Hundreds of anti-Trident protesters descend on Faslane for blockade

13 April 2015

Hundreds of anti-nuclear activists have descended on Faslane naval base to take part in a blockade to protest against Trident.

The Bairns Not Bombs demonstration from Scrap Trident Coalition aims to see the closure of the base, home to the UK's nuclear weapons system.

Protesters began gathering outside gates at the base from 7am on Monday in an attempt to stop workers from entering, with the blockade due to last until 3pm.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens and MSP for Glasgow, is among those taking part.

He said: "Trident is an obscenity. Through direct action and through the ballot box we can make the case for the UK to play a new role on the world stage.

"By pursuing peace, a global deal on climate change and ending the arms trade we can stand tall rather than clinging to outdated and dangerous status symbols.

"By choosing to disarm Trident we can re-skill workers on the Clyde to provide defence of the strategically important northern seas, and diversify our economy for social good."

The group met with police on April 1 to ask them to not make arrests in what they argued would be a "peaceful and lawful" protest.

However a few hours into the demonstration police officers began making arrests of those in the blockade, with a spokeswoman confirming 15 protesters had been apprehended.

A Faslane spokesman added: "The MoD recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest activities.

"The MoD police and Police Scotland are seeking to facilitate safe and peaceful protest activity but any breaches of criminal law will be dealt with in an appropriate manner."

He also said the operational output of the base was not originally affected by the protest activity with contingency plans in place, however some staff were later sent home.

Letter

The blockade comes after a large rally in Glasgow's George Square on Saturday April 4, which was attended by around 5000 people, at which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke.

In a national newspaper on Sunday, comedian Frankie Boyle and Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Higgs were among leading figures who have made a new call for the nuclear deterrent to be scrapped.

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Artists and scientists in joint call for Trident to be scrapped

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Launched by political group Compass, the letter claimed polling data suggested nuclear disarmament is a "majority popular demand" across the country.

Former Royal Society president Sir Michael Atiyah, designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, Massive Attack and US linguist Noam Chomsky were also among the 70 signatories to the letter.