The vulnerability of Britain's Trident nuclear submarine force was revealed on the morning of April 27, when Ulla Roder swam inside the Faslane Naval Base, right up to the side of the HMS Vanguard, docked at its high-security berth. Working from the water, she began to remove sonar-absorbing tiles from the craft. A guard heard her working and demanded she stop, whereupon the Danish native pulled spray paint from her tool kit and spraypainted the word "Useless" on the hull before the marine patrol came around to arrest her. Roder is one of the Trident Three women acquitted in Greenock Sheriff's court for a June, 1999 Trident Ploughshares action. Following this, her 16th anti-Trident arrest, Roder was cited on three counts and released.
In May, the Trident Ploughshares campaign gathered on its third anniversary for their quarterly action camp, this time at the nuclear weapons establishment at Aldermaston, west of London. Simultaneous to the Ploughshares action camp, a women's peace camp also engaged the nuclear state. More than 150 people participated in the camps, resulting in at least 67 arrests, including a large blockade on May 14 and numerous small incursions onto the site for fence-cutting and anti-war graffiti. Local police ignored liaison agreements and advice from military police and authorities in Scotland about dealing with the attendant legal protests, preferring instead a confrontational approach that drew criticism even from a senior military police official. Many legal observers and supporters were arrested under provisions of a special Public Order law merely for being in the vicinity of the blockade.
In early June, Faslane peace campers disrupted traffic into the nearby Coulport nuclear warhead loading base, resulting in five arrests. Two campers were arrested the night before, cutting into the base fence. A warhead convoy headed to Coulport on June 21 was blocked in Stirling. Eleven people were arrested, and it was noted that drivers held up in traffic were generally supportive of the need to take such action in this situation.
Scottish courts continued to hear cases backed up from February's Big Blockade at Faslane and earlier actions at Faslane and nearby Coulport. Some are dismissed, fines are typically assessed but most remain unpaid. Several persistent resisters have recently served up to seven days in jail for accumulated refusals to pay. Trident Ploughshares campaigners have spent a total of at least 1,125 days in prison since they began.
For more information, contact Trident Ploughshares, 42-46 Bethel St., Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1NR, Scotland, UK; +44 08 45 45 88 366; email: email@example.com web: www.gn.apc.org/tp2000.