Bath police arrest 9 protesters at BIW christening

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BATH — Police arrested nine people for alleged criminal trespassing April 1 during the christening of a new U.S. Navy destroyer at Bath Iron Works.

The group, taken into custody at about 10 a.m., represented Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, according to a Police Department press release. They were protesting the launch of the USS Thomas Hudner.

The incident occurred two months after some members of the organizations were sentenced to 30 hours’ community service after staging a protest last June, during another BIW christening.

The shipyard allowed people to enter through the “New Event Gate,” south of BIW’s South Gate. The nine protesters, carrying peace signs, attempted to enter but were stopped by BIW security officers. The protesters remained on the property, and were told by BIW officials after a few minutes to leave, according to police.

After they refused, Bath Police Lt. Robert Savary warned them they risked being arrested for trespassing. They ultimately were arrested, charged at police headquarters and released on $500 unsecured bail per person.

One person, from Massachusetts, received bail of $2,500.

The protesters were cooperative when arrested and booked, and are scheduled to appear at West Bath District Court May 16, according to police.

Those arrested were Jason Rawn, 43, of Lincolnville; Mark Roman, 69, of Solon; Bruce Gagnon, 64, of Bath; Russell Wray, 61, of Hancock; Natalyn Mayers, 70, of Whitefield; Robert Dale, 92, of Brunswick; Michael Tork, 69, of Falmouth, Massachusetts; Jessica Stewart, 37, of Bass Harbor, and Lisa Savage, 60, of Solon.

Rawn, Gagnon, and 10 others were arrested for allegedly obstructing a public way at the corner of Washington and Spring streets during the protest last June of the USS Monsoor christening.

The USS Hudner – the U.S. Navy’s latest guided-missile destroyer – was named for Capt. Thomas Hudner Jr. During the Korean War’s Chosin Reservoir campaign, Hudner crash-landed his plane on purpose to save Ensign Jesse Brown, America’s first African-American Navy pilot, according to an April 1 BIW press release.

Speakers at Saturday’s christening included U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine. Allison Stiller, who is principal civilian deputy and performs the duties and functions of the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition – was the principal speaker.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext1. 13 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bath police arrested nine people during a protest at the christening of the USS Hudner at Bath Iron Works on Saturday, April 1.

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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.