Woman arrested at U.K. nuclear weapons base

FABB photo

On June 15, the 6th day of the Faslane Action for Bomb Ban camp in Scotland, the morning vigil took place as usual at 7 a.m. at the main gate at Coulport, the storage and loading facility for the United Kingdom’s Trident nuclear warheads. At 10 a.m. the Glasgow Catholic Workers arrived for their monthly vigil against nuclear weapons. Graphic pictures of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were displayed around the fencing in the middle of the roundabout and the service began with speakers clustered by the Nagasaki Cross. Emotional testimonies were read out from various people involved in the war crimes of that time, including a Roman Catholic priest serving in the U.S. military repenting for his involvement in the bombing.

At the end of the service, three women poured fake blood on themselves and lay in the roundabout. One woman was taken away before she could lie down and the two others lay there until told it was their last chance to get up. 
Gillean Lawrence decided to leave when warned by the police of her imminent arrest. This was because the previous day when arrested and taken to Clydebank police station, she was forced under duress to sign an “undertaking” as the police were still refusing to let her take her heart medication. After nine hours in the cells and threatened with being held until court the next day, she was frightened of a stroke. This unacceptable behaviour by the police has been reported and a formal complaint will be made.

Ros McEwan, a retired primary school teacher, said she was concerned about the future of the world and all its inhabitants. She refused to move and was arrested and taken into custody by the police. In her written statement to the police, she stated, “I am a practicing Buddhist and have to do my bit to raise awareness and take a stand against these illegal weapons of mass destruction……nuclear weapons do not stop wars – which only destroy lives and the economy but have a huge carbon footprint ….. nuclear weapons are not a deterrent, they are a provocation ….. we need to disarm and invest in environmentally sustainable industries and programmes which will enhance the wellbeing of all of the planet.”

The Faslane Action for Bomb Ban camp was set up from June 9 – 18 to publicize the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons leading up to the First Meeting of States Parties in Vienna, and to record opposition to UK threats of nuclear mass destruction. The camp was organized by Trident Ploughshares and XR Peace. They were joined by Greenham Women Are Everywhere and other groups.

FABB photo