As always with any of my posts, you can click on any of the photos below to enlarge.
In April 2013, I went to the Scrap Trident blockade at Faslane in a non-arrestable capacity, to help with the buses and legal support for the event. 46 people were arrested for blockading both the North and South Gates, arrestees coming from a range of countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand as well as Scotland, England and Wales. There were also significant numbers of supporters standing on the pavement around the blockaders who did not get arrested but were there in the important role of providing practical and moral support as well as legal observers for those sitting in the road. The photos below of the 2013 blockade are all from Scrap Trident:
This year, a demonstration and big blockade has been called once again to ask people to show their support for nuclear disarmament in Scotland the wider world. Last Saturday (4 April 2015) was the Bairns Not Bombs Scrap Trident demonstration in Glasgow, attracting thousands of demonstrators to march and protest in George Square. I was pleased to attend and hear speakers which included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Green MSP Patrick Harvie talk about the importance of getting rid of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system, and especially how vital it is to ensure that nuclear disarmament stays high on the national political agenda with a General Election coming up very soon on 7 May 2015.
Compared to previous pre-independence referendum anti-nuclear demonstrations I've been to in Scotland, I thought it was interesting to see not only more people there, but also a wider and more diverse range of people attending. As well as the usual peace groups, there were also significant numbers of people there representing several different political parties (even the generally pro-Trident renewal Scottish Labour got a look in with Katy Clark MP speaking to the crowd), pro-independence groups such as Women For Independence and the Radical Independence Campaign and also disability rights campaigners and trade unionists.*
It was great to be there among thousands of people and show the strength of feeling against nuclear weapons which exists in Scotland, but marching and demonstrating is not enough. We need direct action too. The Scrap Trident coalition have called for a Big Blockade on Monday 15 April 2015 at the Faslane base, and I urge you all to go. This is a truly excellent opportunity to show politicians and the world that Trident has to go, especially with less than a month to go before the General Election in May. I'll be there myself helping with first aid and legal support, and will hopefully report back on how it went next week.
*A fuller account of the Scrap Trident march and demonstration last Saturday can be found on their website.