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History of Organized Pacifist Direct Action at LANL

1983: Road blockade. Men, women & children involved but only one group prosecuted. DETAILS BELOW

1983-2010: Musical collage (using 8-second soundbytes) of scientists and children regarding LANL's nuclear threat.

1995 (January) Vincent Eirene went into a building and got six months in jail. Martin Sheen attended the trial, bringing out more media coverage. DETAILS BELOW

1990s (various sundays) Peggy Prince (Peace Action New Mexico) vigils in the city of Los Alamos.

1999 Four leaflet distributors at BS Museum arrested for leaflet distribution.

1999 (August) Peace Action USA holds annual assembly in 'Burque and big action (200 people) at LANL. About 50 were arrested and bussed to Ashley Pond with no further consequences. DETAILS BELOW

2000 (August) Peace Action New Mexico does the same thing as the prior year. About 50 arrested again, same results as prior year. DETAILS BELOW

2000 (September) LASG holds meditation for five days on LANL parking lot. None risk arrest.

2001 (July 16) Peace Action and other groups hold vigil at Ashley Pond. About 50 arrested again, this time more data was tracked by security personnel. DETAILS BELOW

2002 (August 9) The Family Spirit Walk For Mother Earth passes through LANL territory on West Jemez--having begun to walk from the Tewa sacred site of Tsankawi. 10 weeks later the Walkers will arrive at the Nevada National Security Site (back then still called the nuclear TEST SITE.

2003 (August) Pax Christi New Mexico (PCNM) holds assembly in parking lot at LANL. None risk arrest. 75 people in attendance.

2004 (August) PCNM's permit from LANL taken away at last minute, so PCNM holds vigil on sidewalk near bridge on Diamond. 150 in attendance.

2005 (August) LASG organizes 60th anniversary of the bomb rally and demonstration at Ashley Pond. PCNM begins ashes & sackcloth meditation for the first time, after two years of different kinds of demonstrations (2003-2004).

2005-2013 (first weekend of August or last weekend in July) PCNM holds sackcloth & ashes meditation each year.

2007 (starting in August, one day per month) Trinity Nuclear Abolition (TNA) holds vigil for at least 30 minutes every month.

2008-2009 (April 15 a.k.a. Tax Day) Two TNA folks arrested while vigiling at 9:30 pm. One defendant took a plea bargain including the benefit of allegedly erasing of the conviction from the record. The other defendant pleaded NOT GUILTY and went to court--twice for the same charges. Nine months after the first trial with a HUNG JURY Los Alamos police re-tried the case and the jury of six in Magistrate Court found him guilty. His sentence included 90 days probation and 30 hours community service. DETAILS BELOW Monthly vigils continue unabated during these years wherein the two trials occurred.

2009-2013 TNA continues monthly vigils and prayer-actions

2010 (28 February) The Pacific Life Community holds vigil in the large red zone on the hill in front of the main sign. 60 are in attendance. As the snow continued to fall, 17 walked towards the CMR (plutonium pit facility) building, stopped by LANL security briefly...DETAILS BELOW

2010 (31 July) PCNM holds annual sackcloth and ashes. TNA holds vigil at the main sign.

2010 (6 August) ThinkOutsideTheBomb organized a colorful procession from Ashley Pond to LANL. In front of LANL's main sign, the group of 80 performed street theater, stopping traffic in one direction. Members of PCNM, TNA, MASE, BASE, TWU along with other local folks joined TOTB for this demonstration. The group then moved south on Diamond Drive further into LANL territory, stopping at the CMR to perform a pagan water ritual, ending in 8 arrests when 8 crossed through the gate at CMR to sit down and block the entrance. DETAILS BELOW

2011 (19-20 June) TNA holds two days of prayer at LANL, followed by the arrests of the Fathers Day 5.
See more info. SUMMARY Below

2011 LANL Sends Nasty Letter to TNA

2012 (January) LANL Fathers Day 5 go to jail

2013 (9 January) LANL6 go to trial. DETAILS elsewhere.


In October of 1983, 36 people were arrested in a blockade of Diamond Drive; 12 juveniles were sentenced to a 1000 word essay on why they participated and what they learned; 12 men were plunked in the City Jail along with the ordinary criminals, not allowed to meet with each other - they all pled guilty, served 5 days and agreed to pay a fine.
The 12 women - including some very experienced veterans of Diablo Canyon and Livermore National Lab actions - were placed together in an abandoned elementary school. At our arraignment, we entered the courtroom singing the beautiful round about "every one neath the vine and fig tree" making swords into ploughshares. We stated that we could not enter any plea, as we were functioning with consensus and were not allowed to meet with the men and the young people. Therefore, pleas of nolo contendere were entered on our behalf. This meant 12 individual trials, with contracted attorneys, and would have blasted the City/County budget to smithereens.
Our attorneys, now district judge Mike Vigil, Morty Simon and an impressive woman whose name I have forgotten, negotiated with the prosecutors for several days. We were not willing to pay a fine, but knowing that the teen suicide rate in LA County was and is one of the highest in the country, and that alcoholism is also rampant among Lab employees, we agreed to making voluntary individual contributions to the Los Alamos County Council on Alcoholism and the Los Alamos County Family Council, a counseling service. Our support people raised the money for the donations, and we were released after 5 days in the Espanola City jail.

On January 3, 1995, as workers arrived for the first work day in the 50th year of The Bomb, Vincent Eirene, a Catholic Worker from Pittsburgh, was arrested for trespass at Los Alamos. He refused conditional release, pled not guilty 5 days later. On April 10, 1995 he was convicted and sentenced to 364 days in jail, 267 days suspended, and released on time served.

