Daughters of Rebecca at Faslane
Approximately 100 people from across Wales took part in the rolling 1-year Faslane 365 campaign over three days this week (Mon 13th - Wed 15th November). 19 protesters including eight teenagers, some of whom were as young as 14, were arrested for blockading the nuclear base. Those under 16 were almost immediately de-arrested by the police, but those aged 16 and over are treated as adults in Scottish law and were detained overnight in police cells along with everyone else. Warning letters from the procurator fiscal were issued to arrestees on their release. Since the campaign began on October 1st, only one Faslane 365 case has been referred to court.
The South Wales group brought with them a contingent of the Rebel Clown Army, a giant red dragon and assorted politicians, while the North Wales group included a sizeable group of "Merched Beca" (Daughters of Rebecca) with voluminous skirts, bonnets and blackened faces. The actions of Merched Beca in 1839-44, where protesters dressed up in womenâ€™s clothes and destroyed much-hated toll gates in Wales, led directly to a Royal Commission to examine the issue, and by 1844 most of the remaining toll gates had been legally removed, allowing ordinary people to move freely along the roads. The 21st Century Daughters of Rebecca hope that their nonviolent direct action as part of Faslane 365 will bring about the decommissioning and dismantling of Britainâ€™s nuclear weapons, allowing taxes to be diverted to more useful purposes.