149 Arrested at Nevada Site
Jun. 03, 1986
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) _ A record 149 people were arrested in the culmination of a three-day protest against nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site.
The arrests Monday were the latest in a growing number of acts of civil disobedience at the desert site 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Of those arrested, 107 were bused to nearby Beatty, where they faced misdemeanor trespass charges. The remaining 42 accepted citations and were released on their own recognizance.
The demonstrators came from several states to attend a three-day protest sponsored by the American Peace Test, an anti-nuclear group that has been calling for the United States to end its nuclear testing program.
The Department of Energy said 222 protesters showed up for the final day of the latest vigil but sponsors said the turnout was closer to 350.
Protesters spent the morning singing, chanting, praying and listening to speakers, then began crossing a white no-trespassing line a mile from the main gate. They were arrested by waiting officers, while guards on dirt bikes pursued protesters who broke ranks and ran for a fence surrounding the site.
The previous record number of arrests came last August when 121 people were cited during a test site protest$
Those arrested Monday included Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon papers fame, and Anne Druyan, wife of physicist Carl Sagan.
On Saturday, Sagan and others spoke to a crowd estimated at 250 by DOE officials, 750 by Peace Test spokesmen.
DOE officials conceded Saturday's turnout was the largest ever at the site, home of the nation's nuclear weapons testing program since January 1951.