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     Scottish CND     magazine

HELL COMES TO HAMILTON

Sinister figures in protective suits and visors, flashing lights, flames flickering through clouds of steam, and - a few yards away - 10 hydrogen bombs in lorries locked in a traffic jam. With your's truly stuck behind in a red Micra, noticing that my lips have for some reason gone dry, and all of a sudden chasing nuclear convoys doesn't seem such a fun idea.

This wasn't an episode from the X files; it was the nightmarish scene at 12.30 on Tuesday 26th November on the M77, near the service station at Hamilton. There had been a collision involving lorries carrying chemicals but, like the Pony Express, the convoy had to get through. It did eventually get past the accident, but Tailend Charlie - that's John Ainslie and me - got held up. So I had to prove that I can with a Nissan, and go like the proverbial bat out of Hell (an appropriate simile under the circumstances) to catch up and pass the convoy before we reached Stirling. Your Scottish CND highly trained SWAT team duly sprang into action, and we managed with just seconds to spare.

There were about 50 demonstrators waiting there when the convoy came into Raploch Road, cutting the corner at some speed. It was held up briefly, and there were three arrests.

Two things were noticeable about this particular convoy. First, the style of driving and the attitude towards protesters was much "harder" than previously. Clearly, the drivers were not going to stop, no matter what we did. This can only be because of a different approach by the convoy commander. Which gives cause for concern for future actions.

The second is that the attitude of some of the police was disgraceful. There was no need to use foul language and twist the arm of a peaceful protester, or to stave Janet Cameron's thumb - a criminal assault by any account. Nor did they have the right to threaten to confiscate John Ainslie's video camera.

Central Police would be advised to change their attitude towards peace protesters. Perhaps they should take some lessons from their colleagues in Dumbarton.

Meanwhile, support for future convoy actions would be very welcome indeed. So come along and join the Scottish Resistance. Phone Jane on 01436 679194 for details. (Brian Quail)

Scottish CND      magazine