Skip to content or view screen version

Anti-Trident camp sends clear message to Gordon Brown

Strident | 29.06.2007 12:22 | Faslane | Anti-militarism | World

Anti-nuclear activists from Universities across the United Kingdom are camping in Peaton Glen, adjacent to the Coulport depot where the United Kingdom's arsenal of nuclear warheads are stored, ready to be loaded on to the submarines berthed at Coulport. The camp, named the Strident Tent State, will be holding workshops, events, and nonviolent direct actions from Thursday June 28th to Tuesday July 3rd.

Activists from the Strident Tent State join with academics to blockade Faslane
Activists from the Strident Tent State join with academics to blockade Faslane

News Release – for immediate release

29th June 2007

Camera crews welcome – see contacts below
Interviews available – see contacts below
Photos, participant reports and updates available at


Yesterday the Strident Tent State, a week-long anti-nuclear event in Scotland, opened with a clear message to the new Prime Minister. Four Merseyside students were arrested in an early morning blockade of the Faslane nuclear submarine depot. Students from across Britain stood on Rhu Point to witness a Trident submarine sail up the straits to its loading bay. The first of a series of intensive lobbying sessions will alert Mr Brown to these young people’s strong dissent from the Government’s plan to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system, via letters, emails and phonecalls. The students were heard by sailors on the deck of the nuclear submarine, as they stood at the narrowest point of Gareloch to protest as it passed. This morning eight more students from Nottingham and Bradford successfully blockaded both north and south gates of Faslane nuclear base.

This week Gordon Brown will decide the orders given to each commander in the Trident fleet, determining whether Trident would retaliate in the event of Britain being destroyed by a nuclear attack. This week the students participating in the Strident Tent State will use lobbying and non-violent direct action to tell Mr Brown that such an act of revenge is unacceptable to them.

Participant Nancy Burns says:

‘If Gordon Brown wants to engage young people in politics he must listen to us when we do express our concerns. The renewal of Trident will heighten the existing tensions in the world, it will not resolve them.’

Over the week students will engage in workshops and discussion forums to develop concepts of sustainable security, and engage in a process of societal change. These will be led by their peers as well as politicians, academics and experts from across the fields of disarmament and diplomacy.

The participants will hone their lobbying and advocacy skills and develop the tools needed to engage fully with decision makers as the responsible and aware citizens of a democracy.

Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South East England says:

‘There is simply no legal, moral, military or economic case for the Government to replace Trident. The Strident Tent State is a wonderful opportunity to explore why this is so, as well as looking at the wider context of the Government's decision. I was at Faslane earlier this year with other Members of the European Parliament opposing Trident and this week's student event is another valuable way of focussing attention on a campaign that has shown just how strongly people for all walks of life feel about Britain's nuclear weapons.’




Media Coordinators

Sam Goff – 07851363403
Lucy Mason – 07957176025

General number – use if the mobile numbers above are unavailable – 01436 850 047


Notes to Editors:

1.The Faslane 365 Students Summer Blockade and Strident Tent State forms part of Faslane 365, a civil resistance initiative to apply critical public pressure for the disarmament of Britain's nuclear weapons. Groups from around the country are blockading the Faslane nuclear weapons base from 1st October 2006 until 30th September 2007. For more information, see: and

2.The Tent State is one of several new initiatives, which express young people's disengagement from parliamentary decisions, which do not reflect their concerns. On 20-22 June, Sussex University Students Union hosted 'Tent State University UK' to protest against war in the Middle East and advocate alternative education. On 14-21 August, young people will join the 'Climate Camp' near Heathrow to take direct action against the sources of climate change.

3.Strident Tent State organisers have had extensive contact with local residents’ group Peninsula 24/7, to minimise the impact of any direct action taken on the local community. They will continue to be in contact throughout the week. This is key to the principles of openness and accountability Strident hopes to embody, as well as demonstrating the pragmatic use of dialogue.

4.The current Trident weapons system consists of four nuclear-armed submarines, each carrying 48 warheads. Each bomb is eight times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped by the US on Hiroshima, which killed around 140,000 people.

5.Replacing Trident conflicts with the British Government's international commitments, including under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for both disarmament and no nuclear proliferation. Under this, Britain has made 'an unequivocal undertaking' to eliminate its nuclear weapons.

6.On 4th December 2006, the Prime Minister unveiled a White Paper proposing to develop a new generation of submarines for Trident missiles. He said the UK would also join the US programme to extend the life of the Trident missiles until 2042 - and would then "work with" the US on successor missiles. See:

7.On 14th March 2007, the House of Commons voted in favour of Trident renewal, despite the biggest backbench rebellion since the beginning of the Iraq war. See:

- e-mail:
- Homepage: