The fact that 'Comical Ali' Kevin Roark was mentioned in the article is admittedly a bonus.
CAROL A. CLARK Monitor County Editor
A small group of people from Albuquerque and California demonstrated at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Monday morning. Holding "Disarm" and "Stop War Now" banners in front of LANL's main sign at Diamond Drive and West Jemez Road, they received waves and words of support from some passing cars, yells of "get out of here" from others and were ignored by most.
The demonstration was organized by the Trinity Catholic Worker House in Albuquerque.
"I'm here because I'm concerned about the RRWP (Reliable Replacement Warhead Program) in Los Alamos and I want to exercise freedom of speech and our right to peacefully assemble here," said Trinity House volunteer Chelsea Collonge.
Los Alamos police said Monday that people have a constitutional right to demonstrate and they will not be arrested unless they step into secure areas.
Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists from Albuquerque joined the demonstration.
"I like the significance of Sept. 10 because it marks the last day in the Cold War before the 9/11 era, which started a new generation of nuclear weapons production," said Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists member Maria Santelli. "I'm mourning that day of Sept. 10 as the last day of peace. Violence is not the way."
Fellow member Marcus Page said, "I want to pray for peace in a concrete way that will expedite the dissolving of the nuclear weapons establishment. Of course this is a tiny toenail foot in the door to make this a reality for everybody. Today's demonstration is a call for more dialogue because we are still struggling to find ways for everyone, including the scientists, to examine their consciences and find solutions. We'll be here once a month, every month for that purpose."
Will Parrish traveled from Santa Barbara, Calif., to take part in Monday's event.
"I'm representing the UC Nuclear Free campaign comprised of University of California students, alumni and faculty who are working to end the University of California support of the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory work that supports the development of nuclear weapons," said Parrish, a UC-Santa Cruz alumni.
He is volunteering with the Los Alamos Study Group and said he came out earlier than planned to participate in the demonstration. "Los Alamos scientists who work on nuclear weapons maintenance and development are helping to perpetuate the role of nuclear weapons as a cornerstone of nuclear policy," he said. "Therefore, I think they have a responsibility to critically examine the nature of that work, especially in light of the fact that Los Alamos is in violation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty through its work in development of nuclear weapons and the manufacturing of nuclear pits."
Friar Louis Vitale, a Franciscan from California, said he is working for peace and social justice. "I'm here today because for many, many years after leaving the Air Force in the 1950s where I was engaged with nuclear weapons, I have become aware of their destruction and the potential for annihilation of our planet," Vitale said. "I'm here to join in a non-violent witness to disarm nuclear weapons, especially to resist the development of more as with Complex 2030, the replacement of all nuclear warheads by the year 2030."
Lab security confiscated a camera on loan from Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) to Chronicle reporter Heron Boyce. "I stood in the street and took a picture of the demonstrators and a security guy came up and took my camera," Boyce said. "He said I was on lab property and I could get the camera back in about five days but not the photos. I'm really upset because I was standing in the street and on the sidewalk, I never stepped on lab property and I have photos from other events on that camera."
LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said this morning that taking photographs without permission is prohibited on DOE property and has been for years. That includes the Los Alamos Canyon (Omega) Bridge and eveything beyond it including West Jemez Road and Diamond Drive, he said. "Public roadways can exist on DOE property but they are subject to different rules," Roark said. "PTLA (lab security) has confiscated cameras from people who drive by and stick their heads out their windows and take pictures of the lab."