Monday, April 2, 2007
Martin Sheen Cited again for Nuke Site Trespass
by Associated Press staff
MERCURY, Nev. - Martin Sheen was among a group of peace activists cited during an anti-nuclear protest Sunday at the Nevada Test Site, authorities said.Dozens of people took part in the rally sponsored by the Nevada Desert Experience outside the test site, 70 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
04/02 Organizers estimated the crowd size at 150, but Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo put the figure at about 75.
‘‘We are asking for nuclear disarmament and peace,” organizer Ming Lai said. ‘‘We are asking for the Nevada Test Site to stop doing the testing they’re doing. The only reason they’re doing it is to make bombs.”
A total of 39 protesters, including Sheen, were released after being cited by sheriff’s deputies for crossing onto test site property following the rally, test site spokesman Darwin Morgan said.
Sheen, who spent seven seasons playing President Josiah Bartlet on the TV drama series ‘‘The West Wing,” has received similar citations at the test site in the past.
Also cited was retired Army Col. Ann Wright, who resigned as a senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia in 2003 to protest the Iraq war.
Citations also were issued to Shoshone Nation leader Carrie Dann of Nevada and Roman Catholic priest Louis Vitale of the San Francisco Bay area.
The protest, which featured speeches and folk music, culminated a weeklong march to the site from Las Vegas by demonstrators.
DeMeo said many protesters, including Sheen, complimented sheriff’s deputies for their handling of the citations, he said.
‘‘They’re very respectful to us and we’re that way to them,” the sheriff said. ‘‘They get their point across, get the citations and then they’re on their way.”
The sprawling test site is where the federal government conducted above- and below-ground nuclear detonations from 1951 to 1992. It remains the site of non-nuclear government tests on radioactive materials.
A similar rally drew about 35 demonstrators to the test site last year, including 21 who were cited for trespassing.