Activists arrested blockading Trident Nuclear Weapons Depot in Scotland

Trident Ploughshares photo

from Trident Ploughshares

[scroll down for update: Angie and Brian in jail until trial August 3]

Five people from the Trident Ploughshares international nuclear disarmament camp were arrested on the morning of July 11 after they blocked the road leading to the Coulport nuclear weapons depot starting at 7 a.m.

The group of campaigners included two Spaniards and three UK citizens. By 9:30 a.m., MOD police had cut the protesters out of the heavy concrete and metal tubes with which they had locked themselves together.

The group included veteran disarmament campaigners Brian Quail, 79, a retired Latin teacher and a member of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Angie Zelter, 66, a peace and environment campaigner from Knighton in Wales; Sam Donaldson, 29, a community worker from Hull; Almudena Izquierdo Olmo, 60, from Madrid,  a worker at the Politecnical University and activist from the group Women in Black; and Juan Carlos Navarro Diaz, 46, a university librarian from the Canary Islands and activist from Alternativa Antimilitarista – MOC.

Angie Zelter said, “British nuclear weapons are illegal and now there is a United Nations Ban Treaty. It is imperative that all of us get involved in nonviolent nuclear disarmament as our government is engaged in state terrorism.” [1]

With this action, on behalf of the eleven Spanish activists taking part in the camp, Almudena Izquierdo, from the state of Spain said, “We demand our government, as part of NATO, sign and ratify the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty in order to prohibit nuclear weapons from entering foreign military bases and ports in Spain.”

Trident Ploughshares photo

The road remained blocked for a full two and a half hours. Traffic was diverted so that no local people were prevented from travel on public roads.

The action was part of the Trident Ploughshares nuclear disarmament international camp taking place this week near Coulport. Other nonviolent direct actions are expected to follow.  [2][3]

1.       A United Nations conference of 130 countries passed a Treaty
to ban nuclear weapons on Friday 7 July 2017 in New York. The Ban
Treaty will be open for signatory on 20 September and will come into
force 90 days after being signed by fifty countries. It has the
support of the majority of countries. The ban will prohibit
possession, use, threat of use and assistance in the deployment or
production of nuclear weapons. More details on the Ban Treaty are
available from: reachingcriticalwill.org  or icanw.org

2.       Trident Ploughshares is the campaign to disarm the UK nuclear
weapons system through nonviolent direction. More information is
available at: tridentploughshares.org

3.       Coulport Disarmament camp is taking place from 8 -­ 18 July.
Protesters have travelled from across the UK and from as far away as
Finaland to take part in the  camp.

Spanish Translation available at tridentploughshares.org

Photos available from tridentploughshares.org

UPDATE

Press Release: 12th July 2007

For immediate release

COULPORT BLOCKADERS JAILED

Two Trident Ploughshares campaigners who yesterday took part in a blockade of the nuclear warhead store at Coulport on Loch Long have been remanded in custody after refusing to accept special bail conditions imposed by a Justice of the Peace at a hearing today in Dumbarton Sheriff Court. (Jail addresses found here)

Brian Quail (79) a retired teacher from Glasgow, and Angie Zelter (66), a peace and environmental campaigner from Knighton in Wales, were appearing in court with three other protesters after being held in police cells overnight.

The Procurator Fiscal asked the JP to adhere to the special bail condition which barred all five accused from going any nearer to the nuclear weapon bases at Coulport and Faslane than 100 metres , citing the potential impact on the public. Angie argued that she had no intention of lying in the roadway again but had every right to protest at the bases. She told the court that she had had no conviction in the last ten years and that she had reported the UK government to the police for the crime of deploying a weapon of mass destruction, as well as the Prime Minister for her Commons admission that she would give the order the fire a weapon of mass murder. Trident was a breach of international law and the adoption of the UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty1 just five days ago had further confirmed its illegal status.

Brian told the JP that at that very moment some young man on a UK nuclear weapon submarine was poised to unleash destruction. He could not understand why the crime of threatening to kill was not clearly outlawed by Scottish common law.

The JP accepted the Crown’s argument about impact on the public and remanded both in custody until their trial on 3rd August on a charge of breach of the peace. At that trial they will be joined by Sam Donaldson (29), a community worker from Hull, Almudena Izquierdo Olmo from Madrid and Juan Carlos Navarro Diaz (76), a librarian from the Canary Islands. All three were released from custody after accepting the bail conditions.

A Trident Ploughshares spokesperson said:

Scottish courts should not be jailing people for protesting peaceful against the active deployment of a hideous weapon system that clearly breaches the Geneva Convention, which no less than 122 countries worldwide want to prohibit and eliminate, and which is rejected by the overwhelming majority of Scottish parliamentarians both at Holyrood and Westminster. It just does not make any sense. The principled stand of Angie and Brian is a wake-up call to us all to join the majority world.”

The week of Trident Ploughshares disruptive action against the nuclear weapon bases continues until Sunday.2