Welcome to the latest update from Faslane 365. I'm sorry that this comes on the same day as the Newsletter, but they contain somewhat different information and go to different groups. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SHARE THIS UPDATE WITH THE REST OF YOUR GROUP.
It has been an eventful few weeks: The “biggest” story has been the local protest against our protests, more of which below. We've now had over 100 days of presence and very nearly 700 arrests. There has been a couple more prosecutions ― please read the legal update below.
We have also been getting feedback that people want some form of collective event to end Faslane 365 at the end of September. We are only halfway through, of course, and we are still looking for more groups to sign up ― or groups to sign up for second (or third or ...) slots. Does your group want to do another slot?
That said, we have a proposal for a couple of events to look at where we go after Faslane 365 and for a celebratory combined blockade on October 1st. However, we need feedback and input. If we don't get sufficient feedback that people want this, or enough people offering to help make it happen, we won't do it. See below for more.
Also, can we ask that group which is planning to camp get in touch with Jane on coulportcamp at tridentploughshares dot org (not because of the TP camp but because there are some logistical and other issues around camping that we want to make people aware of ― she just happens to be also involved in organising the TP camp!)
There have been over 100 days of presence since Faslane 365 started. Many of these have been blockading days. All blockades hold up base traffic but because of the volume of traffic going into the base during the morning rush hour the tailbacks often causes local people to be held up too. Also some groups who have felt that they won’t be able to get into the gateway due to the heavy police presence have blocked the main roads. This holds up a lot of base workers but also has an impact on locals.
The blockade by the German group on 28 March which blocked the main road just south of the peace camp for 3 hours seemed to have brought things to a head locally. So on Monday 2 April a group of local people marched from Garelochhead to protest against us.
We had heard that it was going to happen as there were people going door to door to in Garelochhead telling people about it. The Faslane 365 Steering Group worked out an approach to take. We decided to go to the North gate and be a quiet, respectful presence and if possible take the opportunity to listen to local concerns and explain why we chose to protest the way we do. We reluctantly asked the Clowns not to come to the North gate at that time in Clown costume as we thought the locals might misinterpret that. After a long consensus decision making process the Clowns agreed to this.
On Monday morning we went to our usual spot near the north gate and put up our banners along with some new ones saying “We all want to return to normal, but nuclear weapons are not normal” and “Nuclear weapons are bigger than Argyll and Bute”. About 8am a group of 100 people arrived from Garelochhead. They were pretty quiet but had lots of creative placards. The BBC and some other media were there and both sides did interviews. Gradually the F365 folk started crossing the road and began listening and talking. The conversations were about both the nature of our protests and about nuclear weapons. Clearly the blockades are causing a lot of anger and upset and we knew this would probably happen if the police didn’t do all they could to minimise the effects to through traffic. However, it was very hard to hear about this directly from people. The young folk who had missed days at school and even exams were particularly passionate.
You can read more about the protest and the local concerns in the No Nukes Northants blockade report on the Faslane 365 website at www.faslane365.org/no_nukes_northants_blockade_report.
Although we contacted the school some time ago and asked them to tell us when exams were on we have not heard back from them. From the SQA website we know that Standard Grades and Highers are basically during May and we’ve already contacted blockading groups coming throughout May to ask them to consider blockading after the school buses have passed. School pupils pointed out that the two weeks at the end of April up to the exams were also very important, although others said that every school day counts.
We have since met with the police. We stressed that we cannot represent blockading groups but made clear that as groups come here with the intention of disrupting the ongoing illegal activity at the base they will most certainly continue to blockade at whatever point they are able to effectively do so. We suggested ways in which the policing could be changed to give groups more options of how to effectively disrupt the base without impacting on local people who are not connected to the base. Inspector Gavin Bone from Helensburgh Police Office took careful note of our suggestions and will report back to us next week after he has talked to his senior officers. The kind of things we suggested were; getting the base traffic to go and park up somewhere until the road is clear as has been done before during Big Blockades, allowing groups to go into the gateway to blockade and then deal with them so at least the main road would be clear or even investigating giving locals passes so that blockades could be lifted to let them through and then re-establishing the blockade.
The local newspaper, the Helensburgh Advertiser covered the anti-protest protest. The previous week they had printed 5 questions from local people to Faslane 365 and our responses. See this on the website here.
