Twenty-two protesters arrested outside Bath Iron Works in Maine before warship christening ceremony

Photo by Darcie Moore / The Times Record

from the Times Record

June 22, 2019

BATH — Police arrested 22 protesters Saturday morning who were blocking traffic or gates outside Bath Iron Works were a christening ceremony for the USS Daniel Inouye started at 10 a.m.

Bath police stated in a press release that the arrests occurred at multiple locations adjacent to the shipyard between 8:45 and 10 a.m.

According to police, protesters from Maine Veterans for Peace and Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space protested the event at various areas outside BIW.

Protesters were primarily stationed on Washington Street by King Street but some moved to BIW’s South Gate and others to Vine Street during the protest. There were approximately 50 people protesting the event from these groups.

Police said 22 protesters were arrested by law enforcement officers from Bath Police Department and Maine State Police for obstructing a public Way.

According to a press release, 12 protesters throughout the hour blocked the entrance to the South Gate of Bath Iron Works on Washington Street. Buses were prevented from entering the facility with invited guests.

“All 12 were issued lawful orders to leave the roadway but remained and were arrested without incident,” the release stated. “Five protesters were arrested on Vine Street for obstructing a public way. They had entered the road and blocked a bus carrying passengers to the event. They remained on the road after being given lawful orders to leave and were arrested without incident”

Police said five other protesters were arrested for blocking the flow of traffic on King Street. They were also ordered to leave the roadway and allegedly refused. The five were arrested without incident.

Bath Iron Works held a christening ceremony in April for the USS Lyndon B. Johnson. A group of protesters representing peace groups gathered outside that event as well, calling on the shipyard to focus on efforts to combat climate change rather than building ships that they argue exacerbate the issue.  Police arrested 25 protesters for blocking a road at the event, but the district attorney ultimately decided to drop the charges, saying in a news release that prosecuting the protesters would tie up resources and give the demonstrators “undue publicity.” 

The following were arrested Saturday:

Luther Howard, age 71 from Fairhaven, MA
Cynthia Howard, age 72 from Biddeford, ME
Lisa Savage, age 62 from Solon, ME
Mark Roman, age 71 from Solon, ME
William Thomas, age 76 from Auburn, ME
Daniel Ellis, age 71 from Brunswick
Richard Lethem, age 87 from Brunswick, ME
Constance Jenkins, age 71 from East Blue Hill, ME
Dudley Hendrick, age 77 from Deer Isle, ME
Robert Shetterly, age 72 from Brooksville, ME
Sophia Fuller, age 72 from Belfast, ME
Mary Beth Sullivan, age 65 from Brunswick, ME
Bruce Gagnon, age 66 from Brunswick, ME
Ashley Bahlkow, age 35 from North Yarmouth, ME
Sophia Bahlkow, age 43 from North Yarmouth, ME
Natalyn Mayers, age 73 from Whitefield, ME
Kenneth Jones, age 70 from Swannanoa, NC
Sarah Fulton, age 30 from Davis, CA
James Freeman, age 70 from Verona Island, ME
Dixie Searway, age 81 from Parsonsfield, ME
Russell Wray, age 64 from Hancock, ME
George Ostensen, age 64 from Hope, ME

Photo by Darcie Moore / The Times Record

The arrests were processed at the Sagadahoc County Courthouse. All but 10 posted bail and were released on personal recognizance.

Bath police say 10 refused to sign any summonses or bail slips during the booking process and were taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

All 22 protesters are scheduled to appear in West Bath District Court on Aug. 6.

Click here to see the post and photos at the Went 2 The Bridge blog




Bath, June 22 — Twenty-two protesters who were blocking buses bringing guests to General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works shipyard were arrested in Bath and charged with obstructing a public way.

Nine of those arrested declined bail, asked to be released on their own recognizance, and were denied. They are currently held at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, pending a possible hearing Monday June 24 at the District Court in West Bath: Jim Freeman, Sadie Fulton, Bruce Gagnon, Ken Jones, Natasha Mayers, George Ostensen, Dixie Searway, Mary Beth Sullivan, and Russell Wray. [Update: They were released on June 24.]

Thirteen of those charged were released on bail pending arraignment August 6 at the District Court in West Bath: Ashley Bahlkow, Sophia Bahlkow, Dan Ellis, Ridgeley Fuller, Dud Hendrick, Cynthia Howard, Damon Howard, Connie Jenkins, Richard Lethem, Mark Roman, Lisa Savage, Robert Shetterly, and Will Thomas.

Video of some of the arrests is available here on Peaceworks Maine’s YouTube channel.

“We engaged in civil resistance to underscore our conversion demand. BIW should be helping to solve the climate crisis, not building weapons that make the problem worse,” said Mark Roman of Solon, one of those arrested.

The protests today were part of an ongoing Conversion Campaign in Maine. Recent events include a news conference at the Portland Public Library on June 21 andpresentation at Portland Pecha Kucha EARTH on June 6.

On April 27, 2019 there were 25 protesters were arrested and charged with obstructing a public way. Sagadahoc County District Attorney Natasha Irving did not prosecute the 25; it was reported in the press that she considered such cases a drain on the limited resources of her staff.

Organizations sponsoring the June 22 protests and resistance include Americans Who Tell the Truth, Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST), Durham Quaker Meeting, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Island Peace & Justice, Maine Independent Green Party, Maine Natural Guard, Maine Veterans for Peace, Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center, Midcoast Peace & Justice Group, Pax Christi Maine, Peace Action Maine, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Peace & Justice Group of Waldo County, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick, Peninsula Peace & Justice, and 350 Maine.

Today, 22 activists were arrested in Bath at a demonstration as a warship “Christening” audience was being assembled. Details will be reveled at a hearing, possibly this Monday at the District Court in West Bath. The nine, currently held at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset might be addressed via video connection.Those nine are: Bruce Gagnon, Mary Beth Sullivan, George Ostensen, Dixie Searway, Jim Freeman, Russell Wray, Ken Jones, Sadie Fulton, Natasha Mayers.

Thirteen released for hearings in August are: Cynthia Howard, Damon Howard, Lisa Savage, Mark Roman, Will Thomas, Dan Ellis, Richard Lethem, Connie Jenkins, Dud Hendrick, Rob Shutterly, Ridgeley Fuller, Ashley Bahlkow and sister Sophia.