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Submarine spotting: February sights from the Loch & Faslane naval base (HMNB Clyde)

Most people go to the seaside and Loch shores for bird watching or just general pleasant sea views. We here at the Faslane Peace Camp are forced to set our eyes also on the sort of views that should’ve never started to exist or should’ve gotten scrapped a long time ago.

From February we share these selected clips with you, dear viewers. On most of the shots you see an Astute class sub, one from the hunter-killer breed that is not carrying nuclear warheads, but would be protecting those four Vanguard class subs who do.

Lately the media has been bursting with news about lots of sub problems the Royal Navy is struggling with (serves them right, right? – it’s just that you folks are footing the ongoing, ever increasing cost): the Trident misfiring case, the old maintenance issues of the Vanguards and, as the latest catch, the little fact that even the new and improved Astute’s are not exactly in a seafaring condition. Though, this should not come as that big of a surprise: already, back in 2013  the problems with the cost and delivery of these new nuclear-powered Astute subs were set out in uncompromising detail in a report published by the National Audit Office .

Feel like giving us a hand with nuke sub spotting? You’re welcome. We offer what you need: from binoculars to kayaks. The rest is up to you. 😉

Peace Camp looking for caravans: drop us a hint or an offer! Public, we need your help!

In 35 years many bits and pieces of the camp infrastructure have risen, fallen and risen again. One of the most characteristic parts of the Peace Camp infrastructure are probably the caravans, which keep on housing the arriving anti-nuclear activists. And we love these caravans, we love them to bits. Literally. Some of the vans are almost as old as the camp itself: and no matter how much love and carpentry you shower them with, eventually they retire themselves.

Well loved, but nothing stays young forever.  Help us to expand our collection of colorful caravans!

Well loved, but nothing stays young forever. Help us to expand our collection of colorful caravans!

Currently, we are renewing many parts of the camp infrastructure and building many things totally new. And this is something we need YOUR help with! You are most welcome to join us in direct activities against the nuclear madness: but there are many other ways to help this struggle, too.

Thus: we are looking for caravans. While facing the need to demolish some of the most worn-out and well-loved caravans, we need to be able to offer new accommodation for both, visitors and residents.

Don’t worry, we’re not too picky: as long as there’s no mold, rot, termites and other not-that-easily-fixable problems, we’re more than happy to come and check every caravan available. With a little bit of carpentry and fixing you can practice small miracles. Outdated interiors and little toothmarks of time are nothing to be worrying about: do not hesitate to give us a ring or to drop an email about caravans you’ve got consuming space there in a garage, nesting at the back of your auntie’s garden, waiting to be replaced by that new and updated model your family has set eyes on.

We will take them for free or agree upon a suitable price: just contact us, and we’ll sort it from there. Help us to head towards the next phase of Peace Camping!

Peace Camp donates a new and improved sub for the suffering Royal Navy: HMS Hopeful from the Peacekeeper class ready to serve!

In January we learned some funky facts about the rather tragicomical test-firing of the UK’s Trident II D5 ballistic missile in June last year: yes, that one where the missile decided to head to an opposite direction than intended and everybody did their best to cover the mess up.

Yesterday we learned that not only the four ageing Vanguard class nuke subs are in wee bit of a trouble with all this maintenance stuff, but also Britain’s fleet of seven Astute class “attack” subs are “not on active operations“. These new and improved hunter-killer subs are not carrying nuke missiles, but would be the ones protecting the Vanguards which do.

Instead of simply reminding that nuclear warfare is a load of lethal bollocks and ridiculing the Royal Navy beyond recognition over it’s falling-apart-fleet-of-rust-buckets, we decided to get pro-active and offer a helping hand! The Faslane Peace Camp did some calculations, careful crafting and here we go with out masterpiece: HMS Hopeful, from new and improved Peacekeeper class!

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In comparison to Vanguards, Astutes, and such, the first sub from the new Peacekeeper class brings in a few improvements: a) she actually, you know, functions, and b) this scientific masterwork doesn’t put all life on Earth to imminent danger. We invite you to pay closer attention to some fine details:

The missile part is nice and fluffy: capable of reaching targets all the way to 60 metres!

The missile part is nice and fluffy: capable of reaching targets all the way to 60 metres!

The ammo system is an environmentally friendly edition and operates simply with, well, pedal and air force.

The ammo system is an environmentally friendly edition and operates simply with, well, pedal and air force.

The radiation sign? That's just her bling. You know, for street credibility.

The radiation sign? That’s just her bling. You know, for street credibility.

But perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard o the poor Royal Navy. After all, the French nuclear giant EDF seems to be having some trouble with their nuke products, too. On 9th of Feb. an explosion took place in a nuclear power plant near English Channel after fire in reactor engine room.

“They wanted to replace the aging Trafalgar Class rust buckets with these Astutes, and lo and behold, now them Trafalgars seem to be the only ones that, to an extent, manage to stay in one piece. What are they gonna do next, bring out the U-571?” laughs a local supporter who wishes to remain anonymous (after all, the Royal Navy or MoD police officers might not appreciate being laughing stocks).

Maybe even the last stubborn relics should finally get the hint. With disability of producing a non-explodable nuke plant and doomsday weapons able to hit their targets we could finally come to a sensible conclusion of scrapping the nuclear madness, both civilian and military ones, and head towards a more sustainable, humane times.

And of course: as the HMNB Clyde (or Faslane naval base, on more common terms) is in bit of a trouble with finding enough staff and keeping its subs of all sorts in one piece: should anyone be looking for a good momentum to come in and give them some extra work in dealing with directly active nuke criticism, this might just be the time you want to pack up and arrive here?

An artistic mermaid shot of HMS Hopeful: just for the portfolio.

An artistic mermaid shot of HMS Hopeful: just for the portfolio.

Open day at the Faslane peace camp 25th of February : Community is unity

front-shotTo celebrate our 35th anniversary year we are holding an  open day starting at 10am on the 25 February, bring your friends!

All visitors are welcome from children to your pets as we have a few friendly dogs.

There will also be tea, coffee, food for free however donations are welcome.

Information about our campaign and some friendly peace campers who will be happy to give a guided tour around the camp.

Campers will be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have about the camp or campaign.

Faslane peace camp always welcomes visitors if you cannot come on 25 February, come any day.

We are located at Shandon near Helensburgh the postcode is  G848HL

Jump on the 316 bus to Coulport hope to see you soon .

2nd of february activists: bail conditions and after thoughts

On the 2nd of February 5 anti nuclear activists were arrested at Faslane naval base during a lock-on action.  The 5 activists are now on bail with conditions:  all 5 are,for example, not to go within 100 meters of the base, which means they cannot for example even go to the nearby Garelochhead shop for a pack of butter.

“My actions speak louder than my words” – one activist said.

“This being my first arrest and witnessing the dehumanising methods of the system first hand, both during the action and in custody. What i experienced in custody really affected me and it has made me even more determined to stand up and resist the oppression no matter what the consequences”, says another activist.

As a consequence day to day life on the camp has been slightly disrupted, such as not being able to attend the weekly vigil for peace held at the north gate of faslane naval base every wednesday between the hours of 4-5 pm. The vigil is an on going tradition for several years, any support will be greatly welcomed as numbers will be down to an all time low for the next couple of months due to the bail conditions and the fact that they face serious jail time even for going to a vigil for peace or to buy that pack of butter.

Action report 2nd of February: lock-on blockade at the nuke sub base HMNB Clyde: no freedom of movement for WMD minions

Action report: lock-on blockade at 2nd of February at the nuke sub base HMNB Clyde: no freedom of movement for WMD minions

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On 2nd of February, starting 06.30 AM, five anti-nuclear activists blocked the pleasantly busy morning traffic at the south gate of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde (yes, they’re still having this monarchy thing going on) in Faslane, Scotland. South Gate is one of the two main entrances to the base and open under a certain schedule: it doesn’t take all that much to clog up their routines. Base staff did its best to direct the traffic to the North Gate, but soon enough the tailback stretched from the North Gate to a distance of over two miles: we climbed on our caravan roofs and tried to cycle down the line to see the end of the traffic jam, but no chance.

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“I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit! It’s a cliché, but true! The struggle against nuke weapons should be as out of fashion as other 80’s monstrosities, but now with the likes of President Trump or Prime Minister Theresa May it seems we’re headed towards a new arms race”, says activist Molly Garfield. “May has stated ‘I think we should defend our country, I think we should play our role in NATO with an independent nuclear deterrent’, so there you go. Nationalism, militarism, WMD’s. Down with all that, I say.”

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The lock-on crew was accompanied by three legal supporters and a photographer. The Ministry of Defence police arrived to the scene in some 20 minutes. Around here, the legal supporters are supposed to have the right to snap photos, feed bananas to protestor’s and observe that the cops at least try to behave. This time MoD’s were having a rotten day. PC 470 (they just like to be identified, don’t they?) tried to bully the photographer off by threatening to “smash that camera if you don’t stop taking photos”, while other simply pushed two observers some 20 metres away, well behind a barrier of uniforms.

