Thursday, 18 January 2007

Dominic from Oxford Student Respect reports on the ongoing blockade at Faslane nuclear submarine base...

The weekend before last I went to Scotland to blockade faslane nuclear base with a group of students as part of the 365 day blockade campaign.

We were mainly from Oxford but there were others from Sussex, Cambridge and Edinburgh. We stayed a night in Glasgow in a church hall making final plans before heading to the base. On the Saturday we set up camp pitching tents on the side of the road near the base. In the afternoon we drove around the loch to get a good view of the base. It is actually massive, several miles long with massive office blocks and warehouses. We also saw the submarines which looked so innocent but in fact would be able to destroy 16 cities each. Then we headed back to the base and played a bit of samba at the gates along with chanting “illegal expensive and inhumane”.

On the Sunday we were joined by academics from across the world. They had a seminar launching papers on why trident was wrong and related matters. Each in there own field of speciality. In the afternoon after the arranged signal to “have some tea” we calmly filed into the road and sat down. The police had no choice but to let the seminar continue on the road as they only had twelve officers on the scene and there were probably around 60 of us. Soon an announcement in the base “the north gate is temporarily closed” could be heard and was greeted by cheers. After the seminar had finished we started to sing songs to keep our spirits up. The police were obviously hoping that the rain would make us give up but after 6 hours when it was clear we were going nowhere they decided to move in. We managed to reach a falsane365 record of blockade the base just over 365 minutes.

The police were very friendly even as they carried us off the road one remarking “they shouldn’t be spending £76 billion on trident when they cat get us a decent van” after having difficulty closing the door. There were 34 arrests that evening but everyone was let off in the morning and I still have not heard anymore from the police.

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