Upcoming TNA vigils | 2008's TaxDay Vigil | 2010's LANL-8 | 2011's Fathers Day 5 | Other Anti-LANL History
Hiroshima Day LANL6 "Not Guilty" of Trespassing
Yet "Guilty" of Disobedience
In this image (courtesy of TNA), from left to right are the six who were arrested on August 6th (Hiroshima Day), 2012:
Catherine "Wind" Euler, Cathie Sullivan, Janet Greenwald, Benjamin "Summer" Abbott, Barbara Grothus and Pam Gilchrist
At 7:30am on August 6th 2012, about 40 people gathered at the main entrance to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) near Bandalier National Monument in New Mexico. Most of the demonstrators had been at the prior weekend's events originally inspired by Occupy Santa Fe. A coalition of groups had formed this NukeFreeNow.org event lasting from Friday through Sunday in Santa Fe and Los Alamos. The early morning events of August 6th occurred alongside a prayer vigil conducted by Trinity Nuclear Abolition (TNA). Individuals who joined the monthly vigil by TNA came from UnOccupy Albuquerque, the NukeFreeNow coalition, Pax Christi New Mexico and Occupy Santa Fe. This marked the largest UnOccupy Los Alamos event since the Occupy Wall Street movement began nearly a year before. Chanting "Disarm Today", "We Are On Indigenous Land---Clean Up Our Land", and "Jobs For Peace, Not War", the group was ready for a full day of direct action for peace. A few hours after the arrests on August 6th the nuclear abolitionists installed a large banner on Omega Bridge connecting the town of Los Alamos with LANL. The demonstration was focused on the pollution LANL causes (and does not clean up), the spiritual violence of the weapons of mass destruction LANL continues to design, US imperialism enforced by LANL's work and purpose, the failure of the US to address global climate change as the #1 threat to national security, and the crimes against humanity of which LANL is guilty (including the bombing of Hiroshima 67 years ago today). More info is included on the LANL6 webpage.
Before Judge Alan Kirk gave his verdict and penalties to each of the LANL6, the opposing Attorneys each gave their closing arguments in front of the fully-packed courtroom (50 people plus the defendants, bailiffs, staff). The prosecuting attorney A.J. Salazar had based his argument that the LANL6 were guilty of trespassing on a commonly held belief that the land is LANL's, and on alleged signage on the roadway indicating that alleged truth. No LANL/LANS/DoE representatives gave any testimony or were seen in the video (the main evidence for this case) REVOKING permission to be on-site, so trespassing could not have occurred, according to Defense Attorney Jeff Haas and the Judge's logic and understanding of the law. That is why the LANL6 defendants were found NOT guilty on that single count. In the closing argument of the five-hour trial Haas reminded the Municipal Judge that Article VI of the US Constitution makes it the job of every judge in every US state to uphold international treaties (including the NPT of 1970 enjoining the US to abolish nuclear weaponry) and that the defendants on August 6th 2012 were merely performing their duties (according to the Nuremberg principles) as civilians who are confronted with crimes against humanity. Judge Kirk nonetheless found the LANL6 GUILTY of the two other charges—refusing to obey the cops and obstruction of the a public roadway. Haas had read the statute regarding obstruction during his closing argument, pointing out that the language of the statute appears to be aimed at pedestrians being blocked by objects rather than drivers/cars being blocked by unarmed people, but that interpretation did NOT sway the judge. Being found guilty of the obstruction charge carried the weight of a $100 fine for each defendant, and the disobedience charge also carried the judge's chosen penalty of $100 per guilty verdict.
In addition, the defendants would have to pay court fees and probation fees for their upcoming probationary periods that is the other penalty each defendant faces. Haas had pointed out that the real national security threat is climate change which is ignored by LANL's budget for the CMRR and other pro-nuclear weapons programs--that the imminent danger of climate change and nuclear terrorism conducted by LANL is of greater import than the possible municipal violations allegedly conducted by the defendants. The defendants notified the judge that they would pay no fines, and that might lead to jail time for both non-payment and in exchange for the dollar amount of the price tag (around $342 for each defendant including the probation and court fees).
Earlier in the day, the video recording of the Hiroshima Day UnOccupy Los Alamos street-action had included the audio of the activists chanting "We are not a sacrifice zone," and "This is sacred land," and "We’re doing this for all living beings," and "Respect we are on indigenous land." The recording also showed cars being able to pass in both directions alongside of the alleged blockade of the LANL6. It also showed Police Chief Wayne Torpy refusing to accept a hug from Pancho, who was on a vow of silence on Hiroshima Day.
This historic UnOccupy Los Alamos event included the police filing charges against the demonstrators in a different legal fashion than in arrest scenarios of recent years. The arrests are currently leading to two separate court trials. The first trial WAS SCHEDULED for September 18th 2012, then POSTPONED indefinitely by the agreement of the Judge, prosecuting/arresting officer, and defendant (Wind), a woman who is representing herself in court under Judge Kirk's alleged jurisdiction. SEE THE NEWS RELEASE ON WIND'S TRIAL POSTPONED. The other five arrestees may have their cases consolidated with Wind's and The October 17th 1:00pm pre-trial hearing in the City of Los Alamos under Judge Alan Kirk has been postponed. The consolidated trial is currently scheduled for January 11th 2013 against all six of the Hiroshima Day 6, in the Municipal Court under the watchful eye of Judge Kirk. In any case, these "Hiroshima Day-Los Alamos 6" defendants are facing up to 179 days in jail (a condition that allows LANL to avoid the scrutiny of a JURY trial--since US law provides for the right to a jury trial in cases where citizens face more than 6 months of jail as a penalty).
TNA will conduct its next monthly vigil at LANL on October 17th at 10:30am. Meanwhile the six arrested on August 6th appear to be facing separate trials (see above paragraph). Here are some images, courtesy of Donato, of the UnOccupy Los Alamos scene of August 6th.
More photos are available from the Los Alamos Daily Post, AND from KerryATsherckphotoDOTcom.
Other mainstream media coverage is available from this Albuquerque TV station, and from the same station later that day, OR from this other 'Burque TV station.
and the Other SFGate version of article
The Los Alamos Monitor also has a story on this.
National Catholic Reporter Story on the weekend just prior to the road blockade.
The panel on Spiritual Direct Action was videographed and posted on-line.