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Actor Martin Sheen and 223 Others Arrested at Nevada Test Site

November 9, 1987

MERCURY, Nev. (AP) _ Actor-activist Martin Sheen and 223 others were arrested for trespassing and blocking the road during an anti-nuclear demonstration at the Nevada Test Site, authorities said.

A couple of demonstrators were dragged across the road leading to the site’s main gate by Nye County sheriff’s deputies after they refused to walk.

The arrests began Sunday when Sheen led a group across a steel cattle guard that marks the boundary for nuclear proving ground, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Others were arrested when they crawled through barbed wire fences onto the empty grounds of the site.

The Las Vegas and Los Angeles chapters of the Catholic Worker group sponsored the protest in honor of what would have been the 90th birthday of Dorothy Day, who founded the movement in the 1930s to help the poor and to promote peace.

About 450 peace activists attended the protest, along with some 15 members of Americans for Nuclear Testing who counterdemonstrated.

Test supporters railed at a group of anti-nuclear activists who carried the Soviet flag.

″When they fly that Russian flag, it makes my blood boil,″ said Peggy Konold, founder of Americans for Nuclear Testing.

Also on hand were members of the powerful Culinary Union, which has been on strike at the site since Sept. 15.

Energy Department spokeswoman Barbara Yoerg called the protest, the latest in a growing number at the site, ″very peaceful.″

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