Trident protesters arrested after disrupting military site housing nuclear weapons system

April 15, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Dozens of anti-Trident protesters were arrested today after disrupting operations at a military site where the nuclear weapons system is based.

Activists from the Scrap Trident Coalition demonstrated at the north and south gates of Faslane Naval Base in Scotland.

Hundreds of protestors, linked together by drainpipes, sat in the road preventing traffic from going in or out.

Trident protesters clash with police at Faslane Naval Base in East Dunbartonshire

Trident protesters clash with police at Faslane Naval Base in East Dunbartonshire

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said 47 arrests were made, all for offences relating to breach of the peace and resisting arrest.

The blockade follows Saturday’s demonstration in George Square, Glasgow, which was attended by leading politicians.

Protestor Chris Booth, 53, from Portobello, said: “There are quite a number of people blocking the north and south gates of the base, stopping the traffic from going in or out.

“The police are trying to move people off but that is taking a lot of time because there are so many people chained together.

“There is a good number of people here and we are really encouraged by the turnout.

The activists are angry that a nuclear weapons system is housed at the military site

The activists are angry that a nuclear weapons system is housed at the military site

“We are willing to risk the possibility of arrest because it is an important cause.

“We are calling for Trident to be scrapped because we should no longer have nuclear weapons in Scotland or even the world and with the independence referendum imminent, now is a good time to be saying that.

“It is illegal and immoral.

“I have been protesting about this all my life and it has never seemed likely that anything could change but now there is a chance a last for something to happen.

“There are more cuts to benefits and services and yet the government is looking at renewing the trident system amongst all this austerity.

“None of these cuts are necessary if we can afford to spend that money on Trident.

“The polls show that the majority of people in Scotland are opposed to nuclear weapons and there will be more action in the run-up to the referendum.”

One of the protestors arrested at the Faslane blockade was veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Chas Booth, Green councillor for Leith.

He has been arrested and charged on breach of the peace offences three times before but never convicted.

He posted on Twitter: ‘Just been arrested for non-violent protest against trident. No nukes! #scraptrident’

He then added: “I’ve been charged with breach of the peace. For sitting on the road outside a nuclear weapons base. #scraptrident’

Mr Booth said: “Trident nuclear weapons are an affront to humanity.

“They serve no useful military purpose in today’s era of stateless terrorists and are a costly white elephant.

“The billions wasted on Trident should be invested in our hard-pressed public services instead.

“With next year’s vote on independence we have a chance to consign Trident to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

“In the meantime I believe in backing words with personal and peaceful action.”

Scottish Green party leader Patrick Harvie said:  “Police started making arrests quite early on and they have continued throughout the day.

“As far as I’m concerned people are just exercising their rights to peaceful protest and it seems ironic that if they are charged, it will probably be for breach of the peace.

“The far greater breach of the peace is the use of nuclear weapons, which is in itself illegal because they do not discriminate between military and civilian targets.

“Many people are now aware that with next year’s referendum we are nearing the time when we can take control of Scotland’s defence policy and finally consign Trident to history.

“Ridding Scotland of these weapons is not just about looking after our own position.  It’s about giving inspiration to those south of the border who want to do exactly the same.”

“There has always been a strong anti-Thatcher tendency in Scotland and those feelings still run pretty high, although I don’t think people have been making a particular issue of that today.

“But I’m sure that there will be more anti-Thatcher protests as the week goes on.”

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