Monks arrested in anti-nuclear protest at Faslane

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The Independent Online

Seventy-six people including a group of Buddhist monks were arrested after they tried to blockade a Scottish Trident submarine base yesterday.

Seventy-six people including a group of Buddhist monks were arrested after they tried to blockade a Scottish Trident submarine base yesterday.

The anti-nuclear campaigners used scaffolding poles in an attempt to block all routes into the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde river. Many had travelled from different parts of the country and had camped overnight. The group included the Scottish author A L Kennedy and the Labour MP for Leeds North West Harold Best, as well as a group of monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order from Milton Keynes who had walked to the site.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: "Among the people who have been arrested are some Buddhist monks who have walked here from Aldermaston, they were holding a ceremony here to symbolise the end of their walk."

Strathclyde police arrived at the Royal Navy base and arrested the 76 protesters out of a group of more than 130 for alleged breaches of the peace.

Two of the campaigners named Teapot and Hoosie had erected scaffolding shaped into a 25-feet-high tripod across the road leading to the base. The two men sat at the top of the tripod tied with ropes and harnesses to try and prevent workers getting into the base which is home to four Royal Navy Trident submarines.

The protest organiser, David McKenzie of Trident Ploughshares anti-nuclear group, was at the base at 6.30am. He said: "Our basic aim was to confront in any way we can as responsible citizens the actual horror of Trident.

"We as citizens have to take responsibility and do what little we can to confront it. We are filled with renewed confidence because there is a sense of unease about Trident now, the atmosphere has changed, for example people in Helensburgh now talk about when Trident goes not if Trident goes."

Mr McKenzie said yesterday's action was the start of a two-week campaign against Trident which would include blockades and intrusions.Police would not give details of the charges, but said the activists would appear in court on Wednesday.

In February 179 were arrested at Faslane in a "make love, not bombs" Valentine's Day protest organised by Trident Ploughshares.

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