Five activists walk straight into Faslane nuclear weapons base

18.08.2009 - Faslane - Sabine Mendes

This Monday, August 17th, five activists from the group Trident Ploughshares entered unchallenged into Faslane naval base in Scotland making a mockery of security for what has been called “strategic nuclear deterrent”. The group is composed by citizen weapon inspectors who initiate a campaign in 1998 to disarm Britain´s nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, safe and accountable way.

The activists have been arrested and kept inside the base, being release at around 9 pm Monday evening and charged with criminal trespass under the Serious Organized Crime and Police (SOCPA) Act. 2005 s.128 and under the Ministry of Defense byelaws (entry to the base without authority). A report is being sent to the Procurator Fiscal who will decide whether or not to prosecute.

The group of activists was formed by Brian Larkin, 49, Sylvia Boyes, 65, Mary Millington, 61, Penny Stone, 25, and Angie Zelter, 58. They have released the following statement:

Dear Friends at Faslane,

A group of us from Trident Ploughshares have entered the base today to call for the process of disarmament of Trident nuclear weapons to begin. We are here to remind all concerned that the UK government, as signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty undertook more than 40 years ago to complete the disarmament of its nuclear weapons. The continuing deployment of Trident seriously threatens global security and peace, encouraging further proliferation. In 2009 Judge Bedjaoui, President of the International Court of Justice, gave an opinion on “the legality of a nuclear weapons system that deploys over 100 nuclear warheads with an approximate yield of 100 kilotons per warhead.” He stated: “Bearing in mind that warheads of this size constitute around eight times the explosive power of the bomb that flattened Hiroshima … and killed over 100,000 civilians, it follows that the use of even a single such warhead in any circumstance, whether a first or second use and whether intended to be targeted against civilian populations or military objectives, would inevitably violate the prohibitions on the infliction of unnecessary suffering and indiscriminate harm as well as the rule of proportionality…. In my opinion, such a system deployed and ready for action would be unlawful.”

The five were in Scotland to take part in the Trident ploughshares disarmament camp at Coulport. The camp is a week long gathering during which peace activists share ideas, plan actions and enjoy themselves. The camp will run until the 23rd of August and open to any person interested.

Categories: Europe, International issues

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