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     Scottish CND     magazine

protest

Trident Convoy stopped on site of Hadrians Wall

On a cold damp Wednesday morning in February the Trident convoy began to leave from its overnight stop at Albemarle barracks near Newcastle, bound for Scotland. Jimmy and his Reliant Robin were round at the back in the usual place accompanied by base security, otherwise all seemed quiet.

Just as the convoy was leaving the gates a few protesters appeared at the junction with the main road road so there was a brief hold up whilst a handful of extra MoD police were sent to join them. The convoy began to slowly rumble onto the road past the waiting queue of traffic and from behind a van appeared more protesters... and more.... and more.

Others came from the opposite direction, drums were beating, Saltires were flying in the wind, there were whoops and shouts as people climbed on, under and into the convoy. The few MoD plods around panicked a bit, arrested a few people and then walked around with them, not daring to let them go and now not able to anything about the rest of the hordes having climbing practice on the warhead carriers. More MoD plods arrived from the base but as soon as they removed someone from the top of the vehicles, another agile soul took their place.

The police were quite fast in removing the quick drying cement from the windscreen of the front vehicle, only to discover that the Faslane Peace Camper on top was attached by the neck with a D-lock. After trying to haul another Faslanee out from under the cab they realised his neck was also D-locked to some convenient bit of solid military metal!

Other Nukewatchers were wedged into various nooks and crannies on the rest of the vehicles. It became clear that the convoy was going nowhere until they had got the hydraulic cutting gear from somewhere and large numbers of reinforcements.

The media including two TV crews arrived just as we were announcing the breaking of our previous record of one hours hold up. In fact it was a full two hours before the vehicles were all cleared and checked over and started to move again by which time interviews were given, films and video footage exchanged.

The publicity was better than we hoped for: the painted faces, the tartan, the drums and the saltires got over our message that Scotland does NOT want Trident. The comparisons with Braveheart were not welcomed by some, but it certainly did get the convoy into the news.

Jane Tallents Scottish CND      magazine