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Timeline of Faslane Really Big Blockade

IMC'ista | 25.04.2003 16:38 | Peace not War | Anti-militarism

Timeline of reports - Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base
Really Big Blockade - Tuesday 22nd April 2003

Trident Ploughshares / Scottish CND

Faslane, thirty miles from Glasgow in Scotland, is the base for Britain's Trident nuclear missile submarines carrying nuclear weapons with the destructive power equal to 1,000 Hiroshimas.

Faslane was completely shut from 7 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon, and the North Gate was shut until 4.30, when we had a closing ceremony.

650 people took part in the blockade, 166 got arrested, 7 of them inside the base.

- Trident is illegal under international law because it would kill millions of civilians
- The manufacture of Trident pollutes the environment with deadly radiation
- Trident takes millions of pounds away from housing, hospitals and schools

The world is facing many dangers but Trident is part of the problem not the solution.


TIMELINE : 222nd April 03

7.05am Really Big Blockade has started! The North Gate and South Gate of Faslane Base have now been closed. Police are using Fairford tactics, with reports of coaches being diverted to Garelochead a mile away. Coach drivers are being warned not to allow protesters to leave, but some are reportedly jumping ship.

7.28am All gates now shut.The Easter Bunnies, a group of school children from Edinburgh, are responsible for blocking the South Gate

7.49am Approximately 35 people are now locked together at the North Gate, the main entrance to the base, out of a total 200 protesters. The band is playing and banners are draped across fences and over the gate.
There has been widespread consternation, however, at the change in tactics by police on the day, breaking the agreement with organisers. It has now been confirmed that buses of protesters were diverted at the last minute to Garelochead and many have ended up three quarters of a mile from the North Gate.

8.55am Approximately 50 people are at the South Gate now, along with the Easter Bunnies, with at least 8 locked on. Arrests have begun and more police are arriving in vans.

9.50 Arrests at the North Gate

10.10am Over 30 Arrests have been reported: 19 male and 10 female are in progress, including Bruce Kent from CND. The approach road to the S Gate which had been opened up earlier is now blocked again by around 30 in a sit-down protest, with several locked on.

11.05 More protesters arrive at S Gate - road still fully blocked... breaking pictures of The-Really-Big-Blockade.

11.30 All gates remain closed. So far there have been 36 arrests at the North Gate and 4 at the South Gate. A carnival of protesters from Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France and Ireland continue to block the gates.

11.45 40 reported arrested including 2 under 16s and one wheelchair user.

12.17 Main Gate: George Bush and Statue of Liberty just cut down and arrested after a whole morning on site. Plenty of lock ons remain. Rain.

12.44 At least 10 more arrests reported at the South Gate - a few stalwarts remain locked together.

13.00 Fresh protesters en route to Faslane

13.10 50 arrests now reported. Protesters arrested moved to 6 separate police stations

13.55 The base has now been closed for just under 7 hours. The North and South Gates are still blocked, although the north access road is clearing, and the police Puzzle Master has been up to work out how to disentangle the last protesters chained together. Spirits are high, with the sun coming out after a torrential downpour, to warm folk. Around the North Gate, where Give Peace and Chance, Greens for Peace and many other banners and flags are still draped over the fences and railings, purple and pink colours glow to the sound of the saxophone.

14.15pm 107 arrests have been reported. The South Gate is now open though some protesters are still locked on. Any blockages are now largely due to the overwhelming police force and related vans. At the North Gate, which is still blocked, a number of priests have been arrested.

14.40: Two church of Scotland ministers are reported as among those arrested: John Webster and Richard Baxter. Scottish Socialist Party leader, Tommy Sheridan, is still tied into the web of protesters at the North Gate.

15.40 The North Gate is now open but through traffic is blocked by members of the Scottish Socialist Party who are still locked on, alongside Tommy Sheridan, leader of the SSP. The total number of arrests now stands at 136, with five freed before reaching one of the 6 police stations.

Update 17.25 The blockade has now finished, after disrupting the whole working day of the base.

Three activists have been arrested inside the base, close to the Trident nuclear submarine berths. Their action has caused further disruption to the working of the base, as police carry out a thorough search of the base.

There have been over 160 arrests so far for breach of the peace. The North Gate was closed by activists for over 8 hours, and the smaller South Gate was closed by activists for over 5 hours. Other entrances to the base remained closed all day.

23.45 A second group of activists have been arrested inside the high security nuclear submarine base, bringing the total number of arrests to 166. It brings to an end a colourful, peaceful and defiant day of action against Britain's nuclear weapon system.

Update Wednesday pm: All activists have now been released from police custody. Several activists who are not resident in the UK appeared in court for plea hearings and had trial dates set for later this year.

The total number of arrests for the action is 166, including 7 arrested inside Faslane, after three seperate breaches of security during the afternoon and evening.

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  1. bbc corp coverage — -
  2. Faslane Video — CG