The Los Alamos Hiroshima Day Six (LANL6) were arrested together in the street in front of Los Alamos National Laboratory (see their testimonies) and were tried in the local Los Alamos Municipal Court on January 9th 2013. The case is now closed (see the news release posted on the TNA website).
In the closing argument of the five-hour trial the Defense Attorney reminded the Municipal Judge that Article VI of the US Constitution makes it the job of every judge in every US state to uphold international treaties (including the NPT of 1970 enjoining the US to abolish nuclear weaponry) and that the defendants on August 6th 2012 were merely performing their duties (according to the Nuremberg principles) as civilians who are confronted with crimes against humanity.
The accused LANL6 are Summer, Wind, Cathie, Barbara, Pam & Janet. Here they are after the trial with the other folks who held vigil at LANL:
Before Judge Alan Kirk gave his verdict and penalties to each of the LANL6, the County’s Prosecuting Attorney and Defense Attorney each gave their closing arguments in front of the fully-packed courtroom (50 people plus the defendants, bailiffs and attorneys). The prosecuting attorney A.J. Salazar had based his argument that the LANL6 were guilty of trespassing on a commonly held belief that the land is LANL’s, and on alleged signage on the roadway indicating that alleged truth. No LANL/LANS/DoE representatives gave any testimony or were seen in the video (the main evidence for this case) REVOKING permission to be on-site, so no trespassing could have occurred, according to Defense Attorney Jeff Haas and the Judge’s logic and understanding of the law. That is why the LANL6 defendants were found NOT guilty on that single count. Although Haas reminded the judge that the goodness of the individual defendants and their reasons for doing what they did were as important as anything else in this court case, Judge Kirk nonetheless found the LANL6 GUILTY of the two other charges—refusing to obey the cops and obstruction of the a public roadway. Haas had read the statute regarding obstruction during his closing argument, pointing out that the language of the statute appears to be aimed at pedestrians being blocked by objects rather than drivers/cars being blocked by unarmed people, but that interpretation did NOT sway the judge. Being found guilty of the obstruction charge carried the weight of a $100 fine for each defendant, and the disobedience charge also carried the judge’s chosen penalty of $100.
In addition, the defendants would have to pay court fees and probation fees for their upcoming probationary periods (probation is the other penalty each defendant faces). Haas had pointed out that the real national security threat is climate change which is ignored by LANL’s budget for the CMRR and other pro-nuclear weapons programs—that the imminent danger of climate change and nuclear terrorism conducted by LANL is of greater import than the possible municipal violations allegedly conducted by the defendants. The defendants notified the judge that they would pay no fines, and that might lead to jail time for both non-payment and in exchange for the dollar amount of the price tag (around $342 for each defendant including the probation and court fees).
Earlier in the day, the video recording of the Hiroshima Day UnOccupy Los Alamos street-action used as evidence was played in court, and included the audio of the activists chanting “We are not a sacrifice zone,” and “This is sacred land,” and “We’re doing this for all living beings,” and “Respect we are on indigenous land.” The recording also showed cars being able to pass in both directions alongside of the alleged blockade of the LANL6. It also showed Police Chief Wayne Torpy refusing to accept a hug from Pancho, who was on a vow of silence on Hiroshima Day.
Because each defendant refused to pay the fines imposed by the court, they may be slapped with a further penalty from missing the deadline to pay, which could lead to a total of 14 days in jail. Again, the two charges for which they were found guilty were “Disobeying an Officer,” and “Interfering with persons on the public way.”
The orchestration of the charges and courtroom setting has been conducted in such a way so that the defendants did not have a right to a jury trial. This is the first time in decades that the police and Department of Energy in Los Alamos have colluded in ensuring the lack of a jury trial for nuclear abolitionists arrested in the course of their duties as ordinary civilians encountering crimes against humanity.
Tweets & All
HOW DID THIS CASE BEGIN?
Hiroshima Day (August 6th) 2012 was a time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to attempt to UnOccupy Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The radioactive legacy, the contributions to global climate change, the imperialistic charge, the wasting of Native American lands, and the power of the nuclear weapons development by the 1% are all unconscionable crimes in this region of New Mexico. To show public opposition to such criminal enterprises committed by LANL and its employees, dozens of civilians gathered in the town of Los Alamos and at LANL itself in August to play, pray and act up in favor of peace, cleanup of nuclear waste, sharing of resources, reparations to local Pueblos who have been harmed by LANL, and the end of US nuclear terrorism around the planet.
Among the demonstrators, six refused to leave the semi-public street’s intersection leading towards LANL’s Technical Area 55 where the CMRR facility is being built. (More on the CMRR elsewhere.) Those six were arrested and jailed for a few hours, AND their upcoming trial on January 9th will be of international interest due to the criminal activity of LANL itself and the alleged crimes of the LANL6.
Links to Latest Media Coverage About the LANL 6:
January 11th KUNM radio (Repeat of LA Monitor story)
January 11th Albuquerque News
January 10th Compass News
January 10th Los Alamos Post
January 10th TV News @ 5pm
January 10th TV News @ noon
January 10th TV News @ 9am
January 10th Alamogordo News
January 10th Los Alamos News
January 10th Albuquerque News
January 9th Santa Fe News
January 8th Los Alamos News
January 8th Farmington News
January 7th Indiana Newspaper: (AP Wire story)
January 7th TV News (Same AP wire story w/ nice pictures)
January 7th TV News (Same AP story—different reporter)
January 7th KUNM radio (Same AP story)
Solidarity Rally summary
Las Cruces news of this trial
White Sands news of this trial
LANL 6 and related topics from 2012:
Daily Post Story on Sr. Megan & NevadaDesertExperience.org
LANL6 released from Jail on August 6, 2012
History of prayer-actions and other abolition demonstrations at LANL
NukeFreeNow news on Hiroshima Day
pdf of flier from Hiroshima Day
KOB News on Hiroshima Day
KOB News on Hiroshima Day
Trial FB event page
Daily Post: Whole Day @ Ashley Pond
Daily Post: End of Hunger Strike
New Mexico Compass
Trinity Nuclear Abolition’s Peace Vigils
UnOccupy Los Alamos
NukeFreeNow summertime abolition events