Skip to content or view screen version

Arrests at Faslane protest against Trident submarines

nonuke | 22.10.2001 12:58 | Peace not War

From BBC online

Protesters aim to disrupt work at the base

Two Scottish politicians were among dozens of anti-nuclear protesters have been arrested in a demonstration at the Faslane submarine base.

Scottish Socialist Party leader and MSP Tommy Sheridan and Scottish National Party MSP Lloyd Quinan were arrested in the early stages of the protest at the home of Britain's Trident missile fleet on the River Clyde.

Two Church of Scotland ministers were also among about 150 people who had been detained on Monday morning.

Mr Sheridan was also arrested in February

The demonstration was the latest attempt by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Trident Ploughshares to bring the base to a standstill.

Mr Sheridan was among a group of protesters taken away by police after they staged a sit-down protest outside the main north gate of the complex near Helensburgh.

As he was led away, the Glasgow region MSP said: "We would much rather the police officers were deployed in more socially useful work this morning.

"Nuclear weapons have no place in the 21st century. We should be channelling resources towards pensioners, the homeless and fighting the war against poverty which are a scar on Scottish society."

It also emerged that West of Scotland region MSP Lloyd Quinan was arrested.

Protesters said their actions had been given added resonance following the attacks on the US and the offensive against the Taleban.

'Illegal and useless'

They said the attacks reinforced the need for peace and an end to the arms race.

The Reverend John Harvey, of Ardgowan parish church in Greenock, said two Church of Scotland ministers were arrested.

Mr Harvey said John Webster, a retired minister from Glasgow, who now lives on the Isle of Arran, and Flora Munro, a minister from Cults, Aberdeenshire, had been detained by police.

Explaining his motivation for joining the protest, Mr Harvey said: "The Church of Scotland is against the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons and we view them as being immoral, illegal and useless.

About 150 people have been arrested

"Here we have this war against terrorism but can you imagine nuclear weapons being used to deal with that? Of course not.

"It is estimated that £30,000 a day has been spent on nuclear weapons since the birth of Jesus."

A spokesman for Trident Ploughshares said about 800 people had joined the protest.

At a protest in February, about 340 people were arrested, including Mr Sheridan, Iain Hamilton QC, George Galloway MP and 15 members of the clergy.

Earlier this month, Mr Sheridan was found not guilty of causing a breach of the peace at that demonstration.

However, the Crown is planning to appeal against the verdict.

This time round, CND said it hoped pupils from five secondary schools in the west of Scotland would be among those blockading the base.