Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BBC report of Faslane Trident Base in Scotland blockade and arrests

BBC report of Faslane arrests at link below


Faslane Peace Camp

Trident Ploughshares and Faslane Peace Camp Blockade Trident Base


Tuesday 10 May, 2011 – for immediate release


Trident Ploughshares[1] and Faslane Peace Camp[2] jointly blockaded

Faslane from 7am today, shutting down the Trident submarine base for

two hours. Four members of Trident Ploughshares blocked the North Gate

of the base while six Peace Campers blocked the South Gate by locking

themselves together. Just four days after the Scottish elections the

activists called for the anti-Trident SNP government to fulfil its

commitments and demand immediate disarmament of Trident and a global

ban on nuclear weapons.


Speaking on behalf of Trident Ploughshares Janet Fenton, Coordinator

of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Secretary of Scottish CND

and Secretary of the Scottish branch of Womens International League

for Peace and Freedom[3] said "Our actions here are not illegal,  and

are in support of the new Scottish Government. Once again the Scottish

people have voted overwhelmingly in opposition to nuclear weapons.

This time, there is a clear parliamentary majority for a single party

with a manifesto promise to put pressure the UK Government to remove

these illegal weapons from Scotland. We are seeking prompt action from

the SNP, a party that has supported our actions in the past. Sandra

White MSP (SNP)  called for direct action for disarmament at Hiroshima

Day  remembrance events in August. We are here today  to remind the

new administration of the strength of feeling and the support that it

can expect from the Scottish people in requesting an opinion from the

Lord Advocate on the legality of Trident in relation to the Scotland

Act requirement for it to uphold international humanitarian law and

calling on the UK Government to remove Trident and enter negotiations

with other powers to establish a nuclear weapons convention to ban

them globally.


Scotland has the obligation and the right, under the terms of the

Scotland Act, to refuse to be complicit with the possession of

Trident[4]. It constitutes a threat to use it, and using it would

inevitably kill hundreds of thousands of civilians indiscriminately

and cause environmental devastation that would last for thousands of

years. This is illegal. as well as immoral, wasteful and undemocratic.


Leona O'Neill , speaking on behalf of the Faslane Peace Camp said "We

the Peace Camp, are acting today to make clear our objections to a

world with nuclear weapons.  As residents of Scotland, we are echoing

the opinion of the majority of Scottish people and MSP's who do not

wish for a continuing British nuclear weapons programme on Scottish

land. As citizens of a world ruled by fear, where the interests and

wealth of a few are served by the subjection and poverty of the

majority, we are acting to encourage the newly elected Scottish

government to uphold international humanitarian law and meet our

obligations under Article V! of the NPT and Article 2(4) of the UN

charter. As citizens of a world suffering the aftermath of the

Japanese earthquake and ongoing environmental devastation caused by

nuclear technology, we are enacting our objections to nuclear weapons

in our seas and the continual presence of submarines powered by

nuclear reactors."


Barbara Dowling quoted the opinion of Judge Bedjaoui, President of the

International Court of Justice[5], on a nuclear weapons system such as

Trident "that deploys over 100 nuclear warheads with an approximate

yield of 100 kilotons per warhead."  He said "that warheads of this

size constitute around eight times the explosive power of the bomb

that flattened Hiroshima and killed over 100,000 civilians. ... In my

opinion, such a system deployed and ready for action would be



In June Faslane Peace Camp will mark its continuous presence on the

road outside Faslane for twenty-nine years.  The two groups, together

with Helensburgh CND have maintained a peaceful weekly vigil at the

North gate of Faslane for more than three years. Less than a month ago

two hundred Christians, including Cardinal Keith O’Brien gathered at

Faslane for an Easter Witness for Peace.


Brian Larkin, a resident of Helensburgh said "the UK government, as

signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty undertook more than

40 years ago to disarm its nuclear weapons. And the Scottish

government formed a working group for a future Scotland without

nuclear weapons over three years ago but failed to take any relevant

action. The new Scottish government must demand that the UK disarm

Trident. As long as the governments fail to fulfill their

responsibilities under international citizens have a right and duty to

intervene in order to prevent crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Trident Ploughshares is committed to such nonviolent action. Six weeks

ago we sent a letter to the Commodore of Faslane calling on him to

cease the deployment of these illegal weapons.  He did not reply.

Today we delivered a letter calling on him to fulfill his Nuremberg

obligation to take action to stop these crimes against humanity. The

government should redirect the resources currently allocated to

Trident to meet real human needs and invest in retraining people

working at the base in the skills needed to building the

infrastructure for renewable energy."




For more details, contact: Jane Tallents 07778 267833


[1] Trident Ploughshares is a campaign initiated in 1998 to disarm

Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, peaceful,

safe, open and accountable manner until the government starts to do so

itself. For further info visit the TP website:


[2]  Faslane Peace Camp was established in 1982. It has maintained a

continuous presence, calling for the disarmament of Trident, outside

the Faslane base for twenty-nine years.


[3] The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is

an international NGO with National Sections in 35 countries. WILPF has

consultative status with the UN to formally lobby the UN and its

agencies on issues related to peace, disarmament and economic justice.

For further info go to:


[4] The new book Trident and International Law: Scotland’s Obligations

edited by Rebecca Johnson and Angie Zelter was launched at Scottish

Parliament February 1, 2011, in an event sponsored by Edinburgh Peace

and Justice Centre and Trident Ploughshares.  The book makes the case

that  Trident is illegal and the Scottish Government, even within the

powers under the Scotland Act, has the obligation to refuse complicity

with the deployment of Trident in Scotland.  For more info see:


[5] The International Court of Justice ruled on the legality of

Trident in 1996.  The statement by Judge Bedjoui was made for the

Conference on Trident and International Law: Scotland’s Obligations

held in Edinburgh on 3rd February, 2009. For details of the conference



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