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Friends of the Earth blockades Faslane nuclear submarine base, Scotland

Friends of the Earth | 03.01.2007 22:38 | Faslane | Anti-militarism

Faslane Naval Base (near Glasgow), Tuesday 2nd January 2007 - A group of 25 activists from the Belgian environmental group "Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels" have blocked the British nuclear submarine base since 8am this morning. This morning 8 activists were arrested after nonviolently blocking both main entrances to the base. Amongst those arrested were people from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Finland.

Activists British block submarine base
Activists British block submarine base

The activists demand that the British government makes moves towards nuclear disarmament.

The blockade is organised as part of the "Faslane365" year-long blockade of Faslane naval base, that began on 1st October 2006. Since 1st October, 40 groups have blocked the base, for a total of 56 days- resulting in 416 arrests. The blockades have caused serious disruption to the base. More blockades are planned for the coming weeks and months, including a blockade made up of Academics and Scholars, and a blockade made up of elected representatives from Britain and abroad.

Faslane is home to 4 British Trident nuclear submarines. Each submarine can carry up to 48 nuclear weapons, each of which is 8 times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945.

The blockade takes place during the intense debate in Britain regarding the replacement of the Trident nuclear submarines, when their operational life ends in 2024. The environmental group uses the blockade of Faslane to call on the British government not to replace Trident – and moreover to immediately disarm Trident – as a significant step to achieving the global elimination of all nuclear weapons.

Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels campaigner Pol D'Huyvetter (44) from Ghent, Belgium, stated shortly before his arrest: "We can’t ask North-Korea and Iran to stop development of nuclear weapons, as long as nuclear weapons remain part of NATO defence policy. It’s totally hypocritical. The International Court of Justice in The Hague declared in 1996 that the use or threat of nuclear weapons would be illegal. When an illegal is protected by law, civil disobedience becomes necessary."

David Heller, Campaigner with Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels stated: "Nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons ever developed. The environmental and health consequences of the use of even a single Trident nuclear warhead would be catastrophic. We travel to Faslane as citizens of Europe to show our opposition to Trident, and any replacement nuclear weapon system. We aim to make 2007 the year that Trident is scrapped."

Press Contact:

David Heller +32 (0)495 280 259

"Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels" (formerly known as For Mother Earth) is a member group of Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest grassroots environmental federation with member groups in over 70 countries.

Faslane 365 website

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