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Faslane Peace Camp

 

the campaign goes on

Wolfhard Konowski came to join Faslane365 in October 06 with the Quakers. He has been committed to that campaign and has stayed at the peace camp since March 07. He writes about what he has experienced there recently.

Faslane365 has put the Faslane Peace Camp (FPC) back on the map, and without any doubt many Peace Campers with their support and direct action have helped to make the Faslane365 campaign so successful. Many lock-ons were constructed by the peace camp and used by people who came up to do F365 blockades and the camp provided accommodation, cups of tea, and meals to many 365 participants as well as being home to several of the Faslane365 organisers. The Peace Camp also operated as a venue from which many of the 365 groups did their media work. Peace Camp residents frequently provided the logistical and technical support which made this operation possible by maintaining the generator and assisting activists with uploading photos to the website and other support. Since the first of October, actions and demonstrations have been balanced with building work and improvements to the camp.

One of the first actions which was not part of Faslane365 but during that period was a blockade at Malcolm Construction in Glasgow, one of the biggest contractors at Faslane Naval Base. In the early hours when a large number of lorries were expected to leave, we blocked the main gate for about 30 minutes, put up banners and handed out leaflets. Probably thanks to our legal support team who stopped an attempted assault, we walked away free and heard the occasional sound of support when a lorry was passing by.

Just two days after the Big Blockade, FPC did an action at the South Gate together with a group from Finland in which we closed the road early, keeping it closed until the time at which it would be closed anyway. We earned a lot of respect from police for not pushing a big van into the road as expected, but going the extra mile and closing the South Gate right behind the police van. Again, trying to avoid any unnecessary impact on the local community, FPC chose a day when kids were off school to blockade the Marbill Coach Company in Beith for several hours. Marbill have a contract to bring workers into the base and then take the local kids to school.

Peace campers visited Edinburgh when NATO delegates tried to have a “secret” meeting about the future of Afghanistan, and joined Edinburgh folks in making sure the delegates were aware of us both in their hotel and at the meeting at Craigiehall. With help from people from Talamh and Bilston, we have twice stopped nuclear convoys on their way to England. We have a presence at Raytheon -see http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=138 - in Glenrothes for the last 4 Mondays before Christmas. Hopefully we can manage to get more local people involved in January 2008 to stop Raytheon making a killing (We hope SCND members will join us every Monday from 4-6 pm).

A lot of work has been done to improve the camp as well. A new fence around the entire peace camp is nearly finished. The new path is now accessible and the new bath house is close to being fully accessible to wheelchair users as well.

We still have lots of plans such as having a contact person from FPC to help every Friday at the Peace & Justice centre in Edinburgh and last but not least getting a new and accessible website up and running.

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