Birthday bash brings brutal band – FPC at 32
The Peace Camp’s anniversary passed in some style as friends and former campers joined to celebrate 32 years of anti-nuclear action. Camp stalwarts, including some of its founders, shared memories, whilst current campers offered workshops on present and proposed future activities.
Our still-standing stage took the party to the MoD, or some few feet of its land at least. Unfortunately this gave its police force licence to be annoying, though they did stand off some in the end and made a series of agreements (with themselves) to permit the party, amid some mumbling about multiple trespass transgressions.
Transgression was supplemented with aggression, as probably the first ‘brutal death metal’ band to perform at the Camp rocked the base with noises not heard locally since the last Punk’s Picnic. A surreal segue into elevator music kept the festival sound system warm for our visiting mixmaestros to play out the weekend (and a little over, until the generator failed).
Unsupervised use of this awesome equipment by enthusiastic amateurs led to a number of complaints, but Police Scotland actually confounded expectation by dealing with these in a courteous and tolerant manner. It was almost enough to lead us to forget the numerous wrongful arrests, extended terms in custody, spurious vehicle pulls, speculative stop-and-searches, and idle threats, but not quite.
Perhaps the rationale for the (relative) fluffiness of the forces of oppression was that the party would serve as a distraction from the action that usually accompanies the Peace Camp’s birthday. It wasn’t; the nuclear convoy staging at and leaving AWE Burghfield over the weekend did that. Since it didn’t come up in the end, we didn’t get the opportunity to welcome it to Scotland despite putting other plans on hold. In consequence, the next Peace Camp action doesn’t count, an attitude we hope is shared by the eventual prosecuting authorities.
More generally, the weekend remained a success in bringing people to the brink of destruction (Faslane, of course) and offering them a mix of entertainment and information. Everyone was lovely, but we owe special thanks to the sound-in-every-way guys and their diligent decksmithery; the musicians who played mostly to midges (numerically at least); the guest-starring chefs who helped us hospitalise; everyone who brought us presents; and our neighbours for their understanding. This said, hopefully the Camp doesn’t have too many birthdays left, because neither does Trident.
Please note: there are more and better birthday pictures. These are placeholders until the Campers remember to charge their phones and upload them.