and 14th, will once again bring the question of why nuclear weapons are still being to the public eye and mind. As the word "Peace" floats around Washington, D.C. in talks of using war to achieve Peace, the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance is using Peace to achieve Peace.

Updates on the actions will be posted as the events are held. Check indymedia.org for updates, as well as the Atlanta and Richmond IMC webpages.

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