UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
Students from Nottingham have been involved in the Strident (Students Against Trident) blockade of the Faslane nuclear weapons base over the weekend.
On Fri 29th June, at 6:30am, 6 students from Nottingham and Bradford Universities arrived at the North entrance, superglue-ing their hands together to blockade the main entrance at shift change (Report and pics). They were all removed after around 40 minutes and arrested for Beach of the Peace. At the same time, 3 more students from Nottingham were arrested after blocking the South entrance using a concrete blockade. On Sat 30th, six Nottingham students were arrested following blockades at the North and South entrances of the base (Report).
Previous local involvement in anti-Trident actions: Nottingham folk successfully blockade nuclear submarine base in Scotland | Protestors take action at Derby nuclear plant
During the bombing of Lebanon last Summer the two campaigners had entered the property of EDO MBM in Brighton, a supplier of weaponry to the Israeli military, scaled the walls and hung a banner from the roof reading '16 CHILDREN DEAD IN QANA LEBANON, EDO PROFITS FROM MURDER'
The Protest came was in response to Israel's bombing of Lebanon, which claimed over 1000 lives last Summer and devastated an entire country.
In Brighton the Smash EDO campaign held a series of protests against the invasion including a blockade of the factory, a day of rage, an art installation and a demonstration in Brighton. Activist in Brighton also held a picket of the Israeli Tennis team's match in Eastbourne.
Gordon Brown is facing an anti-war welcome during his first week in power, with little sign that he will break with Blair's disastrous foreign policy. A War Is Still the Issue camp was set up in Parliament Square from Saturday 23rd [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Video ] (the fact that it was allowed may be a sign that SOCPA will be repealed? ... well, in fact probably not!). There was a demonstration outside Brown's Labour leadership coronation in Manchester on Saturday [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] and a Military Families Against War demonstration took place on his first day as Prime Minister on Wednesday [ Pics ] Later in the evening, a small group of activists braved the rain outside Blair's new Connaught Square home and made neighbours aware of their new resident [ Pics ].
This years Peace in the Park festival was a great success with a large turnout, on a nice warm day, there were lots of bands and political stalls. Money was raised for Sheffield Assist and Stepping Stones Nigeria.
At least 12 activists have now been charged under SOCPA in connection with the No More Fallujahs Peace Camp and Naming the Dead actions in Parliament Square and Whitehall on 29-30 October 2006. Reports from the actions here.
In a planned act of civil disobedience against the occupation of Iraq, campaigners set up an unauthorised camp in Parliament Square for 24 hours last October. In all, over 100 people took part in workshops and discussions and held 'Naming the Dead' remembrance ceremonies in Parliament Square and Whitehall during the action.
Most of the defendants have been in court over the past two weeks, with the judgements to date illustrating the arbitrary nature of British "justice".
On 22th May 2007, the trial of two Oxford peace activists Philip Pritchard and Toby Olditch (known as the 'B52 Two') concluded with the jury returning a unanimous verdict of not-guilty in less than three hours  | . The two were charged with 'conspiring to cause criminal damage' at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 18 March 2003 when they tried to safely disable US B52 bombers to prevent them from bombing Iraq. The court heard the two men acted to prevent damage to life and property in Iraq, and war crimes by the aggressors. During the trial the prosecution accepted that even delaying the bombers would have prevented civilian casualties, as it would have allowed those fleeing cities more time to escape.
On the newswire: the B52 TWO - Bristol Crown Court | B52 two in Bristol Crown Court | US War Crimes in Iraq on Trial in Bristol Crown Court | B52 two face retrial after jury fails to reach verdict | B52 disarmers on trial this week | Now It's The Turn Of The 'B52 Two' To Face Trial | Trial of the 'B52 Two' Peace Activists begins in Bristol Crown Court, 2 October | Video - B52 Two Vigil at Gloucester Prison
The Shepard Group annual conference on Electronic Warfare was successfully disrupted by activists on Tuesday 15th by a surprise action. The Olympia Conference Centre in central London hosted the event that, under the title of "First in Defence - First to Counter", arms dealers converged to sell 'high tech' weaponry and assorted murder equipment to each other. People who are involved in campaigning against the arms trade were not going to let it go unnoticed.
Protesters managed to get onto the roof and drop a banner that said "Smart Bombs- Stupid Wars" whilst other demonstrators in suits managed to infiltrate the conference. After a tour of the place they were able to disrupt events with shouts of "Murderers! War Criminals!" before being thrown out by large men in ill-fitting suits.
Meanwhile as this was happening a Samba band turned up as protesters with megaphones and flyers told passers by and staff at the Olympia Conference Centre about the war crimes committed by the delegates present at the conference. A US officer was spotted walking away from the conference and was hounded by demonstrators. The action lasted over two hours, and there were no arrests. [Read full article and Photos]
The northern branches of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a series of events in Sheffield on 12 May, 2007, in what was described as the biggest Palestinian solidarity event outside London for many years, calling for an end to 40 years of Israeli occupation and for justice in Palestine. The day's events included a march and rally, a mock-up of a checkpoint, food, dancing and a photo exhibition. Sheffield Live! have a report on their site and a audio compilation (MP3 | 36 MB | 41:57 min) from the day.
