Nuke Sub Protesters Arrested At Bangor Base
BANGOR, Wash. (AP) _ About 150 protesters at the Navy’s Trident submarine base greeted arriving workers Monday, and 29 demonstrators were arrested on trespassing charges after they walked onto the base and into custody.
In groups of two or three, demonstrators designated for arrest stepped over the ″Blue Line″ that marks the base boundary, about 100 yards from the gate.
The protesters also handed leaflets to motorists who would take them, urging them to give up their jobs in the submarine program. The seventh and latest Trident sub, the USS Alaska, arrived at Bangor on Oct. 1.
Protesters contend that each $1.5 billion Trident sub and its nuclear missiles constitute a first-strike weapon, violating the principles of moral and international law.
″I’ve written to congressmen and the president and nothing much seems to change,″ said pediatrician Dr. Jim McGrath, 65, one of those arrested. ″One looks at Trident and it’s only function is to deliver a tremendous amount of firepower. ... What we really have planned is a mechanism (for killing) that is much more sophisticated and complex than Hitler’s ever was.″
Among those arrested were the Rev. William B. Cate, president of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and his wife, Jan, who sits on the national board of Church Women United.
When the demonstrators reached the gate two or three at a time, helmeted security officers asked them whether they knew they were on federal property and gave them a chance to turn around and leave.
When they refused, the officers led them to a waiting bus.
Base spokesman Lt. Bill Yamanaka said 10 of the people taken into custody were given trespassing citations after it was determined they were on a ″bar list″ banning them from the base.
Their names will be forwarded to federal court in Seattle for any action on charges, he said. The 19 other demonstrators were found to be first offenders, and would be given letters barring them from the base, Yamanaka said.
The maximum penalty for trespassing is six months in prison and a $500 fine, said Jim Douglass of the Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action Douglass, who has spent time in jail for crossing the Blue Line.
Another of those arrested was Pastor Jonathan Nelson of Central Lutheran Church in Seattle, who said he had been arrested nine times before for anti- Trident activities.
He attributed his own arrest record to ″persistence″ and said he thinks there has been ″a deepening of the movement″ since he began his protest activities.
Douglass said Monday’s arrests are among roughly 1,000 that have occurred on or near the Trident base since the demonstrations began July 4, 1975.
One of those participated in an all-night candlelight vigil leading up to Monday’s protest was 17-year-old Julie Morefield of Seattle, who said her parents took her as a child to anti-Trident demonstrations back in the 1970s.
She said she hoped sometime to get arrested herself at the base. ″I’d like to live to be as old as Reagan is,″ she said.