For Mother Earth activists join the "Big Blockade" at Faslane Naval Base, Scotland
On Monday 14th January, an international group of activists from For Mother Earth took part in the "Big Blockade" at Faslane Naval Base, Scotland. The blockade, outside the gates of the home of Britains Trident submarine fleet was organised by Trident Ploughshares, Faslane Peace Camp and Scottish CND.
The activists at Faslane came from England, Wales, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Belgium, Holland, Australia and Columbia as well as in considerable numbers from Scotland itself.
The blockade began at 7 a.m. Activists tied on to each other with chains and other ingenious contraptions, or simply linked arms or sat down in the road. A number of ministers of religion, including Norman Shanks, leader of the Iona Community, have been arrested. Scottish church leaders held a service of worship in the middle of the event and made strong statements of support for the campaign of civil resistance to Trident.
A Trident Ploughshares spokesperson said: "We are delighted that so many came from far and wide and put themselves on the line. The fact that parliamentarians, ministers of religion, a senior lawyer and a prominent author are among those arrested shows that this campaign is not restricted to a few activists but is beginning to engage civic society, especially in Scotland. Following on our recent court successes this is a great boost for the campaign."
The blockade resulted in over 350 arrests, and succesfully kept the gates of the base closed from 7am (the busiest time in the morning shift change) until midday (by which time many of the base workers who had not yet managed to get into the base were sent home). Shortly after the police had cleared the gates, a small group of activists from For Mother Earth entered the base by cutting through the high security fence. This triggered the "bandit alarm" closing the base down for some time while a complete search of the base was carried out. Later that evening, For Mother Earth activists managed to gain access to the base for a second time, causing more disruption to the workings of the base.
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