7 NUCLEAR PROTESTERS PLEAD “NOT GUILTY”, 1 PLEADS “NO CONTEST”
Seven nuclear abolitionists, arrested for trespass last August as they sat in front of the locked gate of a plutonium processing facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), will plead their case to a jury picked from residents of Los Alamos, New Mexico, where The Bomb was born.
At a pretrial hearing October 21 in Los Alamos Magistrates Court, Magistrate Pat Casados set a trial date of Tuesday, February 8, 2011 for seven of the eight people arrested last August 6, the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Defendant Elias Kohn, a student at the University of Southern California, pled no contest and was sentenced to 60 days probation and fined $500.
The seven proceeding to trial are Jeff Freitas and Jason Ahmadi (from California); David Coney and Bryan Martin (from Boise, Idaho); Sister Megan Rice (from Las Vegas, Nevada); Lisa Fithian (from Austin, Texas) & Jack Cohen-Joppa (from Tucson, Arizona).
The LANL-8 were part of a group of over 100 activists who held a colorful demonstration in the streets of Los Alamos on the 65th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Their march led onto LANL property for a ceremony in front of the Chemistry Metallurgy Research (CMR) building on Diamond Drive, where critical plutonium engineering for nuclear weapons goes on. Eight people entered the security gate and sat down peacefully. LANL then asked local police to arrest the eight activists for alleged “trespassing”. Police were told by demonstrators that the true crime at hand was continued nuclear weapons production, and the people had assembled to stop it
Police chose to arrest the eight, who were booked at the jail and released later that evening. Twenty-four-year old Think Outside The Bomb participant Bryan Martin said, “What I learned this summer in Chimayo, New Mexico has led me into dedication as I have begun to realize just how much there is to overcome to create a positive change in the world.” Because the Department of Energy (DoE) is spending billions of dollars on a CMR Replacement (a plutonium pit facility to continue the work of the Manhattan Project) many peace activists came from around the U.S. to Los Alamos to pray and act for peace on August 6. The resisters know that plans to continue developing new nuclear weapons are a crime against existing international and humanitarian law. They contend that the Nuremberg Principles oblige all civilians to act to prevent known criminal activity. In so doing, they went to the older CMR building to prevent pronuclear work there. “Our action is necessitated by a delay of 65 years in ending the continual manufacture of nuclear weapons,” said 80-year-old defendant Sr. Megan Rice. “The original Manhattan Project scientists recognized (but failed to convince the world) that continuing the nuclear weapons project was intrinsically evil.”
NEWS RELEASE from Trinity Nuclear Abolition (TNA): 505 242-0497
22 October 2010
LANL is a facility of the Department of Energy (DoE). President Obama has pushed for a transfer of this facility back into the hands of the War Department (DoD). TNA is opposed to the missions and visions of LANL, the DoD and the DoE. TNA is committed to the goodness of their employees, yet decries their works of war and nuclear barbarism.