Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BIW Aegis 9 in Maine Court Today



Our Aegis 9  destroyer 'christening' crew appeared in court today for a 'Disposition' hearing before Judge Billings.  Our protest event took place at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine on April 1.  The nine of us have been charged with criminal Trespass.  Three of us in the group were arrested last year during a similar protest when the new Zumwalt 'steath' destroyer was 'christened'.

Things began today with the judge asking the state what they were offering the defendants in the way of sentencing if we settled the case without trial.  The prosecutor said that the state was offering a $250 fine for six of the folks who had not been previously arrested at BIW.  For the three of us (Jason Rawn, Russell Wray and myself) the state was asking for a three day jail sentence.

Attorney Logan Perkins was there to represent three of the people in our group and the rest of us are planning to represent ourselves (Pro Se).

Judge Billings said he would be inclined to have tighter restrictions on what he allowed during our upcoming trial testimonies because of the nature of our Trespass charge.  Our previous arrest in 2016 was for sitting down in the road in front of BIW and we were charged with Obstructing a Public Way.  That particular charge allowed us to argue during our trial the 'reasonableness' of our actions.  The Trespass charge does not allow the 'reasonableness' defense - thus the judge's statement that our testimony will have to be more restricted.  It will be interesting to see how all of this comes out in the wash.  Clearly we want to be able to convey to the 'jury of our peers' why we held our protest action on April 1.

An August 29 date was set for our next hearing at the West Bath District Court.  At that time the 'Docket Call' will move us one step closer toward jury selection and eventual trial that could happen either in September or November - depending on the court calendar.


The ‘Aegis 9’

1. Lisa Savage – Solon, 60 years, School teacher
2. Jason Rawn – Lincolnville, 45, War tax resister, house painter
3. Bruce Gagnon – Bath, 64, VFP (Veterans For Peace & Global Network)
4. Natasha Mayers – Whitefield, 70, Artist
5. Bob Dale – Brunswick, 92, VFP former Navy pilot
6. Mike Tork – Cape Cod, MA, 69, VFP former Navy Vietnam vet
7. Mark Roman – Solon, 69, Woodworker
8. Russell Wray – Hancock, 61, Artist
9. Jessica Stewart – Bass Harbor, 37, Catholic Worker activist

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