BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont jury on Tuesday found six Massachusetts women guilty of trespassing at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant last year to protest the continued operation of the reactor.
Police said the women, who ranged in age from 69 to 93 and were all members of the Shut It Down Affinity Group, used a chain and padlock to lock the entrance gate to the Vernon plant and chained themselves to the fence on Aug. 30, 2011, while officials were busy with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.
The group has mounted about 22 protests against plants continued operation in recent years.
In court, the women represented themselves.
‘‘Entergy is trespassing on my welfare and all of yours,’’ said Mary Kehler of Colrain, Mass.
Judge John Wesley ordered the defendants to refrain from certain topics related to the political wrangling over the plant’s future or alleged environmental effects from its operation, the Brattleboro Reformer (http://bit.ly/TpbW9c) reported.
The Vernon police chief and the plant’s security manger testified that the women were trespassing and had been warned to leave before they were arrested.
The judge sentenced them to pay a fine of $350 each.
The six are identified as 93-year-old Frances Crowe, 82-year-old Nancy First and 68-year-old Patricia ‘‘Paki’’ Wieland, all of Northampton, 73-year-old Hattie Nestel, of Athol, 69-year-old Ellen Graves, of West Springfield, and Kehler, also known as Betsey Corner, 64, of Colrain.
Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/