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Not that we would’ve minded much. We were busy being amused by their continuous mishaps. At 07:00 AM, the hobby level cutting team from the base arrived, asking for the suitable camera equipment: only to find out their colleagues couldn’t find any. Next thing you knew was that they’ve managed to get a bolt cutter stuck on somebody’s lock-on, unable to continue. Thus, the traffic jam kept building up and road was nowhere close to get cleared before they managed to bring in the actual cutting team. On their arrival, the photographer was also tossed from the scene and view to locked-on activists blocked with police vehicles.

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By 09.20 AM all five activists were arrested and transported to the nearest cop shop. The South Gate was closed for approximately two and a half hours. The action was conducted by hippies from the nearby Faslane Peace Camp: thanks for support, one struggle!

“On times when taking a stand or expressing one’s opinions gets you ridiculed, labelled as a terrorist or lectured how protesting of any sort is futile, do the bloody opposite. Faslane Peace Camp is rolling on to its 35th year, but seemingly the world leaders and arm dealers are not allowing it to retire any time soon. You could imagine that a nuke sub base would a tricky or dangerous location, but this seems more like a sitting duck for anyone up for a little direct action”, Roxy Newton, another activist, emphasises.

The action is the second protest to take place within a short time. Both sparked by the revelation of the Royal Navy misfiring of a Trident II D5 ballistic missile from the HMS Vengeance last June and questions surrounding the cover-up of the test results and general madness of nuke weapons. Activists were also keen to express their solidarity with the Put Down the Sword crew who’ve ably demonstrated that for all the hyperbole espoused by polemic, self-professed Christians, the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” ethos remains the central tenet.

The Faslane Peace Camp is a permanent protest camp dedicated to campaigning and protesting against nuclear weapons and related madness since 1982. The camp, located next to the HMNB Clyde, is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, and it’s welcoming all interested individuals to participate the fun and games available. No racism, no homophobia, no sexism: just direct action.

Action report 24th of January: sit-in protest at the nuke sub base: no the a new arms race, yes for direct action!

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On 24th of January, starting at 06.45 AM,, four anti-nuclear activists blocked the traffic at the south gate of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland. The base is a home for UK’s four Vanguard class nuke subs. Action was recorded by eco-warriors from the nearby Faslane Peace Camp, a permanent protest site dedicated to direct action and general struggling against nuclear weapons and madness alike since 1982.

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The protesters interrupted the base’s morning routines by walking into the line of busy traffic and pulling a banderol over the road. Some drivers still tried pushing past, but luckily not over, the protestors. Three activists formed a classical sit-in blockade, soon causing a delightful traffic jam of an estimated 300 cars. An undercover Ministry of Defence (MoD) cop vehicle and a regular police car soon arrived to the scene of political action. Within an hour and after some eloquently peaceful tugging and hand-cuffing the three were arrested and taken to a nearby Clydebank jail.

The action aimed to highlight the revelation of the Royal Navy misfiring of a Trident II D5 ballistic missile from the nuke sub HMS Vengeance on June 2016. Several news sources reported that the missile, rather than heading towards Africa as intended, veered to opposite direction, towards the Florida coast. Feel free to trust the technology of destruction?

The Prime Minister Theresa May was briefed about the test and its tragi-comical results. Instead of inform the MP’s or the general public, she most politely decided to shut up about it like a well-lobbied politician should. Funny detail is that the parliamentary vote over the renewal and future of the Trident took place only a few weeks after the test-fire failure. Understandably enough, some MP’s have expressed their not-all-that-happy feelings over the supposed cover-up.

Besides the political issue, there is also a slight technical issue at stake. The Trident missile system is identical for both the US and UK and most of these tests are carried out by the US Navy. – “How can anyone on their right mind claim these matters to be in safe hands when the UK is freely sharing secrets size of a nuclear apocalypse to the President Trump, whose mood swings, portraited as views and opinions, are as vague and inconsistent as they are bizarre”, says activist Nick Timer.

As a result of the parliamentary vote last July, the decision was made to spend £40 billion to renew Trident. According to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the figures could well be in excess of £200bn.

“With draconian austerity hitting the majority of UK folks right where it hurts the most, it’s typical to still find such sums for this bloated white elephant that apparently might even be unable to hit its targets. Instead of heading towards a new arms race we need to simply scrap the nukes. Getting rid of Trident would set a good precedent“, says Robin Banks, another activist.