Nine activists were arrested during a snow storm on Saturday morning, April 1 at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine during a “christening” of a destroyer outfitted with so-called “missile defense” systems.
The group blocked the ceremony entry gate and were charged with trespass on BIW property – which ironically is ultimately paid for by taxpayer $$$. BIW is owned by General Dynamics.
These warships are currently being deployed by the Pentagon to help encircle Russia and China as the U.S. moves to put in place global first-strike attack capability.
Amazingly BIW decided to still hold the event out-of-doors even though there was a wet driving snow coming down. Reports from the inside of the shipyard were that many of the chairs at the ceremony were empty – except for the snow on them.
The protest called for the conversion of BIW to build commuter rail systems, solar, wind turbines and tidal power systems. This kind of sustainable technology development would employ many times more people than building warships does. See the studies that reveal these facts here.
Following processing, all were released after paying $60 bail. They have to appear in West Bath District Court on May 16 at 1:00 p.m. for arraignment.
1. Lisa Savage – Solon, 60, School teacher
2. Jason Rawn – Lincolnville, 45, War tax resister
3. Bruce Gagnon – Bath, 64, VFP (Veterans For Peace & Global Network)
4. Natasha Mayers – Whitefield, 70, Artist
5. Bob Dale – Brunswick, 92, VFP former Navy pilot
6. Mike Tork – Cape Cod, MA, VFP former Navy Vietnam vet
7. Mark Roman – Solon, 69, Woodworker
8. Russell Wray – Hancock, 61, Artist
9. Jessica Stewart – Bass Harbor, 37, Catholic Worker activist
About 35 activists from around Maine braved the harsh weather to come to the protest.
from Bangor Daily News
by Judy Harrison, BDN staff
BATH, Maine — Nine protesters ranging in age from 37 to 92 were arrested Saturday morning at the christening of the future USS Thomas Hudner at Bath Iron Works, according to local police.
They were charged with criminal trespassing, a Class E crime, after they attempted to attend the event at 10 a.m., according to a news release issued by Bath police. BIW security stopped the protesters, some of whom carried signs, at the gate where attendees entered the grounds.
Security officers and Bath police told the group, who were from Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapon and Nuclear Power in Space, that if they remained they would be arrested.
The nine refused to leave and were arrested, according to the release. They were taken to the Bath Police Station, booked and released on unsecured bail. The nine, who cooperated with police, are scheduled to be arraigned May 16 in West Bath District Court.Those charged with criminal trespass are Jason Rawn, 43, of Lincolnville; Mark Roman, no age given, of Solon; Bruce Gagnon, 64, of Bath; Russell Wray, 61, of Hancock; Natalyn Mayers, 71, of Whitefield; Robert Dale, 92, of Brunswick; Michael Tork, 69, of Falmouth, Massachusetts; Jessica Stewart, 37, of Bass Harbor; and Lisa Savage, 60, of Solon.
If convicted, each faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
A 510-foot long and 9,200-ton Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, the Hudner is named after Medal of Honor recipient retired Navy Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who also attended the ceremony.