Monday, October 01, 2007


Dozens of anti-nuclear protesters were arrested today as they marked the end of a year-long campaign at Faslane naval base on the Clyde in Scotland.

Many started blockading the main entrance by gluing themselves to the Tarmac outside and chaining themselves together and to the fence, and police moved in quickly to start removing the demonstrators, making 94 arrests by 10am.

Witnesses spoke of a "continuous" stream of people being carried off by teams of officers.

The demonstrators brought their year of action to a close by forming a human circle in front of the gates at around 3.30pm, which was then dispersed by police. Strathclyde Police said 73 men and 98 women were arrested.

Officially called HMNB Clyde, Faslane is base to the four Trident submarines.

Scottish Lawyers Against Trident (SLAT) earlier this month dropped off a letter for Commodore Carolyn Stait, the commander of the naval base. The letter read in part:

“We fail to understand why the international community should prohibit countries such as North Korea from developing nuclear weapons at a time when the UK is contemplating renewing its weapons.”

“We are told we live in a democracy”, said Hilary Patrick. “The majority of Scots do not want Trident here. An ICM poll carried out this year found that almost two-thirds of Scots are opposed to the plan to replace Trident, regardless of the cost.

“We do not believe Scots should have these deadly and possibly illegal weapons based in their country. Their continued presence here could cause a constitutional crisis. If Westminster continues to force us to site them in Scotland, it could threaten the union.”

The following is from AFP.

Scores arrested at anti-nuclear protest

Scores of people were arrested Monday as police moved on hundreds of anti-nuclear protestors at a submarine base in Scotland gathered for the culmination of a year-long campaign.

Police made the arrests as they removed protestors blockading the main entrance to the Faslane Naval Base on the River Clyde by gluing themselves to the tarmac outside as well as chaining themselves together and to the fence.

They said they arrested 94 people by 10 am, three hours after the first of an estimated 500 demonstrators arrives in buses at the base which hosts the Trident fleet of nuclear-armed submarines.

Witnesses said there was "continuous" stream of people being carried off by teams of officers.

The year-long campaign has led to more than 940 arrests.

Politicians from around Britain, including Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and Members of the European Parliament (MEP), attended what was dubbed the "Big Blockade".

Scottish Green Party co-leader Robin Harper MSP was among the first to arrive at Faslane.

"The use, the threat of use, and the planned replacement of Trident are all illegal," he said.

"We should take a lead in fighting the wars of this century -- the war against poverty, injustice and environmental destruction -- not spend 25 billion (pounds) on weapons of mass destruction aimed at civilians.

A spokesman for Faslane Naval Base said the protests had not affected the main operations at the base.

The parliament voted in March to renew the country's Trident nuclear deterrent.

Tony Blair, before he stepped down on June 27, had pushed plans to modernise the Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of about 25 billion pounds.

The current deterrent consists of four Royal Navy submarines, one of which is always on patrol, fitted with US-built Trident missiles.

It will become obsolete in the mid-2020s.

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