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BIG BLOCKADE
1ST OCTOBER

The year of Faslane 365 blockades is almost over! With only one more month to run we can already say it has been a fantastic success at keeping the issue of dismantling nuclear weapons on the public agenda. Overall there has been a Faslane 365 presence at the gates of Faslane for one out of every three days during the year.

The variety of the 120 plus groups participating and the issues they have raised has deepened and widened the opposition to Trident in a thoughtful and stimulating manner. Joining the arguments of illegality and immorality, we have heard of the psychological impact Trident has on our crumbling cultures, the poisonous impact it has not just on our environment and on our health but also on our relationship with other peoples around the world, how it feeds into terrorism and distorts our foreign policy, links in with civil nuclear power, its corruption of our spirit........Then of course there are all the economic arguments of money being better spent on health or education or combating climate change. The website (www.faslane365.org) has been invaluable for groups to explain their thinking and reasoning and to have a voice as well as to share the wonderful vibrant images of their creative blockades.

Many thousands have made it to Faslane over the year from as far afield as Japan, USA, Australia, Spain, France, Scandinavia and many other places. British nuclear proliferation has a deeply destabilising effect on the security of many other nations, which is why they have joined us. Only a small number of the people coming to demonstrate at Faslane have felt able to actually blockade but this has led to almost 1000 arrests over the year. The vast majority of these 1000 blockaders had never been arrested before. We cannot overestimate the importance of their experience of confronting their fears to cross from the safe ‘demonstration’ space and to ‘disobey’ the police and sit in front of the gates to try and disrupt preparations for war crimes. Nor must we forget the many supporters that made it possible. It has given them all an invaluable strength in making up their own minds as to what is important and what should be done to confront injustice and wrongdoing, and the ability to act according to their own moral precepts whatever those in ‘authority’ may say. In other words they have become thoughtful and independent thinkers and actors – a resource our world sorely needs at the present time.

"British nuclear proliferation has a deeply destabilising effecton the security of many other nations Angie Zelter"

And the blockades have been truly inspirational. There have been highland games tug-o-wars across the gate, young teenagers locking through their teddy bear, a Samba Band Angel which was actually hiding a lock-on, a huge concrete CND symbol which 8 people locked onto, 4 Spaniards dancing and pouring red paint all over themselves, the Bishop of Reading blessing the peace makers, a group of people super-gluing their hands together in a tight circle, singing and poetry reading, cycles and barrels and puppets, academics debating, writers and comedians – everyone bringing their particular talents and passions – wonderful examples of nonviolent resistance.

Interestingly, only around 40 cases are being taken through the courts – mostly those who blockaded more than three times each. This is confirmation of the view that the court system would have been swamped if it had tried to deal with all 1000 cases and has enabled people a chance to gain experience and strength without too many personal consequences.

To end this amazing year we are calling upon everyone who came during the year, and all those who could not make it before, to join together for a Big Blockade on 1^st October. We want to celebrate our diversity and feel the strength of our combined numbers. We want to send a strong message to the new Scottish Executive to take strength from us and banish Trident.

Katy Clark MP speaking at Faslane

We want to invite you too! Come and celebrate creativity and hope with us. Renew your resistance and share our vision of a nuclear free world. Accommodation and training will be available in Glasgow the evening before. Coaches will be leaving Edinburgh at 4:30am and Glasgow at 5:30am on 1st October. Please book early. For more info and a briefing pack contact: info@faslane365.org 0845 45 88 365 www.faslane365.org/1oct

Angie Zelter

 
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