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Northwood Military Base Blockaded for 8 Hours

21.01.2003 04:18

Northwood base, the Permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces was blockaded for 8 hours on Sunday 19th January (see timeline reports) by up to 400 protestors. At 9.15am six peace activists locked themselves together at the main gates of the base with steel tubes covered with giant purple pants, with the slogan "War is Pants" (pics), they were finally cut out of the lock ons after several hours- read report. The weekend of action at Northwood coincided with the 12th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War and massive anti-war protests around the world.

There were over 70 arrests during the blockade (press release, pics, guilfin pics) which officially started with a multi faith service outside the main gates. The main bulk of the anti-war protestors (young and old) marched from Northwood tube station towards the base with a samba band and a bicycle powerd sound system. Police initially tried to funnel them into a fenced off area on the pavement opposite the main gate, but the crowd staged sit downs as soon as this became apparent until the police allowed them right up to the main gates (report). There was music and speeches for several hours as people blockaded the gates (read 1pm report). The police gave a deadline of 3pm before they would use force and make arrests, but after discussion people decided to remain and risk arrest. Supportes cheered on the blockaders for a couple of hours as around 150 police made arrests, carrying people away and using cutting equipment to remove additional lock ons. The area was cleared by around 5.15pm. Earlier in the afternoon the secondary side gate was also blockaded by four women who locked themselves together in pairs. In contrast with the main gate lockons they were arrested and put into police vans while still locked together.

On Saturday, the previous day, around 200 people participated in Operation Internal Look, a mass breach of the official secrets act at Northwood. See report and see photos 1, 2, Guilfin pics. See previous feature for more information on the actions.

northwood base blockade picture
northwood base blockade picture

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