Feelings are still running high around Faslane. A car drove slowly up and down past the Peace camp on Tuesday night and eventually a bottle was thrown through the windscreen of a van where someone was staying although no one was hurt. Everyone from Faslane 365 and Faslane Peace Camp is staying calm and much discussion is taking place. There are a number of other local initiatives underway to improve dialogue between protesters and local people and we are working to find ways to minimise disruption. If any upcoming blockading group wants to talk things through with the Steering Group please get in touch by phoning 07768 312676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. However, for now it is clear that the blockades will continue. In spite of what the MOD says the action is having a very disruptive affect on the base. And as no –one can answer us as to what else we can do to put pressure on the Government, non-violently then our strategy still seems valid.
There are a number of things to feedback on the legal front since the last Update.
As we said in the last update, all 12 of the Coventry group are being prosecuted (they were handed citations instead of warning letters on release). They all pled Not Guilty (by letter) and got trial dates ranging from May 14th to October 17th! The reason why some trials are so far away is because they all asked for an accessible court room. The actual court building in Helensburgh isn’t accessible, so they book a local community hall when they need an accessible court room and this hall isn’t available for six weeks in the summer. We were told by a senior police officer that the reason that Coventry had all been prosecuted was that there was a new policy that people who blocked the road instead of the gates would be prosecuted. However, since then the German group blocked right across the main road south of the Peace Camp for over three hours and were released with warning letters!
Meanwhile we have had our first prosecution to be completed: a member of the peace camp who was prosecuted for their blockade in December. He decided to change his plea to Guilty at the start of the trial and was fined £100.
Since then there has been one more group of prosecutions in rather different circumstances. Eight of the Oxfordshire group had locked on with tubes. The tubes had a bolt in the middle the end of which was covered with old tin can lids. The whole arrangement was covered with plaster. The edges of some of the tin can lids were quite sharp and the police have interpreted it as their being there to make it dangerous for the police to cut them out. They charged five of the eight with Culpable and Reckless Conduct and released them on an Undertaking to come back to court. We don’t yet know what the charge they will actually be prosecuted on is and won’t until their next court date. The other three were charged just with Breach of the Peace and released with warning letters. (We had had a meeting with the police in February where they had expressed concern about a lock-on which had had saw blades in the concrete, but this was quite explicitly on the grounds that they could shatter.) In this case, the police did ask the blockaders if there was anything in the lock-on which could injure them and they, quite truthfully, replied that they didn’t know, as the people actually blockading didn’t know about the construction of the tubes. We don’t yet know if this charge is going to go anywhere --- we clearly hope not. Had they denied that there was anything dangerous in the tube, they would be in a much more difficult position, legally, than not knowing. People should think about the tube and, if they didn’t make it themselves might want to ask what’s in it. You should also be prepared to answer the question about whether it is dangerous. You may wish to respond by giving an idea of the materials in it, rather than an opinion on whether they are dangerous (which depends in large part on the skill of the cutting team).
Clearly it would be a breach of our nonviolence guidelines to put anything in a lock-on which was designed to injure anyone (and we’re sure the Oxfordshire group didn’t). However, it can appear very different to the cutting team halfway through cutting you out. Try to avoid using things with sharp edges. When designing a lock-on try to put yourself in the position of the person cutting you out --- and remember they may not approach from what you consider to be the “top”.
Can we also take this opportunity to ask that the Legal Support Team (or person) within each Blockading Group contact the Legal Working Group on email@example.com or 07768 312678 at least two weeks before your group comes up.
We’re only just halfway through Faslane 365 but a number of people and groups have already been asking what we plan to do to end the project at the end of September and where we will go from there. Given the feedback we have got so far we are proposing the following two events:
A celebration of what we have achieved, taking the form of a blockade of Faslane (what else!), on Monday 1st October. The idea being that as many people or groups as want to who have taken part in Faslane 365 get together for a celebratory ending of the project. The preceding weekend (29th/30th September) would have an element of “Where Next?” discussion (see below) on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, some sort of social/storytelling/film showing event on Saturday night and then Sunday afternoon and evening would be action planning for the Monday. This is not set in stone and we want more feedback and, if some sort of event is to happen, we will need people to volunteer to help make it happen.
