Five activists walk straight into Faslane nuclear weapons base – *breaking news*

Trident Ploughshares, Monday August 17, 2009 – 16:40pm – for immediate release

This afternoon five peace activists from nonviolent direct action group Trident Ploughshares walked unchallenged straight into Faslane naval base in Scotland, the home of Britain ’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines, making a mockery of security for Britain’s “strategic nuclear deterrent.” The five are currently still inside the base.

The activists, one man and four women, released the following statement:

“We invite others to follow us through this gate to restore humanitarian law.”

Further information to follow.

Notes to editor:

Trident Ploughshares is a campaign initiated in 1998 to disarm Britain ’s Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, peaceful, safe, open and accountable manner

Website: http://www.tridentploughshares.org

Trident Ploughshares Media
tridentp.media [at] yahoo.co.uk

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Statements from the citizen inspectors; arrestee details

17.08.2009 17:25
The five Trident Ploughshares citizen inspectors, who are now in custody after the "bandit alarm" went off at Faslane for around half an hour, are as follows:

Brian Larkin 49 American , unemployed teacher living in Scotland

Sylvia Boyes 65 Peace Campaigner from Keighley

Mary Millington 61 Retired welsh language tutor - lived at Greenhan for 5 years

Angie Zelter 58 Human Being!

Penny Stone 25 Musician

They issued the following statement:

Dear Friends at Faslane,

A group of us from Trident Ploughshares have entered the base today to call for the process of disarmament of Trident nuclear weapons to begin. We are here to remind all concerned that the UK government, as signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty undertook more than 40 years ago to complete the disarmament of its nuclear weapons. The continuing deployment of Trident seriously threatens global security and peace, encouraging further proliferation. In 2009 Judge Bedjaoui, President of the International Court of Justice, gave an opinion on “the legality of a nuclear weapons system that deploys over 100 nuclear warheads with an approximate yield of 100 kilotons per warhead.” He stated: “Bearing in mind that warheads of this size constitute around eight times the explosive power of the bomb that flattened Hiroshima … and killed over 100,000 civilians, it follows that the use of even a single such warhead in any circumstance, whether a first or second use and whether intended to be targeted against civilian populations or military objectives, would inevitably violate the prohibitions on the infliction of unnecessary suffering and indiscriminate harm as well as the rule of proportionality…. In my opinion, such a system deployed and ready for action would be unlawful.”

The Scottish government formed a working group for a future of a Scotland without nuclear weapons nearly two years ago but has failed to release a report let alone take any relevant action while the people of Scotland overwhelmingly oppose the presence of nuclear weapons in these waters. As long as the governments fail to begin a process of disarmament members of Trident Ploughshares are committed to whatever nonviolent action possible to begin that process. We invite others to join us or contact us to discuss your concerns.

The process of disarmament would not have to mean the loss of jobs in the area. We urge the government to redirect the resources currently allocated to Trident to meet real human needs. The skills of people working at this base could well be employed in the area building the infrastructure for renewable energy, alleviating the threat of climate change, among other possibilities. We invite you to contact us so that we can enter into planning for the future of a Scotland and world without nuclear weapons.

Rather than continue to threaten other nations and millions of innocent civilians with nuclear weapons Scotland and the UK could lead the world by scrapping Trident.
We entered the gate fully aware that we might be charged with violation of SOCPA. That laws was established ostensibly to deter “serious organized crime.” But it is the presence of Trident submarines each carrying 48 warheads ten times more destructive than the Hiroshima bomb which constitutes a serious organized crime. We invite others to follow us through this gate and restore humanitarian law.

In peace and hope,

Sylvia Boyes Contact:
Mary Millington 07768 312675
Penny Stone
Brian Larkin
Angie Zelter

Members of Trident Ploughshares 17 August 2009

Mary Millington additionally issued the following statement:

“Having recently moved to Glasgow, I am so proud that Scotland has decided we do not want Trident or any other nuclear weapon.

"I have entered Faslane Naval Base today to express my sense of urgency for this weapon of mass destruction to be gone, for just the very possession of it, let alone its potential use, is immoral, illegal and causing proliferation and danger across the planet."

Trident Ploughshares Media
tridentp.media [at] yahoo.co.uk
http://www.tridentploughshares.org

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All five arrestees were released at around 9pm on Monday evening (17 August) and charged with criminal trespass under the Serious Organised Crime and Police (SOCraP) Act 2005 (also known as SOCPA) s.128 and under the Ministry of Defence byelaws (entry to the base without authority). A report is being sent to the Procurator Fiscal who will decide whether or not to prosecute.

The five were in Scotland to take part in the Trident Ploughshares disarmament camp at Coulport, near Faslane. The camp is a week long gathering during which peace activists share ideas, plan actions and enjoy themselves. The camp will run until the 23rd of August and everyone is invited to come and participate. Details can be found here: http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article983