March 14th saw a number of decentralised actions and protests across the country to denounce Britain's Trident as illegal and immoral, and call for the disarmament of the country's weapons of mass destruction, as the Commons set to vote on the government's plans to renew the ballistic missile submarine-based nuclear deterrent. Click the Full article link above to read about the protests and actions.
In Scotland, activists attempted to occupy the roof of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Whilst 4 were arrested before they could reach the roof, a lone activist managed to reach the canopy over the front of the building. He unfurled a banner reading, "WHATEVER THEY VOTE TRIDENT IS STILL WRONG". A large contingent of students from Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh also inflated a life-size bin bag Trident, bearing the words "Block the Bomb", at Faslane gate [photos]. The action resulted in four arrests.
In London, 9 activists from Block the Builders and the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) blockaded Parliament Square, as the Trident replacement debate began in Parliament, using a model of a Trident Missile and concrete-filled bins. The nine were charged with "obstruction of the highway" and "participating in an unauthorised demonstration" (SOCPA) and will appear at Horseferry Road magistrates court on 27 March [photos: 1 | 2 video: 1]. Later in the day, hundreds of people descended on Parliament Square for a rally, called by CND, and a "fish on bicycles" themed Critical Mass bike ride [photos: 1 | 2].
The previous day had seen Greenpeace activists scale a large floating crane moored next to Parliament and hang a banner suggesting that our prime minister is rather keen on WMD [photo].
An anti-Trident rally was held in Bradford in the evening, with several speakers all calling for a vote against renewing Trident [photos]. In Plymouth, activists from several groups staged a day-long protest outside the naval base. Plenty of media coverage was generated, and there was a great amount of encouraging toots, beeps and thumbs-up from passing motorists [photos]
Meanwhile, around a hundred Nottingham residents are busy planning a trip to Faslane. The group will aim to prevent access and disrupt the base over a two day period, 31 March to 1 April. There will be a "Troops Out - No Trident" march in Oxford next Saturday, 17 March, to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war. Block the Builders have also called a blockade of AWE Aldermaston (Britain's WMD factory) for 19 March.
At an anti-war demo in Wellington today (4th anniversary of the Iraq invasion) we visited the British embassy to say NO to upgrading Trident, at the end of a long afternoon of embassy hopping. A report on the whole demo is currently on the front page of Aotearoa indymedia