Bath Iron Works protesters to be arraigned Aug. 2

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BATH — The 12 people arrested June 18 after staging a protest outside a ship christening at Bath Iron Works will head to court Aug. 2.

The group, calling itself the “Zumwalt 12,” after the class of destroyer being christened at the shipyard, will be arraigned at West Bath District Court at 1 p.m.

After holding an organized protest of the USS Monsoor christening at the corner of Washington and Spring streets, the group moved to Washington Street, blocking both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in front of the shipyard’s South Gate, according to Bath Police.

Despite being ordered by police to leave – and a warning that they would be arrested if they did not – the protesters stayed put, police said.

Charged with obstructing a public way were Richard Lethem, 83, of Bath; Dudley Hendrick, 74, of Deer Isle; Bruce Gagnon, 63, of Bath; Russell Wray, 61, of Hancock; Tarak Kauff, 74, of Woodstock, New York; Joan Peck, 69, of Brunswick; George Ostensen, 61, of Hope; Jason Rawn, 42, of Lincolnville; Cynthia Howard, 69, of Biddeford; Constance Jenkins, 68, of Orono; John Morris, 79, of New Gloucester, and John Peck, 75, of Brunswick.

The group members will plead not guilty, according to a July 14 press release.

“We will seek a unified trial so that we can communicate with the greater community why we did what we did at BIW on June 18,” Morris said in the statement.

“These arrests for non-violent civil disobedience carry on the long tradition of such actions at the shipyard,” he added. “We want to see BIW converted to build commuter rail systems, solar, wind and tidal power, which are urgently needed to help us deal with climate change. We have taken these steps in order that our children and grandchildren can have a real future.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.