Activists Block Nuke Dockyard Gate For Three Hours, Plymouth

Devonport Camp 2005
On Friday 20 May, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners successfully blockaded Albert Gate leading in to Devonport Dockyard. The blockade, organised by the Plymouth-based Trident Ploughshares, lasted for three hours. The action follows a week of high-visibility peace protest presence on Drake’s Island which concluded with a move to Devil’s Point on the Plymouth mainland, where a larger camp was established earlier in the week.

At 6.40 in the morning, Trident Ploughshares protestors, in carnival attire, wove their way down towards the Camel’s Head Gate. This procession was augmented by the vibrant antics of the Totnes regiment of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. Because police prevented the free movement towards the gate, Irene Willis, a member of Trident Ploughshares, immediately got onto the road and refused to move. She was arrested, but released without charge seven hours later. Subsequent attempts to blockade the gates of the dockyard at Camel’s Head were thwarted by the massed police.

Shortly after 8.30 AM several of the peace activist sat down at Albert Gate and established a presence which blockaded the gate for over 3 hours.

Protestors requested to speak with the commander of the base about the presence of nuclear submarine refitting and refuelling at the dockyard, but this request was refused. �We just want to ask some questions about the nuclear submarines, and how this can possibly comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the UK has signed.� said one of the protestors.

Kate Hudson, chair of CND joined the protest during the afternoon. The day finished on a positive note with 12 people doing a ritual to banish the negative effects of nuclear weapons, and invite in a new time when peace is possible.

The weekend will continue with leafletting in the centre of Plymouth and a multi-faith ceremony at Drake’s Gate on Sunday morning.