As well as the "Where Next?" element to the event at the end of September we are considering facilitating a “Where Next?” type event on the last weekend in July. This is because any follow on to Faslane 365 might have to get started before the end of September!! There are many strands within an apparently simple question such as "Where Next?" ― most noticeably "where next for whom?" As we cannot make decisions for other anti-nuclear groups our primary focus would be on "where next for the energy raised by Faslane 365?" There will, inevitably, be consideration of questions such as "where next for anti-nuclear campaigning/direct action in Scotland or in the UK as a whole?" This event would not be restricted to people who had focussed on Faslane 365 and we would welcome input and involvement from other groups. This idea is very much in it’s early stages. The questions as posed above are an attempt to start a discussion, not a description of what the event will actually be. We need feedback on whether people want an event of this sort as early as the end of July? Are there people who want to put significant energy into anti-nuclear direct action beyond Faslane 365 and who want to get together with like-minded people in this fashion? Unless we get feedback that people want this then we won’t organise it!
Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0845 45 88 365 with any feedback or ideas.
That's all for now folks. We're looking forward to another six months of effective blockading and, hopefully, real progress towards a nuclear-free world.
We are now into our 6th month of blockading. We have had 59 Blockading Groups covering 83 days of presence. With thousands having taken part now there have been 576 arrests resulting in only 22 prosecutions so far (see Legal Update below). It has been an empowering experience for people with many first time arrests and with lots of groups tackling the organisational and support work with dedication and thus building up useful skills for sustainable civil resistance.
We have another 40 groups booked into the Rota but July and September are very empty at the moment and we have no firm bookings for August although a Japanese group will probably be coming over from Nagasaki at the beginning of August – they have yet to give us a firm date. So please book more dates as and when you can. Keeping up this people power resistance is going to be crucial in the coming months – whichever way the vote in Westminster goes. We cannot afford to relax until our present nuclear weapon system is dismantled.
We have a basic p.a. system with 2 small box speakers and a basic amp which can have 2 microphones plugged into it or a microphone and CD player. It can also be wired to play mp3/ipod via a cd player. We also have a small petrol driven generator to power it if required. Please contact BEN TALLENTS at faslane365-pa at hotmail dot co dot uk with as much notice as possible. If you want to use this system.
Anna-Linnea is pleased to announce that we are going to have facilitators from Seeds For Change Lancaster running an NVDA training for trainers over the weekend 28-29 April 2007 in a Glasgow venue, with possibly an action at a nearby establishment the day afterwards. This depends on how folk are feeling after a weekend of concentration but would be a good opportunity to get a first hand experience of all the stuff we are talking about in the training sessions and also, another spanner in the works for the MoD.
A more detailed agenda will be circulated and available on the website soon, but please start spreading the word already now to all those people who have expressed an interest in facilitation during your workshops or people you think might want to join us. This training for trainers will be looking at Faslane 365 specifically but will include lots of stuff which is applicable to general NVDA as well. For more info contact Anna-Linnéa on training at faslane365 dot org or 07788-503761.
Police have reported that some of the concrete lock-ons have had old saw blades embedded in them and that these fracture when being cut through and that a policeman was slightly hurt the other week from the flying pieces. They quite understand our desire to build and experiment with lock-ons that are difficult to get through but wanted us to pass on this information in the hopes that we would only use materials that will not cause damage to the people cutting through them to release us. He also indicated that they would consider more serious charges if saw blades were used in lock-ons in that way again. Regardless of the threat of more serious charges, we feel that this is a reasonable request and in accordance with our guidelines, and that we should try and use other materials.
Inspector Kenny Boyter has moved on to become a Chief Inspector at Campbeltown. He has always been a professional and fair police officer with whom we have been able to liaise in a responsible and helpful manner over many years. We wish him well in his new posting. The officer replacing him is Inspector Gavin Bone. We have met with him once and he seems also to be willing to keep on the constructive dialogue to enable us all to keep the policing and acts of civil resistance against weapons of mass murder as nonviolent and peaceful as we all want it to be. If any groups wish to engage in any personal and direct police liaison work for their blockading group he can be contacted on 01436-633633 or at Gavin.Bone at strathclyde.pnn.police.uk
We have now had 576 arrests for blockading Faslane with 22 of these people facing prosecution. While this is still a very small proportion, it has crept up slightly recently and people are asking why these people were prosecuted.
