Make Bairns, not Bombs
Seven hours of practical disarmament
Concerned citizens from around the UK linked arms against arms Monday 13th April, closing Faslane to road traffic for seven hours.
Ongoing nuclear proliferation at the site was disrupted for the duration as police engineers battled to remove the obstruction. Thirty-four blockaders were arrested but not charged, ironically for ‘breaching the peace’. Two more got lifted for improving the famous Faslane fence with the slogan ‘Scots say no to Trident’.
The blockade began at 0700, with arrestables immediately in situ at all gates to the facility like some wonderful clockwork machine of righteousness. Busloads from Glasgow took the main gate, a crack Ploughshares team occupied the oil depot, and the Peace Camp was put to good use in hosting those charged with holding the southern end of things. Local knowledge proved valuable in helping to evade police patrols and take up positions of maximal effectiveness and minimal disruption to the local community. In the event even the adjacent Clydebank Nursery remained accessible throughout the blockade, with traffic on the main road flowing freely.
The sturdy equipment brought to bear proved useful as cops set to clearing the South Gate road, with the first set of lock-ons surviving over two hours of power tools. Campaigners confounded the removal of another line with the liberal deployment of red paint — the traditional weapon of choice for anti-arms-trade action.
Protesters dancing and rolling in red emulsion to the beat of a samba band, whilst a BDSM mermaid looked on from the banks of the Gareloch… Grandmothers in onesies and nappies, their costumes uncomfortably padded with chains… Such scenes will haunt the dreams and nightmares of those with the privilege to have witnessed them.
A sound system and mobile cafe supplied tunes and provisions to round off the carnival atmosphere which prevailed at what would otherwise have been the sharp end of things.
Meanwhile, public relations niceties meant that the North Gate crew remained unmolested throughout. This contingent included Green and Scottish Nationalist MSPs, as well as Peace Camp and Trident Three veterans. Peace Camp founders were doubtless disappointed to be once more at Faslane after so many years, but we hope they took heart from the scale and effectiveness of the blockade. A turnout of 400, and a seven-hour lockdown, made this one of the biggest and best mass actions against Britain’s nuclear weapons for many years.
Many thanks and congratulations to all those who took part. From the Peace Camp perspective, special thanks to the people who kept things going back at base while we were in the road or the back of a van, and the rock-solid, up-for-it solidarity crew of anti-frackers who took on two gates to ensure a comprehensive closure. We hope to see everyone here again sometime soon — when they’re not expecting it…