With the Quakers to Faslane
80 turned up to
the meeting in
We were given single cells. The accommodation was sparse, rather claustrophobic for a new boy, supper and breakfast were just edible . . . but there is no point in elaborating on conditions that were expected to last only 24 hours. The police handling of the Faslane protestors had been ‘fluffy’; those arrested on the simple charge of breach of the peace had been usually held for only 20 hours and then released without charge. We were in fact not officially told of our release time until late evening.
The Quakers were marvellous, friendly, and immensely strong. They welcomed me into their group and made the whole experience of action and arrest easy and enjoyable, even for one as timid as myself.
If the police
in a country may be regarded as an indicator of the degree of its civilisation
(and it is a guide that has been recommended as reliable), then the Scots must
be near the top of the world league. All
the police we met (and we met many, at the base, during the transporting of us,
and at the station) were friendly, easily provoked to conversation, and
unthreatening. (One said that they were not a police force, but a police
service. Even so, they looked tough
enough to deal with hardened criminals.)
Some intimated they would not be sorry to see Trident based outside
Any action needs
a lot of careful planning. Ideally, the
organisers would like the group to be large, able to take responsibility for
blockading the base for two days. But with the ongoing blockade, small groups
could turn up to encourage the blockers, and be arrested themselves if they so
desire. Check out the website, quoted
above, or CND. We stayed at a youth
Dancing in the rain blockading the South gate.
A group of hardened breachers of the peace waiting to be processed at the station.