Some of the prosecutions are down to very specific circumstances. The Captain of the Greenpeace ship for example! Or someone who (allegedly) was planning to blockade with a van with a lock-on attached for the second time in a week. Two people from the Peace Camp are being prosecuted for blocking the main road with concrete barrels ― described by the police as a barricade not a blockade.
You also increase your chance of being taken to court if you personally are arrested for blockading often enough. It seems that the third or fourth time provokes a prosecution. Someone arrested seven times has court cases from the fourth arrest on…….and counting!
There was one group, from Coventry, where all 12 people arrested were released from the police office with citations (the start of a prosecution) instead of warning letters. We have delayed sending out this update to see what happened with the next groups to see if this was a new pattern or not. Since then there have been a couple of prosecutions from the Pensioners block but they had all blockaded a couple of times already and were likely to be prosecuted anyway. The two arrests of Diana and Nick’s block were released early the next morning with no paperwork while the 10 arrests in the Quaker block were released with the usual warning letters. As such, it doesn’t look like a policy of prosecuting everyone. It’s possible that Coventry was a one-off or that it will be less predictable in future, with some groups getting prosecuted and others not, but the warning letters still seem to be widely used.
For anyone who is being prosecuted we have recently added more information to the Legal section of the website about the process and procedure and what it all means. You should get support from your Blockading Group and the Legal Working Group are happy to answer questions. Also, you get all sorts of opportunities for further awareness raising and media work!
If anything changes we will let you know. PLEASE MAKE SURE THE LEGAL SUPPORT TEAM IN YOUR BLOCKADING GROUP CONTACTS THE LEGAL WORKING GROUP AT LEAST A WEEK BEFORE YOU COME UP. If there is any new information we will pass it on to the group through your Legal Team ― it really helps if we have the on-the-day contact numbers for your Legal Team as well if anything comes up at the last minute. If your Legal Support Team has any questions or concerns we can usually help.
Finally, we thought it would be helpful to summarise what the options are for what can happen on release:
This is what has happened to the vast majority of people arrested so far in Faslane 365. The warning letter is from the Procurator Fiscal (PF ― the prosecutor in Scotland) and says he could prosecute you but won’t this time.
A citation is the first step in a prosecution. It sets out what the charge against you is and has a form you can fill in and post back to plead (Not Guilty or Guilty).
You could simply be released and told you will be written to by the PF. You may then receive a warning letter or a citation (or a fixed penalty notice) by post.
This is a bit like a speeding ticket in that it’s a fine which, if you pay it, does not lead to a criminal record. If you don’t pay then they will usually send you a citation and prosecute in the usual way. This has only been used for one person so far in Faslane 365.
This is where the police give you a document to sign before releasing you in which you agree to come back to court on a specified day. Once you have signed it, it becomes an extra offence not to come to court that day. However, you are perfectly entitled to refuse to sign it. The police must still either release you or take you to court on the next working day following the arrest. If you have already been held overnight (to a working day) and are asked to sign an undertaking to an inconvenient date then your best approach is probably to refuse to sign. The police will then either let you go, hold you another couple of hours while they get a citation sent over to give you (this is what has happened with the only person to do this so far) or take you to court that day.
They can take you to court while still in custody. The court would usually then release you on bail (bail does not involve money in Scotland but does involve conditions ― turning up to court and not committing offences whilst on bail are standard conditions and they could add special conditions such as not to go near Faslane).
We have now completed the 3rd month of blockades at Faslane. 42 Blockading Groups have covered 59 days with a variety of banners, lock-ons, witnessing, singing and poetry (to see each group's reports and pictures go to the Rota on the website (www.faslane365.org) and click on whichever group you are interested in). 429 people have been arrested for blockading during this time, but only 4 will be facing court, as the Procurator Fiscal has decided that the vast majority of us should be free to continue our nonviolent disruption of the unlawful activities at Faslane! See Legal Support Notes below. How long our 'immunity' will last is debatable but we urge you all to make full use of the freedom it gives us to continue blockading.
