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Arrests of peace campaigners in House of Commoms

dontlikenukes | 15.03.2007 00:29 | Anti-militarism | Social Struggles | London

As MPs debated today over the UKs strategic nuclear deterrence programme in the hours before a final decision was made 3 people were arrested in the House of Commons. They were just a few of the many across Britain who placed themselves in the hands of police officers to make their message, and that of the nations heard. Risking their careers and their freedom for their principles. Read more . . . .

3 people were arrested yesterday (13th march 2007) in the House of Commons, where from 1pm MPs were gathering to debate the issue of the UKs strategic nuclear defence programme and the replacement of Trident, our current nuclear weapons system.
The debate may have opened with a pathetically weak, lame dog of an argument from Margaret Beckett, however some inspiring speeches were given by the likes of Jeremy Corybyn, Micheal Meacher, John McDonnell, Nigel Griffiths and many, many more.
At approximately 6pm, 5 hours into the debate, two peace protesters in the viewing gallery stood up holding a peace flag. Though they remained both silent and static they were immediately noticed my MPs, some of whom pointed (and even smiled). The two protesters (one 18 year old girl and 21 year old guy, both students from Berkshire) were jumped on immediately by guards and escorted out. The 18 year old being carried by out security. They received much applause and support from people in the gallery and subsequently a gentleman was arrested for clapping.
One woman raised objections as to the rough treatment the two young people received; thankfully she was not also arrested for doing so.
Once removed from the viewing area they were escorted to the police rooms where they were informed they had no right to a solicitor or detention review as would be the case outside of parliament.
However they were only detained for under 2 hours and were let out shortly after the vote results was announced.
Other direct actions occurred across the country in opposition to Trident replacement. There was a blockade across the road outside of the houses of parliament, leading to arrests. Earlier in the morning, three protesters were arrested after scaling the roof and hanging a "No Trident" banner on the building.
Further arrests were made when a number of protesters draped an anti-nuclear banner over the Scottish housed of parliament.
Also there was a blockade and a protest outside of the naval base faslane, where protesters had a giant inflatable nuclear missile with the words ‘Block the Bomb’ across it. A devise I’m sure will be just as effective a deterrence to threats such as terrorism and global warming.
Perhaps inevitably Tony and his Tories passed the vote to replace trident with a majority of 248. Though it must be noted that there was massive labour rebellion with 93 labour MPs voting against the government.
As people were crying in the streets outside of parliament one could not be blamed for having a slight feeling of despair. Though as the 18 yr girl arrested said “this is not the end, this is only the beginning is a long relentless campaign for a nuclear disarmament”, whereas before the tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters and activists were driven perhaps by hope (as well as morals and determination) we will now be fuelled by anger, anger and rage that MPs are subjecting nuclear weapons on a future generation with no regard what so ever for the will of the people.

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