NR #117 9/27/1999
"Progress toward nuclear disarmament has ground to a halt. It has fallen victim to short presidential attention spans, conservative legislative bodies, and a nuclear weapons complex that has incredible influence and power. Almost 10 years after the end of the Cold War we are facing the prospect that the Clinton years will be remembered more as a tragically missed opportunity than as the time when United States laid the ground work for a nuclear weapons-free world." For this reason and with these words, national Peace Action, successor to SANE and the Nuclear Freeze movement as the largest anti-nuclear weapons organization in the U.S., for the first time organized and encouraged participation in civil disobedience as a necessary tactic in the struggle. The rejection of civil disobedience by the Nuclear Freeze movement in 1986, when the Nevada Test Site and a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty were fast becoming the national focus for nuclear resistance, resulted in the formation of the American Peace Test (APT). APT went on to organize years of mass demonstrations at the remote Nevada Test Site, including nonviolent civil disobedience actions at which thousands of people from all walks of life were arrested. This year, following Peace Action's national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico over the Hiroshima Day weekend, 500 anti-nuclear activists gathered at a Los Alamos park for a rally before marching several miles to the gates of Los Alamos National Laboratory on August 9, Nagasaki Day. It was the largest peace demonstration ever at the heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, where plans are afoot to manufacture a new generation of illicit weapons of mass destruction. In an orderly manner, 68 people crossed a police line and were arrested while hundreds of Los Alamos employees observed from the sidewalk and overlooking balconies in the nearby buildings. Despite threats of federal prosecution, all 68 were soon released and no charges filed.

NR #121 10/10/2000
Peace Action New Mexico followed up on last year's national Peace Action conference and demonstration at Los Alamos with a second mass rally and action at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on August 9, Nagasaki Day. For several hours through the middle of the day, more than 300 people picnicked, mingled, and listened to a wide variety of speakers and performers at Ashley Pond, the central town park. The rally then moved en masse, with a bus for those who could not walk, nearly two miles to the nuclear weapons lab administration building. After the crowd reassembled in the parking lot, 60 people defied an arbitrary rope boundary established by the private security force. Each was forcibly escorted to a waiting bus, most with no questions asked but plenty of photos taken to identify just who was crossing the line. Among the chants heard from the bus full of arrestees was "Free Wen Ho Lee", the former Los Alamos scientist and alleged nuclear spy then still in solitary confinement in an Albuquerque jail. After an hour in custody, the bus was driven back to Ashley Pond, and the 60 were free to go.

NR #125 12/3/2001
This past summer, the anniversary of the first atomic explosion - the Trinity test of July 16, 1945 - was the occasion for the annual nonviolent direct action at the birthplace of The Bomb, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. Three hundred people rallied mid-day at Ashley Pond in central Los Alamos. From there, most marched to the lab gate where 20 people crossed the line. An organizer described the arrests as "catch and release" - meaning no prosecution. The action followed a weekend Action for Abolition conference and the annual general meeting of the U.S. Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

NR #150 9/24/2008 & 4/14/2008
After four hours of deliberation in August, a hung jury ended the trespass prosecution of Marcus Page. Page and Mike Butler of Trinity Nuclear Abolition (TNA) were arrested on the eve of Tax Day, which they were observing with a 24-hour prayer vigil in The Bombąs home town. The Department of Energy owns the city, and at sunset, demanded the vigilers leave the space negotiated for TNAąs monthly daytime vigil. Page and Butler crossed the road to land they believed to be under county jurisdiction, and continued their vigil. A few hours later, they were arrested and jailed. In court the next day, both pleaded not guilty to trespass. They spent another night in jail before posting $1,000 bond each. Butler later pled no contest and was sentenced to 30 days probation.
NR #153 5/1/2009
Marcus Page-Collonge was convicted by a Los Alamos jury on March 31 of trespassing at the nuclear weapons lab complex. He was sentenced to "364 days in jail, minus 362 days, with credit for two days time served" plus 180 days probation and 30 hours of community service at any bona fide agency not already on his circuit of volunteerism as a member of Albuquerque's Trinity House Catholic Worker. The case was a retrial on the charge after an earlier hung jury (Details above NR#150). Page-Collonge was arrested [along with NWTRCC's Mike Butler] on seemingly public land in the quasi-closed city on April 14-15, 2008, while keeping a 24-hour vigil in opposition to war taxes...

February 2010
... As the 17 began to walk on the deserted road (18 including the canine creature) only 4 or 5 of the group were prepared to risk arrest. They had believed that LANL would not let anyone go, and would give fair warning prior to arrest. Then LANL security let the group proceed to CMR for a quick vigil. The vigil was less than 5 minutes, so LANL was able to tolerate that kind of supervised short prayer, and then the group dispersed.

Early 2010: Think Outside the Bomb's LANL-8 have all completed their plea bargain agreements. more info

... After telling Magistrate Casados that the LANL Fathers Day 5 would NOT be able to pay "mandatory court fees" in good conscience, but would instead donate the same amount of money to Tewa Women United (TWU), the group did in fact donate that money to TWU. Having not received written recognition from the Judge (Casados) the group then visited the "Justice Center" of Los Alamos and were thereby apprehended and served four days each in the LA County Jail. One refused to eat during his incarceration (the food was disgusting). Another survived by his vegan status (the salads and fresh fruit were tolerable).