According to the Helensburgh Advertiser, who asked a question under the Freedom of Information Act, it cost £1.75 million to police the first month alone! We do not consider that our nonviolent disruption of preparations for mass murder should be policed at all and continue to call upon the police to investigate the crimes going on inside Faslane and to help us put an end to war crime preparations.
There has also been constant reporting in the same local newspaper of discontent about the blockades causing long delays on the road that leads past the base, including school buses and locals trying to get to work, shop or go to the hospital. Not all of the delays have been our responsibility but some undoubtedly have been, as quite a few of the blockades have been very effective at preventing unlawful traffic getting into the base and, while the blockaders are being cut out of their lock-ons, taken down off their tripods, out of huge CND symbols, off their locked bikes, prised from their dancing partners arms, the tailbacks have sometimes reached right back into Helensburgh.
Whilst Blockading Groups presumably are not intending to disrupt the lawful life of the community it is inevitable that the more effective blockades will cause some local people some disruption. The Steering Group have suggested to the police and through them to the base, that the work hours be changed so that the blockades will be finished by the time most local people are on the move to work and school. The 7,000 workers enter through the South and North Gates at Faslane between 6.30a.m. and 8a.m. each week-day morning and between 4.30p.m. and 6p.m. each evening. If the traffic went in at 5.30a.m. in the morning and left at 2p.m. in the afternoon then the disruption to local people not working at the base would be minimal.
However, bearing in mind the number of local people working at the base there is bound to be quite a bit of local discontent. Hopefully, everyone will be able to empathise with the dilemma of workers who have never before considered that their jobs might be criminal and who need to work to support their families. However, it may now be time for a real debate about whether servicing a base whose prime aim is the threat of mass destruction can now be considered a normal or acceptable job and whether any responsible society can permit these 'jobs' to continue. There are many important and worthwhile jobs that could be created with the wasted money that finances the Faslane Naval Base and which could contribute to building a better society rather than destroying it. Anyway, whatever our views on these issues please be aware that some local feelings are running high and that our nonviolence guidelines should enable us all to stay courteous and nonviolent even if confronted with angry locals. So far, groups have faced very little local hostility and we hope that this continues.
The local concerns about children being late or even missing school will obviously increase during the exam period in May. Faslane365 will continue throughout this time but you may want to consider blockading in such a way as to reduce the impact on the school children. The exams last from Monday 30 April to Friday 8 June inclusive although we think that the Helensburgh school doesn’t do any of the subjects in the last week. The school buses pass Faslane around 8.30am and school starts at 8.55am. If you want more information before picking your dates please contact the Steering Group.
The Faslane 365 Steering Group have continued to have frequent discussions with the Strathclyde and MoD police to discuss issues that have arisen. We have continued to state that we cannot and would not negotiate on behalf of autonomous groups but will pass information back and forth. The Strathclyde and the Mod Police whilst still not recognizing their own role in propping up criminal activities at Faslane and whilst not being willing to confront the State on its breaches of international humanitarian law, nevertheless are appreciative of our commitment to nonviolence and, like us, wish to make sure that no-one gets hurt and that our right to protest is maintained. They have, however, been particularly concerned about blockades being established on the main roads, rather than at the gates, and especially concerned at the 'barricades' as they have termed them (the use of the concrete filled barrel lock-ons, for instance) that took almost 3 hours to clear. We have continued to observe, and feed-back to them, that if Blockading Groups feel they are unable to blockade the actual gates (because of the heavy police presence) then they may well feel entitled to blockade the roads (as close to the gates as they are able to get) in order to disrupt the unlawful activities of the Faslane Base.
Blockading Groups would do well to check on the police presence before they blockade in order to try to keep the blockading as near to the gated entrances to the base as possible rather than just assuming they have no chance of getting to the gates. Please call your Steering Group Liaison person or the Steering Group phone (07768-312676) if you want up-to date information.
Some of the more symbolic blockades (the Clergy and Iona Block or the Power of the Word and Song Block for instance) have been policed in such a way as to allow the blockaders to get to the gate and be there for a little while before being arrested. Those Blockading Groups who have blocked the North and South Gates simultaneously with effective lock-ons are of course the groups that the police have most 'difficulty' with and that we are most delighted with! The police are obviously being subjected to considerable pressure from the base to keep the gates open and from the public to keep the roads unblocked. Our 'confrontation' in its diverse forms is raising the pressure and this is beginning to be felt, not only by the police but also by the base personnel and the politicians. We need to keep the pressure up and if possible raise it whilst keeping calm and nonviolent.
