Anti-nuke protesters busted as prayer vigil concludes

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Group of five TNA members charged with trespassing at laboratory

By Carol A. Clark

Officers from the Los Alamos Police Department arrested five protesters at 12:45 p.m. Monday after they reportedly crossed into a secure area (Pajarito Corridor) on Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

The protesters are part of the Trinity Nuclear Abolition organization out of Albuquerque. They told authorities that they wanted to get to the CMRR building to conduct a prayer vigil.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory fully supports the right of peaceful assembly and fully supports the right to free speech,” LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said. “The laboratory routinely cooperates with activist organizations to facilitate protest activities on laboratory property, but will not tolerate illegal or unsafe actions.”

The five individuals arrested had crossed into the secure area after being warned against that action by LANL representatives. LANL and Department of Energy badge holders are the only people allowed access to that area.

“There were specific areas designated for the protesters to exercise their concerns and conduct their vigils but they chose to enter a restricted area and ignored repeated warnings from authorities not to do so,” Police Chief Wayne Torpy said.

Trinity Nuclear Abolition has five core values, according to its website including direct action, nonviolence, solidarity, egalitarianism and spiritual power. The organization’s goal: “Shut down LANL.”

“We believe that LANL’s nuclear weapons work is a spiritual problem requiring a spiritual solution,” said TNA spokesman Marcus Page.

About a dozen protesters began their latest LANL vigil at noon Sunday. They prayed for 12 hours near the laboratory’s welcome sign and returned for several more hours Monday morning. The protest was scheduled to end at noon Monday but lingered on as the protesters moved toward the restricted area.

The following protesters, all from Albuquerque, were taken into custody without incident and charged with criminal trespass:
•Marcus Patrick Blaise Page, 44,
•Marylou Kraft, 67,
•William Robert Covert, 66,
•Juan Montoya, 48, and
•Bobby Sue Davis, 26.

Page, Kraft and Montoya were released from jail after they each posted a $100 bond. Covert and Davis remain in jail awaiting their arraignment, which is set for Wednesday in Magistrate Court.