It has come to light that in the early hours of Thursday 10th May a convoy carrying nuclear warheads secretly passed through the Stapleford and Chilwell area of Nottingham. The vehicles were spotted driving into the Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell at 6.30am for a rest stop. Heading for the Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) in Coulport, Scotland, the convoy was spotted along the M1 and also the next day as it continued its route along the east coast and along the Edinburgh Bypass. According to a spokesperson for Nukewatch UK, who keep an eye on nuclear convoys around the UK, the route hasn't been used since the early 90's. She also mentioned that no convoys have been spotted entering the Chetwynd Barracks and it might be an indication of the convoys starting to use the Chetwynd Barracks for rest stops.
The convoy passed through dense populated areas in Stapleford and Chilwell before and after its rest stop at the army base on Chetwynd Road, Chilwell. According to campaigners each lorry weighs approx 44 tonnes and can carry up to 2 ready assembled nuclear warheads, which can contain up to 8 kg of plutonium and uranium each. Each of the modern warheads has the capacity of creating 8 times the impact of that of the bombs used in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by America in 1945. The convoy was spotted leaving Burfield Atomic Weapons Establishment, 50 miles North of London around 12.30am on Thursday morning. At Burfield AWE the warheads and explosives get assembled into working nuclear weapons. There were people stationed along the route from Stirling to Coulport attempting to resist the convoy. Read report.
Links: Map of location Chetwynd Barracks | Nukewatch UK | Nottingham CND |Nuclear Warhead Convoy Routes | Video: UK nuclear warhead's on the move, November 2006 | Nuclear Warhead Convoy on the road today (report from Edinburgh)
Protesters take action at Derby nuclear plant on the 21st anniversary of Chernobyl, in solidarity with Faslane365 Environmentalist blockade. Twenty-one years ago today, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster caused large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia to be badly contaminated with radioactive material, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. To mark the anniversary of this environmental and a humanitarian catastrophe, protesters today disrupted work at Rolls Royce Raynesway near Derby, which makes and tests the enriched uranium fuel rods that power Britain's Trident nuclear submarines.
The protest was timed to coincide with a blockade being carried out by a group of environmentalists at Faslane in Scotland, where the Trident submarines are based. One of the protesters, James Evans aged 24, said: "With the government intending to replace it's illegal Trident system, and to build more nuclear power stations in the UK, it's vital that ordinary people take a stand to prevent future nuclear disasters."
Over 50 people from Nottingham and Derby successfully blockaded the Faslane Nuclear Naval Base In Scotland today. Various blockade groups in intriguing lock-on devices and some plastered together blocked the main entrance to the site. Police started removing people from 8.30 onwards but had problems with removing people from a 6 way lock-on device, which held strong for another 2 hours. The police had to draft in specialist equipment from other forces to deal with the device. 18 people were arrested and have been moved to Paisley. The blockade lasted for over 4 hours. Whilst on the phone to someone at the scene, one could hear a lot of chanting and cheering as one protester managed to shout 'no to nuclear weapons' just before being put in a police van.
The action is part of an international campaign to blockade the naval base throughout the year in a bid to stop the replacement of the controversial Trident Missile System. Blockades have been taking place for the last few months by groups from around the country. See UK Indymedia Faslane Page for more reports.
Timeline: see full article.
Previous articles: Stop Robbin’ the Poor - Notts says NO to Trident!! | Nottingham residents mobilise against Trident replacement | Fundraiser for Notts Faslane 365 this Sunday | Nottingham Faslane 365 sign-up stall | What will you be doing? | Nottingham Faslane 365 News : 6th Feb 07 | Nottingham Blockade of Faslane Trident Base
On Saturday, 24th March, England played Israel in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. A group of activists picketed the Football Association in Soho Square calling for a Sporting boycott of Apartheid Israel [Newswire Report].
Prevous boycott actions and campaigns include:
Agrexco: 1 | 2 | video | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Text of Letter to Carmel Agrexco | Apartheid and Agrexco in the Jordan Valley | War on Want's Report - Profiting from the Occupation
Caterpillar: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Caterkiller Shutdown | Jewish Voice for Peace - Rachel Corrie (1978-2003) | Caterkiller
Supermarket protests: Marks and Spencers Stencilled | Repression of M&S Protesters
Academic boycott: AUT Boycott | NAFTHE Boycott | CUPE Ontario | COSATU (South Africa).
Amidst the daily violence suffered by Iraqis, oil companies and the US and UK governments are planning to secure long-term control over Iraqi oil. Accounting for 10% of the world total and 95% of government revenue, the stakes for oil companies and the Iraqi people are incredibly high.
