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Sound of Silence in Faslane Court

Trident Ploughshares Press Release The local court closest to the British nuclear weapon base at Faslane on the Clyde was given unusual testimony i n the form of silence as a peace activist gave her evidence in her defence against a charge of malicious damage. Morag Balfour (32), from Glenrothes, co-chair of the Scottish Socialist party, appeared in Helensburgh District Court along with Jean Oliver, an administrator from Biggar and Barbara Dowling, a retired local government worker from Glasgow, charged with malicious damage. On 7th August last year they painted peace messages on the roadway, road barriers and notice boards at the north gate of the base. Morag began her evidence with a long period of silence. When Justice of the Peace Andrew Nicholson asked her to proceed she told him that the sound of silence is all that would follow a nuclear attack. She was not a criminal and in painting the road had acted lovingly to prevent nuclear terrorism. The British state was hypocritical in its denunciation of Iran\'s alleged nuclear weapon ambitions and used its own nuclear arsenal to gain selfish advantages. Summing up, Procurator Fiscal Sheila McDermid said that Morag had no defence in law. For a defence of necessity there had to be some chance of the action in question actually affecting the situation. Morag responded that as a woman with disabilities she did what she could. Taking account of her means the JP did not fine Morag but admonished her. Jean and Barbara were acquitted, the JP accepting that they had no case to answer following confusions and contradictions in the police evidence.