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Faslane 365: Sheffield and North Derbyshire action

L | 10.10.2006 10:47 | Faslane | Anti-militarism | Sheffield

Personal account from 1 member of the action

Thursday, 5th October.

The Faslane main gate was different for a day. Relentless gray fencing and razor wire were enlivened by rainbow peace flags, streams of Tibetan prayer flags, banners for life, huge drawings celebrating the people of the peace movement, ribbons woven into the fence, a flame symbolising the transformation of the fires of Hiroshima into peaceful energy, hornpipes, jigs, reels, dancing and games, fiddle, whistle, saxophone and drums, transformed clown sailors and furry animals.

Then, at 4.15, some sitting. 12 of us just walked up to the gate, and sat down - some locked on to each other, most just linking arms. This simple action closed down the main gate for at least 45 minutes, whilst we were gently disentangled and carried away by the police. Although no queues of traffic were visible, loudspeakers kindly announced our presence to everyone in the base, and it felt likely that traffic was backed up inside for the period that we had the gate closed. Those of us who were arrested exchanged stories with the police on the drive to the police station - followed by 20 hours of peaceful contemplation, reading, writing, drawing, and singing in our cells, with friendly custodians, but dreadful food. Those of us at the gate cleared away as the increasing rain and darkness closed in. For a group of 30, we felt we had really made our presence felt.

The next day - no charge, but a letter saying we’d been very naughty, we’d be let off this once, but if we were to misbehave again, we’d be unlikely to get off so lightly. The detainees were welcomed out by the others, and we went off for a celebratory lunch in a Dumbarton pub - where a couple of guys who work in the base told us that, despite having lost an hour’s wages, through not being able to get in during an action, they respected and supported what we were doing. A good send-off for the drive home.