Local residents arrested at BIW protest over ship christening

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BATH — Several local residents were arrested after a group of protesters staged a blockage of Washington Street Saturday morning outside a ship christening at Bath Iron Works.

The 12 people charged were part of Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which was protesting the christening of the USS Monsoor, a destroyer built at BIW.

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.

Holding an organized protest at the corner of Washington and Spring streets, the group then moved to Washington Street, blocking both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in front of the shipyard’s South Gate, according to police. Despite being ordered by police to leave – and a warning that they would be arrested if they stayed, the protesters remained, police stated in a Saturday press release.

Group members then reportedly sat in the roadway, where Bath Police officers and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s deputies took them individually into custody at about 9:30 a.m.

All 12 were cooperative during arrest, and booked at the Bath Police Department, from which they were released on personal recognizance, police reported. They are scheduled to appear at West Bath District Court at 1 p.m. Aug. 2.

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

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.