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CANdLE (Cumbria AND Lancashire Etc) at Faslane

anarchoteapot | 02.11.2006 14:38 | Faslane | Anti-militarism

A group from Lancaster, Lune Valley, and three areas in Cumbria came together to help maintain the 365 faslane blockade.

We arrived in cars and a minibus, from all over the region, and were assembled outside the North Gate of the Clyde nuclear sub base Faslane by midday on Halloween. Mini-marquess protected us from the soon-to-pass rain, colourful banners were erected, pumpkins were carved, soup was thawed and distributed. Music and later drums played, re-aquaintanced made, and the predominant Quaker contingent held a Meeting of around 10-15 minutes in silence in the 'free speech' pen on the south side of the gate. At 2 o'clock the majority of the gathering (40+? short of the desired 100) moved into the road and walked around the roundabout singing together, of loving, singing, walking forward, never going back. As we approached the gate, a chain was pulled across the front of the gate, with a banner attached against Trident. People sat on the road and symbolically held on to the chain. Behind, two people attempted to lock-on with arm tubes around the front tyre of the first van to pull up at the blockade. The police were fairly unrestrained in their treatment, nearly dislocating the thumb of one protestor simply holding the (unsecured) chain, others were pushed to the floor, the lockers-on were pulled apart and arm-locked. Those who took up the request to move did so, others sat and laid in the road maintaining a blockade of all traffic through the gate for around half an hour. The Fire and Rescue vehicle (for lock-ons) approached and was waved away by the police. Then the predictable removals, searched, arrests and 23 hours of amiable custody for those who blockaded.

Highlights? The police officer who made a point of sitting in both vans of arrestees, and ranted about capitalism, BAe, Eurofighter, Iraq, land ownership and more, in a personal capacity, whilst also asking about theism as part of pacifism in Quakerism. The swapping of police roles as they discovered there was no officer old enough to drive the hire vans we were held in. The WPC allowing us cigarettes before processing, hissing at us to hide them when her superior walked past. The chats about music, drink, drugs, clubbing, anything really. The three hot meals in the cells (quantity not quality, vegan and hal-al options available). Finding graffitti by other blockaders in the cells. The knowledge that we were going to be released without charge (so far the only response). Of the 9 arrested, I think only 3 had been arrested before, and this was certainly the nicest introduction to a first arrest.

If you were wondering about going to Faslane, do so, get arrested, add to the numbers that will be thrown at the Government as the year rolls on. This is civil disobediance at its simplest and truest.

And, make sure your arm-tubes are the right length, and take enough wrist chains, so that you can stretch the blockade beyond the symbolic to the truly effective (this requires enough numbers to do all gates, too)!

As a group, we were relieved by the arrival of a bloc of mostly Catholic priests in warm wooly cloaks, who announced they were not intending to camp for the night! I wish I could have witnessed those arrests too!

Keep up the pressure!

[any chance of an action topic for faslane 365?]



4kin hey!!

03.11.2006 22:24

This is a brilliant action with a huge cross section of people turning up, a few one day with hundreds of cops answering, then hundreds of protesters another day. It's ony a matter of time before the cops get it wrong.

Im a bit suprised that the fire and rescue service were there to remove the lock on's - is that right? It's usualy specialist cops with F&R not wanting to be seen siding with cops.

long ago F& R used to do this cutting chain stuff but there was a very successful campaign with their union and they have not done it since in england, so I guess the point is that if the F&R are helping the old bill then perhaps try getting them to change their minds through dialogue or appealing to the unions.

Once the weather gets better I'll look forward to getting up there.

Love 'n' rage



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  1. Nice One! — John