Two women protesting the U.S. Department of Energy and trying to inform the public of the effects of global warming were questioned and released at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on Monday morning, authorities said.
New Energy Secretary Rick Perry was at Y-12 for a tour on Monday morning, but it’s not clear if the two women were there because of Perry.
The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to a call of two protesters trespassing at Y-12’s east gate at 301 Bear Creek Road at about 10:13 a.m. Monday. Perry was reported to have left the nuclear weapons plant by then.
“The two adult female protesters drove up to the east security portal for Y-12,” the City of Oak Ridge said in a brief statement. “They did not possess proper clearance to enter so they were stopped. ORPD officers later learned the two were there to protest the Department of Energy and to inform the public of the effects of global warming by placing signs along the public roadway. The two women were questioned at the portal and released.”
No criminal charges were filed. Crossing the blue boundary line at Y-12 can lead to an arrest.
It’s not clear if the two women questioned at Y-12 were the same two who posted signs in Hardin Valley during a visit by Perry on Monday afternoon. Perry visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility on Cherahala Boulevard, and the women, who were standing at an intersection shortly before Perry’s visit, appeared to have posted signs that said “Climate Change is Real” at Cherahala Boulevard and Hardin Valley Road.