Four MSPs arrested after protest at Clyde nuclear base

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Indy Politics

Four members of the Scottish Parliament were among dozens of protesters arrested yesterday during an anti-nuclear demonstration at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, home to the Trident nuclear submarines.

Four members of the Scottish Parliament were among dozens of protesters arrested yesterday during an anti-nuclear demonstration at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, home to the Trident nuclear submarines.

More than 40 people were detained after 350 people tried to block the three entrances. Those arrested included the two Green Party MSPs, Mark Ballard and Patrick Harvie, and the Scottish Socialist Party MSPs Rosie Kane and Frances Curran.

Mr Ballard, MSP for Lothians, had attached himself to a gate by a bicycle lock around his neck and police used hydraulic bolt cutters to cut him free. Mr Harvie was detained with his mother, Rose, who was also demonstrating, a party spokes-man said.

As he was led away, Mr Ballard said: "It is shameful that British illegal weapons are still trained on targets around the world. The hypocrisy is breathtaking."

Mr Harvie, MSP for Glasgow, added from the back of a police van: "I'm proud to do anything to resist weapons of mass destruction. If Blair wants to rid the world of WMD he need only travel to the Clyde." The day of protest, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, attracted protesters from Australia, America, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Ireland.

It began with the arrest of three protesters swimming near a floating security boom in the water at the base shortly after midnight. A further six people were arrested at 6am after they had cut through the chain-link fence.

The peaceful protest started at the gates from 7am. Sitting at the three entrances, they waved banners, read poetry and chanted anti-war slogans.

Several activists were arrested after linking themselves together with pipes and chains or attaching themselves to the gates. Strathclyde Police held more than 30 people outside the base and Ministry of Defence Police found nine activists inside.

Police said that those arrested outside the gate were being charged with public order offences, chiefly for breach of the peace, by stopping workers from driving into the base.

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