It might be interesting for you to know that the Christmas Crackers Blockading Group were approached by the police to see if they might cancel their blockade and thus allow more police to take time off to be with their families over Xmas. The Group therefore negotiated and reached agreement that if the main North Gate could be closed over the 3 days then they would stay there and not attempt to close the South Gate as well, you can read more about this by looking at the website report on the Christmas Crackers Block.
Safety issues need to be stressed over and over again. Please bear in mind that we do not want anyone to be hurt or to cause any accidents on the roads. Consider having a couple of people, wearing high visibility vests, on each side of the road to slow down traffic and keep watch over the blockaders. Put yourself in the place of the driver and imagine what they are feeling and are able to do, don't just dart out and expect the vehicle to notice you in time to slow down.
Faslane 365 is starting to attract much more media attention but this could be greatly enhanced by more Blockading Groups taking pictures and getting our their reports on the day of the action, minutes or hours, rather than days, after the action. Try and make sure you have a dedicated press person with a laptop and digital camera who can put out the press releases plus a picture while it is all happening. Do contact local and national media a few days before you arrive to line up radio and TV interviews etc. If you need access to an internet connection then contact the Steering Group to see if they can direct you to one of our local supporters who might be able to let you use their internet connection for an hour or two.
Also note that Faslane 365 has now been made an action topic within UK Indymedia http://www.indymedia.org.uk Anyone can publish their report and photos, video footage etc. to Indymedia and if they tick the box for Faslane, then all the reports will be kept together in one big action topic.
We need your help to find new people and groups to take on a Block in the Blockading Rota. Please talk about your experiences if you have already done a Block and either book another date in the Rota and/or find new groups and encourage them to take responsibility for keeping the blockades going. The Steering Group have provided a structure and support but it is a joint responsibility to keep the Rota going. The impact of civil resistance depends on sustaining it at a great enough pressure for long enough to effect change. We have made a great start but need to sustain the pressure and not give up until we know that Trident will be dismantled and there will be no replacement of WMD. There is a great need for groups to come along in April and May (around the Scottish elections) and then in June and July (to remind the newly elected representatives of their responsibilities under international humanitarian law). If you know of groups who would like to hear about Faslane 365 and you cannot provide a speaker yourself then do pass on the contact details to us so we can find someone to go along. If you can think of magazines and newsletters where we should be inserting our new leaflet then again please let us know.
Numbers in Blockading Groups
As you may have noticed most Blocks have numbered around 40 to 50 people (the smallest was 1 and the largest 90 so far. This is not the 100 we had originally envisaged. We think it is important to continue to aim for 100 plus blockaders and keep the vision but to recognise that each blockading group has its own character, shape and a life of its own. The important thing is to keep the blockades coming, to train more and more people in nonviolent resistance and empower more people to come along. So do not be put off if you can only get a few people to come along – there are plenty of dates left free in the Rota, so please do join in.
Some groups have suggested a big get together event at the end of the year - possibly a weekend event culminating in a Big Blockade - Sat 29th to Sun 30th September for a Conference/Workshops on 'Where now after 365 days of blockading?' and Mon 1st October a Big Blockade! This would be a Celebration and also incorporate action planning on how to build more effective civil resistance (if this is still needed by then!). It is an attractive thought to bring all the groups together to get a feeling of our strength and share ideas and knowledge but it could be a non-blockade in that the police are likely to just close the base for the day like they did for the 1,000 plus people who turned up for the G8 blockade in the summer of 2005. Also, the idea of Faslane 365 is sustainable long-term blockading pressure, not a one-off event, so it would be a shame if people went away thinking that was it!. However, if groups think it is something they want to happen then maybe a few would like to take on the organising of it? Let us know what you think and if you want to help organise it.
Meanwhile, you might like to consider combining the strengths of different groups. Have a look at the blockading group reports on the website and see if there are other groups you feel an affinity with or with whom you would like to combine forces with. Several groups could take on the North and some others the South Gate for instance.......you just need to liaise over when and how, to make sure the blockades complement each other for maximum disruption......if you want advice or contact details let us know.
