Statements by MSPs and MEPs who will be coming to Faslane for the Big Blockade
- Marlyn Glen MSP (Labour), Convener of the Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament in the Scottish Parliament
- Sandra White MSP (SNP)
- Jill Evans ASE / MEP (Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales in the European Parliament)
- Robin Harper MSP (Green)
- Patrick Harvie MSP (Green)
- Stephen Cottrell, Anglican Bishop of Reading
Statement from Marlyn Glen MSP (Labour), Convener of the Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament in the Scottish Parliament
"I have always opposed nuclear weapons. Their possession is morally wrong. Their possession increases rather than reduces the likelihood of nuclear conflict and does not guarantee national security. The money proposed to be spent on a new generation of nuclear weapons should be invested instead in future schools, future hospitals and meeting the challenges of climate change."
Statement from Sandra White MSP (SNP)
"I will be at the Big Blockade at Faslane on Monday 1st October opposing Trident and I am encouraging as many people as possible to come to the Big Blockade and show their opposition to Trident. I congratulate all those who have taken part in the Faslane 365 campaign this past year. This is the most important event in the Scottish calendar this year because we can no longer afford both morally and financially to have these weapons of mass destruction on our shores"
Sandra White will be available to speak to the press after about 10am outside the North Gate of the Faslane Naval Base where she will be supporting the Blockade.
Statement from Jill Evans ASE / MEP (Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales in the European Parliament)
In January this year, Plaid Cymru's Deputy President Jill Evans MEP was arrested at the gates of the British Nuclear Weapons Base at Faslane in Scotland. On Monday 1 October, Jill will return to the base with many others to mark a year of non-violent blockading of the nuclear submarine base.
Speaking today, Jill Evans said:
"I said in January that we were here to reaffirm Plaid Cymru's commitment to nuclear disarmament and the party's opposition to these illegal and immoral weapons of mass destruction. That commitment is a strong as ever, and once again I am taking part in the blockade to reflect the views of the majority of people in Wales who oppose and have protested against Trident. Around one thousand people have been arrested during the twelve months of the protest, including forty from Wales. I congratulate all the many groups and individuals who have taken part in Faslane 365 making the point that nuclear weapons make the world a more dangerous place. These weapons will not protect us from global warming or terrorist attacks."
Speaking in her keynote address to the Plaid conference last Thursday, which was televised on BBC Wales Ms. Evans said “It's too late to prevent the disaster in Iraq, and the plans for new nuclear weapons for Britain move ahead. But not unnoticed and not unimpeded. In last year's conference I invited all of you to come and take part in the big blockade at the Faslane nuclear submarine base where the Trident missiles are sited. The blockade of the base has happened every day since 1st October last year and I would invite you all again to join others from far and wide to protest against these Weapons of Mass Destruction and come and take part in the final day on October the 1st. Earlier this year groups from Wales entertained as clowns, Dafydd Iwan led the protest songs and protesters dressed as Merched Beca, hoping to emulate the success of another band of Welsh campaigners against the mighty weight of the British state! A thousand people have been arrested including about forty from Wales - and even some from Plaid Cymru! We haven't stopped Trident yet but we will."
Jill Evans is available for interview at the Big Blockade outside Faslane Naval Base from 10am until mid afternoon. Contact David Bradley 01824-709700 / 07901-862907
Statement from Robin Harper MSP (Green)
Green MSP Joins Faslane Protest to Condemn Trident
Robin Harper MSP will join protesters at Faslane on Monday 1st October to show opposition to the replacement of the Trident system of weapons of mass destruction.
Robin Harper said "The use, the threat of use, and the planned replacement of Trident are all illegal. Replacing Trident is illegal. It would flout the international treaty agreements that the UK has signed up to. We should take a lead in fighting the wars of this century – the war against poverty, injustice and environmental destruction - not spend £25bn on weapons of mass destruction aimed at civilians. Trident is not wanted by UK citizens and I support this protest against Westminster’s increasingly disastrous foreign and defence policy. The UK Government’s breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by replacing Trident is close to being a criminal act."
Mr Harper said: "This is a crucial economic, strategic and moral issue for Scotland and our voices must be heard. Scotland must say no to a move which would make us a terrorist target, would create yet more nuclear waste, would be illegal and would give this country a key role in maintaining one of the most immoral and brutal features of 21st century politics. The cash spent on Trident should be used to fund vital public services and fight climate change, and promote peace and justice here in Scotland and abroad."
Mr Harper was part of a Scottish delegation of politicians, NGOs representatives and community and religious leaders, which last year visited Aldermaston and the House of Commons to convey concerns over plans to replace the Trident system of weapons of mass destruction1.
Statement from Patrick Harvie MSP (Green)
Patrick Harvie said "The strength of opinion in Scotland against the replacement of Trident is growing all the time, as people learn more about the cost, the danger to world peace, and the safety issues at home. Gordon Brown would do well, especially if he's worried about alienating any more Scots voters, to heed this public opinion and drop the plan for yet more vicious nuclear weapons."said
Patrick Harvie will be available for interview at the Big Blockade from early afternoon onward.
Statement from Stephen Cottrell, Anglican Bishop of Reading
(To be read during the Service at the North Gate during the Big Blockade at 10am.)
Dear brothers and sisters,
I send greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the friend of the poor and the lover of peace. On the night before he died he said these words to his friends: Peace I give you, my own peace I leave with you, not as the world gives peace do I give to you. These words continue to challenge the powers and authorities of the world where there is still such misplaced confidence in a so called peace that can be secured by a so called deterrence. But these expensive and devastatingly destructive weapons cannot bring peace. They only encourage others to depend on force. They add to the instability of the world. They leech finances away from so many other things that could do so much good. Our nation is demeaned and compromised by the presence of these weapons of mass destruction on our shores. The Church of England and most of the Christian churches in these islands stand united in calling upon our government to re-think its reliance on nuclear weapons for our security. This is the peace the world gives and it is not working. Let us turn instead to the peace of Christ who bids us turn our swords into ploughshares and our trident submarines into hospitals and schools. And it is my pleasure to send greetings and prayers to those of you who are gathering at Faslane today as you lament the madness of the world and bravely bear witness to the way of lasting peace.
After celebrating Eucharist outside the Faslane Naval Base on Friday 9th March 2007 Bishop Stephen Cottrell lead a procession into the gateway of the base, blocking the entrance. He was not arrested.