Nuke protesters face the judge

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By Carol A. Clark

The “LANL-8” protesters arrested last summer had their day in court Thursday.  
“Seven of the eight members will stand trial in February,” member Marcus Page said. “The eighth person is in college so he took the plea bargain.”
Their civil resistance in August led to the hearing in front of Magistrate Judge Pat Casados. The arrested protesters were part of a group of more than 100 activists who held a colorful demonstration in the streets of Los Alamos on the 65th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6.
The group marched from Ashley Pond to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and then stopped at the Chemistry Metallurgy Research (CMR) building on Diamond Drive.
Eight people then entered the security gate at the CMR building and staged a peaceful sit-in. LANL asked local police to arrest the eight activists for alleged trespassing that afternoon.
The police complied, booked the protesters and released them later that evening.
“As a result of Thursday’s court proceedings, seven members of the group will go
to trial on Feb. 8, standing innocent until proven guilty of ‘trespassing,’” Page said.
 “This group of seven pleaded ‘not guilty,’ while one pleaded ‘no contest.’
He received a penalty fine of $500 and 60 days probation.”
The LANL-8 include Elias Kohn, Jeff Freitas and Jason Ahmadi from California; David Coney and Bryan Martin from Idaho; Sister Megan Rice from Las Vegas, Nev., Lisa Fithian from Texas and Jack Cohen-Joppa from Arizona.
Because the Department of Energy is spending billions of dollars on a CMR Replacement, many peace activists came from around the U.S. to hold prayer-actions on Aug. 6.
The protesters contend that planning to continue developing any nuclear weapons is a crime against existing international and humanitarian laws.
They further believe 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 pro-nuclear work there. 
“Our action is necessitated by a delay of 65 years in ending the continual manufacture of nuclear weapons,” said Sister Megan in a statement.
“The original Manhattan Project scientists recognized (but failed to convince the world) that continuing the nuclear weapons project was intrinsically evil.”