BATH — Nine out of 22 protesters arrested outside Bath Iron Works Saturday for obstructing a public way have been released from jail.

Police arrested the protesters Saturday morning for blocking traffic or gates outside Bath Iron Works leading up to a christening ceremony for the future USS Daniel Inouye, a guided missile destroyer. Of the 22 arrested, nine refused to sign summonses or bail slips during the booking process and were taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

Bruce Gagnon of Brunswick, coordinator for Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, said the protesters asked to be released without paying the $60 bail commissioner’s fee, stating they are honest people who would show up for their court appearances.

The nine were eventually released Monday on a court order after their arraignment. They are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 4. The protesters could face up to six months incarceration and a $1,000.

However, the Sagadahoc County District Attorney’s Office have not decided whether to prosecute. In the wake of other recent protest arrest, prosecutors have decided to drop charges.

“As with the last time, we will not make any decision until we can review all of the materials submitted to us by the police,” said Assistant District Attorney AJ Chalifour in an email Monday. “That takes some time given the number of people involved. As for now, we have filed complaints in court against nine persons who refused to sign personal recognizance bail bonds who were kept at Two Bridges over the weekend.”

The district attorney opted not to prosecute a similar case in April where 25 protesters arrested and charged with obstructing a public way at a BIW christening of the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, an advanced Zumwalt-class destroyer. District Attorney Natasha Irving said prosecutors believed police had probable cause to make the arrests and charge the protesters with obstructing a public way. “However, prosecuting these matters in court would necessitate a significant designation of resources and time on the part of office staff and the court, and give more undue publicity to those 25 individuals,” she stated.

In 2017, nine people were arrested for criminal trespassing on BIW property while protesting the christening of the USS Thomas Hudner at Bath Iron Works in 2017. They were, however, acquitted 10 months later after a judge ruled they were protesting legally on property that, at the time, was opened to the public.

About 50 people protested Saturday’s christening, part of a larger pushback by peace and environmental groups against the United States’ military and, more recently, the military’s contribution to climate change.

“We don’t see politicians or media really stepping up and dealing with this tremendous incoming climate catastrophe,” said Gagnon, speaking Monday after he and returned home after spending the weekend in jail.

Gagnon said protests at Bath Iron Works will continue in the future.

“I can tell you up front we are going to keep doing it and it doesn’t have anything to do with whether we get prosecuted,” Gagnon said.

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