A Hydrocarbon Law which advocates a radical restructuring of Iraq's oil industry was approved by the Iraqi cabinet this February. It was crafted in secret over an 8 month period from July 2006, in consultation with 9 foreign oil companies, the US and UK governments and the IMF. Iraqi Parliamentarians saw it for the first time this February. Iraqi civil society has had no involvement in the process, despite lobbying for inclusion. For the past four years, contractual mechanisms such as Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) and Exploration Risk Contracts have been promoted by oil companies and occupation-installed oil ministers and advisers. Once signed, they are virtually unchangeable and will control development of Iraq's oil for decades. They will cost the Iraqi state billions in lost revenue.
This law surrenders Iraq's sovereignty and economic future to foreign interests. It has been crafted in secret, and pushed forward through war and occupation. No law should be passed, let alone contracts signed, while Iraq is subjected to a military occupation and foreign interference.
A twelve strong group from York, dressed as Vikings, have successfully blockaded both entrances to the Faslane nuclear submarine base. The coordinated action completely closed the base for half an hour this morning. Four men and eight women were arrested in the peaceful protest.
One of the protesters, Richard Lane, said "The Vikings slaughtered tens of thousands of people but they did so over half a millennium. Trident could do the same in a minute." Dave Taylor of York Green Party said "Whatever happened to the ethical foreign policy that New Labour once promised?" "There is nothing ethical about spending billions of pounds on weapons that the human race cannot afford to use," he added.
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.
Called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in conjunction with Stop the War Coalition and the British Muslim Initiative, tens of thousands marched in London on 24 February, 2007, to protest against the Trident and against the imperial wars in the Middle East, including Iraq and the looming one on Iran. People were there to express their opposition to militarism, the 'war on terror' and demand justice for Palestine. Scotland for Peace's "Bin the Bomb Roadshow" also ran between 16 and 24 February, culminating in a march and rally on 24 February in Glasgow.
On Thursday 22nd February the EDO Corporation released their report on the fourth quarter of 2006. The Corporation, of which the embattled Brighton based arms dealers EDO MBM are a wholly owned trading unit, has announced that it is operating below targets, (See EDO's Fourth Quarter Report)
Below is an 'Alternative Report' from the Smash EDO campaign. Brighton based EDO MBM has been the target of sustained protest and direct action since 2003. On Friday 16th Feb a group of protesters occupied EDO's car park and foyer blowing claxon horns and scattering photos of the carnage in Iraq. This was the second such action in the last month ( reports: (1) | (2) ). On Monday 19th Feb 8 students from Sussex University locked themselves to EDO's fence and gates delaying the opening of the factory and preventing deliveries ( see: Press Release | Photo Report ). On Wednesday 21st Feb protesters held a funeral procession and vigil for the victims of the US bombing of Somalia at the factory ( see: Press Release | Report ).
The weekend of 10-11 February, 2007, saw two actions against Carmel-Agrexco, the largest exporter of flowers from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The lead up to Valentine's Day is one of their busiest times as their Middlesex depot delivers a large amount of Israeli flowers to UK supermarkets.
On Saturday, 120 Activists from the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign blocked the gates of the depot for most of the afternoon. Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning, 13 activists shut the depot down again for several hours by locking themselves to the factory gates.Text of Letter to Carmel Agrexco | Apartheid and Agrexco in the Jordan Valley | War on Want's Report - Profiting from the Occupation
Links: Boycott Israeli Goods | ISM Palestine | Palestine Solidarity Campaign | Stop the Wall in Palestine | Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group
There have been many warnings [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] about the possible use of US or Israeli nuclear weapons against Iran. Furthermore, Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research has warned that this is just one part of the US "military roadmap" for the Middle East [ text | video | audio ], while Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed wrote last summer that the war had already started.
Needless to say, a war on Iran would be illegal, and would only add to the long list of war crimes that Bush, Blair and their conspirators are guilty of. But then, what would legality matter if we became a planet of the nuclear dead?
On 9th Feburary 2007 Iranian refugees dropped a banner in Birmingham with the slogan "Support movement for democracy in Iran, No to criminal regime in Iran, No to imperialist war on Iran".
Read: Selected Articles on the Proposed US-Israeli Nuclear War on Iran | Articles on the looming war with Iran | Middle East: Cradle or Graveyard of Empire? | Indybay feature: The US gears up for war with Iran | Iran: A Chronology of Disinformation
On Tuesday 15 masked activists entered the car park and loading bay of EDO MBM, Brighton warmongers manufacturing arms for the UK, US and Israel blowing claxon horns and sounding sirens to signify that the Smash EDO campaign is not going away until EDO closes down 1 | .
View the video of the anonymous demo here .
Smash EDO plan to step up their campaign this year with weekly noise demonstrations at the factory, phone blockades, direct action and a week long protest camp this August. 2007 is the year to close EDO down.