e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


oak ridge

Two friends were arrested this weekend in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Thanks for the dedication to peace work, Bill and Billie! Here's the story:

OAK RIDGE — Five protesters were arrested today on charges of obstructing a
roadway at the entrance to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

Four of the protesters chained themselves with a bicycle chain to a barricade in front of the plant and may face additional charges, according to Oak Ridge Police Capt. Alan Massengill. Those arrested were:
--Mary Dennis Lentsch, 70, of Oak Ridge.
--Elizabeth Velkey Brockman, 44, of Durham, N.C.
--Mary Ellen Gondeck, 66, of Detroit.
--William Hickey, 62, of Detroit.
--Billie Hickey, 58, of Detroit.

They were taken into custody by Oak Ridge City Police and were to be processed this afternoon. The five were among a couple hundred peace activists gathered to protest the continued production of nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge, one of the nation’s original atomic cities.

They began their day in the city’s Bissell Park, watching puppet shows, listening to music and hearing speeches about the evils of nuclear weapons. Shortly after 1 p.m. the demonstrators began walking toward the Y-12 complex a couple of miles away,
where they staged a demonstration.

Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, was upset with the arrangement at Y-12, where authorities had restricted the protest area to a small space near the plant’s entrance sign. Hutchison said a federal spokesman at Y-12 misled organizers about the arrangement.

The acts of “civil disobedience” at the Y-12 entrance were expected. The Peace Alliance has organized protests at the Y-12 plant for nearly 20 years. The events today and early next week will commemorate the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. Y-12 enriched the uranium used in the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

More details as they develop online and in Sunday’s News Sentinel.

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