1 October 2007: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament welcomed today’s protests at the Faslane nuclear submarine base, west of Glasgow. At least 171 people were arrested for taking non-violent direct action at the home of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons submarines. Today’s ‘Big Blockade’ is the culmination of the year-long ‘Faslane 365’ series of protests which, prior to today has led to more than 940 arrests.
Around 600 protestors from across the UK and Europe non-violently shut down road access to the base on the Clyde from around dawn this morning. Some used tubes with their arms locked on to one another to make their removal more difficult, whilst others superglued themselves together. Both gates to the base were blocked as was the road to the nearby Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, where the Trident nuclear missiles are stored.
Through much of the day, new protesters sat down in the road as fast as police could remove those already blockading. By mid afternoon Strathclyde police had arrested an at least 171 protesters. Politicians from several parties joined the demonstrators including six SNP MSPs, two Green Party MSPs, at least one Labour MSP and an MEP .
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond issued a statement backing to the event. He sent his “best wishes” to the protestors and said he “shares” Faslane 365’s “objective of removing nuclear weapons from Scotland’s soil”.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “The vibrancy of today’s blockade is in marked contrast to the same old arguments used by the UK Government to justify Trident and the proposed replacement. Now Faslane 365 has come to an end CND looks forward to the next phase in the campaign. In 2009 we expect the promised vote in Westminster on whether detailed work designing the new submarines should start, with further decisions to come on whether new warheads are developed.”
She continued, “We look to further build on the very broad alliance against nuclear weapons that already exists in Scotland and together with the majority throughout the UK who don’t want to spend their money on costly weapons of mass destruction, ensure that Trident never puts to sea again.”
Notes to Editors:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. Politicians attending the Big Blockade will include: Bill Kidd MSP (SNP), Gil Paterson MSP (SNP), Bob Doris MSP (SNP), Bashir Ahmad MSP (SNP), Jamie Hepburn MSP (SNP) and Sandra White MSP (SNP), Marlyn Glen MSP (Labour), Robin Harper MSP (Green) and Patrick Harvie (Green), as well as Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru)
3. Full Alex Salmond statement: Alex Salmond’s office sent a letter on behalf of the First Minister to the Faslane 365 organizers conveying “his best wishes for a successful event” and affirming his full support for “responsible and peaceful protest against the replacement of Trident”. The letter further stated that Mr. Salmond “shares” Faslane 365’s “objective of removing nuclear weapons from Scotland’s soil” and affirmed that “He is committed to doing whatever he can to persuade the UK government to alter its position on nuclear weapons.”
4. According to a July 2006 ICM poll, 59% of the British public opposes a replacement of Trident when presented with a cost of at least £25 billion.
5. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.