Even if you don’t agree with her actions, motivation or beliefs, you have to admire Sister Megan Rice for walking her talk. Megan Rice, an 85-year-old Catholic nun, was released after serving two years in prison. Her crime — evading security and throwing human blood and painting peace slogans on the walls of a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, TN. Her aim (not just her throwing arm) was to draw attention to the danger of nuclear weapons.
Originally convicted of sabotage, the Court of Appeals overturned that charge and ordered re-sentencing for injuring government property. This is one spunky woman. Before embarking on a life of crime, Rice, a nun with the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, spent decades as a missionary in Africa, leaving when she contracted malaria.
During the Oak Ridge break-in, Sr Megan and her accomplices (one man is mid-60’s; one is 60) cut through fences to reach the area where bomb-grade uranium is stored. While on site and before their arrest, they spent two hours at the “secure” site hanging banners, praying and spray-painting slogans. Their actions showed the vulnerability of nuclear facilities. In the aftermath of the breach, federal officials have implemented sweeping security changes.
Sister Megan’s prison accommodation was a high-rise in Brooklyn, NY where she lived in a large dorm with bunks for over 100 women. The prisoners shared six toilets and six showers. With no outdoor recreational area, no mess hall, and limited therapy or educational classes, this is incarceration without rehabilitation.
Sr. Megan’s next project will be drawing attention to conditions inside U.S. correctional facilities.What are YOU going to do and be when you grow up?