Please also consider booking another date in the Rota if you have already done your first block. Most groups said they had learnt a lot in their first blockade, so why not put that experience to good use and do another block?
We have produced a set of 4 cards in colour with envelopes. £2 per pack (inclusive of p&p). The cards have been produced in order to raise awareness of Faslane 365 and to raise funds. The cards are a collage of the different banners that have been brought to the Faslane 365 blockades during the first 2 months (October and November) and also include a photo of one blockade. Each of the 4 cards contains different banners and photos and is blank inside so that they can be used as general greetings cards. We will produce another set as the months go by and maybe by the end of the year we will have a set of 12 different cards. If you want to order some then please contact cards at faslane365 dot org and include your name and address and number of packs required. Make cheques payable to 'Faslane365' and send to Valley Farmhouse, East Runton, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9PN. Once your cheque had been received the cards will be mailed to you.
Some Blockading Groups have asked whether we have a t-shirt or badges. We have not had time to do these but if any of you would like to do so then please go ahead and let us know so we can include information in our next update.
Dr David Kirkland wants to support Faslane 365 and attract media coverage. He is an experienced long distance runner, competing at county standard,and wants to run from the Scottish border to Faslane to lie in front of the gate. He wants people to contact him who might be willing to put him up overnight, lend him a (lightweight) white poppy costume, or help him maximise the publicity. He also wonders if someone might be willing to travel up to Faslane with him to each overnight and rest stop, and then back south with him. He has already booked holiday off work and wants to run sometime between the 20th and 26th of January so if any of you can help him please do contact him on dkirklandone at hotmail dot com
Prosecutions - Three people so far have been released with undertakings to appear at Helensburgh District Court. They all had difficult lock-ons and have now pled not guilty to Breach of the Peace. They were put on bail (a condition of which is to not commit any offence otherwise they could be charged with breach of bail).
One other person has receive a citation to Helensburgh District Court after her fourth arrest since Oct 1st. She can put in a plea by post. Please let us know if you hear anything from the Court so we can keep everyone up to date.
Procurator Fiscal will return all property when not prosecuting – the items removed from blockades which could be potentially used as evidence have been taken to Dumbarton Police Station. We discovered that the Procurator Fiscal had given an instruction to the Productions Officer there to destroy all lock-on material: tubes, clips, D-locks, chains etc. The Faslane 365 Legal Working Group wrote to the PF to explain why he couldn’t just take peoples property and destroy it without even a court case. In fact even after conviction it is only the court that can order that your property should be destroyed, not the PF. We have received a reply from the PF that from now on people will have the opportunity to collect their property if they are not being prosecuted.
Some of you may have already received letters from Thomas Kane, the Productions Officer, about this. We spoke to him this week and he acknowledges that as many people come from some distance away and that there is a two month time limit to collecting property we can simplify things by nominating a couple of local people who can collect items on behalf of others. If you want us to help with this please send the letter you received from the police and an authorisation letter along the lines below to Olivia Agate, 1 up right, 41 East Clyde St, Helensburgh G84 7NY. It would be helpful if you could also let us know how big or heavy the things are and whether you want us to hold on to them for you or if we can recycle them to other blockaders. Obviously some things are pretty useless – like lock-on tubes with holes in so we would prefer you to let the police get rid of those. Small items could be posted to you if you refund the postage. Please contact us as soon as you can so we have time to arrange collection before it’s too late.
If you had things taken and have not heard about them from the police you could write to the Productions Officer at the address below or try phoning on his direct line 01389 822063 (7am – 3pm Monday – Thursday). It seems unlikely that any lock-on material from before 11 November is still there, though banners, costumes etc. might be.
If you have any questions about this then you can contact Jane on the Legal Support Phone 07768-312678 or email her on legalworkinggroup at faslane365 dot org
To Thomas Kane
Strathclyde Police Headquarters
Thank you for the letter informing me that you are releasing my property.
I am unable to collect it myself.
The property I wish to collect consists of:-
I authorise either of the following people to collect it on my behalf :-
1 up right, 41 East Clyde St
Ground floor, 65 Sinclair St