I wrote this last December; I've no idea why I didn't post it then...
Wednesday morning, 7:30am. A dark road somewhere North of Glasgow. Scottish cold and rain beating in my face. I'm chained via a bike lock to Irene, veteran of the Faslane struggle. One arm disappears into a tube, at the other end of which is my mate Steve. There are seven of us, five women and two men, standing in a line stretched across the road.
Headlights approach through the darkness; our high-visibility minders rush forward arms waving: "Slow down, SLOW DOWN, This is a blockade don't you know!" There are flashing blue lights approaching now from further down the road; one of us makes the call "HO!" and we sink to the ground, laid flat out on the tarmac.
The next forty minutes are spent blinking beating rain out of our eyes, grimacing at police cameras and questions, being fed chocolate by our minders and eventually, sadly, being cut apart by a very efficient Scottish police force. We're taken away to a mobile processing unit for the usual rigmarole. As we're driven away we can see the traffic queues backing up in three directions; the Trident nuclear submarine base is the workplace for 7000 loyal subjects of Her Majesty.... and a fair proportion of them are now late for work.
It's the least we can do.... They'll be late for work plenty more times in the next twelve months - the Faslane 365 blockade is intent on disrupting activity at the nuclear base throughout that time and GOOD LUCK to them! The weapons that are based at Faslane are some of the most awful ever devised by humanity and if used would usher in oblivion for millions, and misery for millions more.
Our next 24 hours are spent in police lock-ups in Dumbarton and Clydebank. We are yet to hear if the "procurator fiscal" is intent on pressing charges but with 408 arrests so far and only 4 prosecutions it seems unlikely. But either way there are bigger issues at stake than the odd breach of the peace. As our political masters contemplate the renewal of Trident - against the wishes of the majority of the British people - it is incumbent upon the ordinary citizen to express our opposition in every way possible.
Apart from being grossly immoral the renewal of Trident would undermine all international attempts at nuclear non-proliferation, as well as being a financial disaster for Britain. It would signal 24 billion pounds NOT being spent on hospitals, schools, the environment, etc etc. In the face of such a prospect a few hours in a police cell seems a minor inconvenience.
The Faslane 365 website (Please, Join the blockade!):
So you think that, were Trident built, there's no chance it would ever be used? Maybe you should read some history:
My thoughts while in the cell: