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Faslane Activist Acquitted

faslanebrian | 13.09.2007 21:05 | Faslane | Anti-militarism | Terror War

An activist was acquitted today on a charge of Breach of the Peace arising from blockading Faslane in opposition to the deployment of and plans to upgrade Trident. Brian argued that the Crown had a particular obligation in this case to demonstrate the facts given that 950 people have been arrested at Faslane since 1st October, with most held overnight for up to 36 hours and then released with a letter from the Procurator Fiscal stating that no charges would be brought. The Fiscal is prosecuting in only 51 cases of the 950 arrests. Brian said that the overnight detention of more than 500 people without trial constitutes a denial of their civil liberties.

Activist Acquitted of Blockading Faslane Naval Base

Brian made a No Case to Answer submission arguing that in this case the evidence of the witnesses, two constables, was conflicting and did not back up the specific charge which stated that he "did lie in the road". Photographic evidence had cast doubt on the reliability of the testimony. Brian said the court should have no doubt as to the veracity of his claim that the photo was accurate as “I am an honest person which should be obvious to the Court by the fact that I have presented myself in many cases of non-violent civil disobedience”. He admitted that he had taken part in the blockade and that he intended to obstruct the entrance to the base but said “the evidence led by the Crown simply did not back up the charge that I "did lie in the road". Justice Fraser Gillis acquitted him on an insufficiency of Crown evidence.

To date in court cases arising from the yearlong Faslane365 blockade, four others have been convicted of Breach of the Peace. A Helensburgh man plead guilty and was fined £100. A man from Coventry fined £200. A pensioner from Canby Island, Irene Willis was fined £500. Jane Tallents of Helensburgh was fined £300

Brian said “I consider the charge of Breach of the Peace to be dishonest. The charge relates to causing fear and alarm and serious disturbance to the community. It is a fiction to claim that anyone is afraid or alarmed by the peaceful protestors at Faslane. And while blockades do regrettably disturb the local community the court should be considering the very grave disturbance to the world community caused by the deployment of nuclear weapons. Blockaders are trying to get people to recognize the insecurity of a world which lives with the terror of nuclear weapons. Many countries consider the UK government’s plan to upgrade Trident to be dangerous and that the UK must fulfil its nearly 40 year old obligation under the Non Proliferation Treaty to accomplish nuclear disarmament. The UK joined with the US in launching the war on Iraq under the pretence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction while maintaining nuclear weapons capable of 1600 Hiroshimas. It is the UK and the US militaries which seriously disturb the peace of the world community. But it is as if the Emperor has no clothes on and everyone from the police to the court to the media is afraid to say so. We must recognize the fact that being prepared to use nuclear weapons which can only cause the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people is an act of international terrorism – a serious disturbance to the peace of the world community.”

There will be a Big Blockade of Faslane on 1st October at which hundreds of activists are expected to shut down the base.

For more info on the Big Blockade see the website:

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