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Star Wars Foes Carry Protests to Four Cities

October 20, 1986|From Times Wire Services

Protesters bombed cars with pumpkins to protest President Reagan's "Star Wars" space shield program at a research center in Sunnyvale, Calif., today, while police broke up demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and Cleveland. At least 95 people were arrested in the nationwide action.

A peaceful demonstration also was held at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Organizers said the protests at centers involved in Strategic Defense Initiative research were intended to "deliberately disrupt and shut down through mass political action as much as possible of the government's flagship for war preparation."

The lead-off protest by the No Business As Usual Action Network disrupted motor and pedestrian rush-hour traffic at a government office building in downtown Washington.

Policeman Assaulted

About 50 protesters chanted "We're the future, not the bomb" outside the building that houses the SDI's main offices and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Police said 27 were charged with disorderly conduct, but one was also charged with assaulting a police officer, a felony.

At the Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. in Sunnyvale, 90 to 100 people "used all sorts of tactics to obstruct traffic, such as lying in the roadway and tossing pumpkins from an overpass onto cars," a police spokesman said, adding there were at least 45 arrests.

In Cleveland, police said 23 people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at NASA's Lewis Research Center. About 75 to 100 protesters attempted to block traffic entering the main gate and on an adjacent roadway.

In Atlanta, about 50 people turned out for an anti-SDI protest this morning at Georgia Tech, which is engaged in various defense-related research projects.

The demonstration included a "die-in" and a "pledge of allegiance to SDI," and lasted about an hour. "There were no arrests and nothing non-peaceful," said Tech spokeswoman Jill Sewell Rice.

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