BATH — Bath police arrested 25 protesters who they say were blocking roads outside Bath Iron Works on Saturday morning during the christening ceremony for the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson.

The protesters were arrested around 9 a.m. They face charges of obstructing a public way, a Class E misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The protesters were primarily members of Maine Veterans for Peace, Code Pink and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, according to police.

Members of more than a dozen peace groups planned to protest the christening of the Navy’s third and final Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer at BIW on Saturday. The ceremony began at 10 a.m.

Protesters issued a statement last week that said the Navy and BIW should focus their efforts on the national and global threats posed by climate change and not on building vessels that exacerbate climate change. They said the Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on the planet.

“Making warships at BIW is not even a good jobs policy. Researchers have consistently found that investment of the same resources in sustainable energy solutions like commuter trains or wind turbines would produce many more jobs,” Mary Beth Sullivan, spokeswoman for PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick, said in a statement.

Those arrested range in age from 45 to 88. Four live outside of Maine.

According to police, more than 75 protesters lined the sidewalks on both sides of Washington Street. The protesters went into the street around 9 a.m. and blocked traffic. Vehicles had to be turned around, and a bus was surrounded and couldn’t maneuver around the demonstrators.

Eight protesters at the rear of the bus were ordered to get out of the road  or face arrest, according to police.

“They refused and were taken into custody,” Bath Deputy Police Chief Robert Savary said in a statement. “Officers were able to help the bus back up and proceed down King Street and on its way.”

According to Savary, 17 protesters blocking King Street near Washington Street were arrested around 9:30 a.m. after refusing officers’ orders to move.

Savary said some protesters lay on the pavement in defiance of officers’ warnings to get out of the road. Otherwise, “all cooperated with the arrest and subsequent booking process.”

Troopers from the Maine State Police assisted with the arrests and deputies from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department helped transport those arrested to the Bath Police Department.

This is not the first time Bath police have arrested protesters. Nine people who were arrested while protesting the christening of the future USS Thomas Hudner at BIW on April 1, 2017 were acquitted of the charges 10 months later.

Those nine were charged with trespassing. Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings granted a motion for judgment of acquittal, citing improper application of the law by police and a lack of ordinances in the city.

Three of those arrested in 2017  were also charged in 2016 at a similar protest during the christening of the future USS Michael Monsoor.

The following were arrested by Bath police Saturday:

Natalyn Mayers, 72, of Whitefield

VirginiaSchneider, 60, of South Portland

Lisa Savage, 62, of Solon

James Freeman, 70, of Verona Island

Mark Roman 77, of Solon

Constance Jenkins, 71, of East Blue Hill

Meredith Bruskin, 71, of Swanville

Suzanne Hedrick, 88, of Nobleboro

Roy Pingel, 71, of Queens, N.Y.

Dixie Searway, 81, of Parsonsfield

Sophia Ridgely Fuller, 72, of Belfast

Donald Cunning, 72, of Old Brudge, N.J.

Dudley Hendrick, 77, of Deer Isle

Daniel Ellis, 71 of Brunswick

Julius Orkin, 80, of Bergenfield, N.J.

Carolyn Coe, 52, of Orland

Mary Honan, 71, of Freeport

Ethan Hughes, 48, of Belfast

Russell Wray, 64, of Hancock

Judith Robbins, 70, of Sedgwick

Ellen Barfield, 62, of Baltimore, Md.

Robert Shetterly, 72, of Brooksville

Jason Rawn, 45, of Lincolnville

Michael Donnelly, 82, of Brunswick

Mary Garvey-Donnelly, 80, of Brunswick

All were booked and ultimately bailed at the Bath Police Department, Savary said. They were given a court date of June 18 at West Bath District Court.


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