Introduction and Invitation
October First 2006 will see the beginning of an audacious civil resistance initiative to apply critical public pressure for the disarmament of Britain's nuclear weapons.
Building on the success of previous mass blockades of the Trident nuclear base at Faslane, there will be a year-long continuous peaceful blockade at Faslane in Scotland. To make this happen, groups and organisations from Scotland, England and Wales, and beyond are being invited to come and shut down the base for at least one 48-hour period each during the year.
The purpose of Faslane 365 is twofold: to bring people to witness and impede the nuclear base where Britain's nuclear weapons are deployed, and enable them to demonstrate the range of serious concerns - from human rights to climate change - that people in the real world consider to be the vital challenges for the 21st century. Running from October 1st 2006 for a year, at a time when Tony Blair has put on the political agenda the prospect of spending some £40 billion more to keep nuclear weapons in Scotland until at least the year 2055, Faslane 365 will draw attention to the dangerous insecurity and waste of resources inherent in the Trident nuclear system, and will mobilise support for these nuclear mistakes to be disarmed. In preventing nuclear 'business as usual' we also intend to highlight our real, human security needs, which will require a very different allocation of resources and action.
In order to do this, Faslane 365 is asking a wide range of local, national and even international groups from all sections of civil society to come to Faslane with at least 100 people committed to stay and make their visions for a just and peaceful future visible for at least one period of 48 hours. To ensure effective coverage, groups will overlap on the first day with the previous group and on the second with the incoming group. Groups can also share their blockade or make use of the fact that Faslane has two main gates, at which different events could be held. The more people in your group the better, and smaller groups could also combine with others to make up the required number. If some groups are able to commit to more than one period - perhaps at a different time of year - that is more than welcome!
While an important aim of the initiative is to have enough people prepared to blockade and disrupt the comings and goings of this nuclear base, we strongly encourage groups to consider creative and innovative ways to make links between their particular priorities and the dangerous diversion of resources devoted to Trident, for example through music, theatre, workshops, festivals, redecoration of the base and so on. On the understanding that the deployment and threat to use nuclear weapons undermines their vision of a better society, each group is also encouraged to use their 48 hours for outreach and networking, including contacting and attracting media to cover their presence at Faslane and the issues they want to highlight.
All who participate will contribute, but no one organisation will 'own' the continuous blockade. All groups will need to agree to a basic set of non-negotiable guidelines that stress nonviolence and respect for all. All groups must also commit to the main demand: Trident must be taken out of deployment and the government should make a timetable for dismantling the weapons, together with a commitment not to develop any new nuclear weapons. Beyond these basic commitments, it is up to individual groups to conduct the blockade as they see fit.
We aim to start on October 1st, 2006 - the anniversary of the Judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal. The first blockade has already been booked for a women's blockade that links Faslane 365 with one of the biggest successes of the peace movement, the removal of 'cruise' nuclear weapons and closure of the Greenham Common airbase. Twenty-five years from the start of the Greenham Common Peace Camp, this connection carries proven experience of the effectiveness of combining civil society opposition at the physical site of deployment with creative actions and networking that will send our different visions of shared, cooperative security around the world.
Become part of this unique opportunity to make a vital difference! We know this initiative will catch imaginations and grow, but we want to have 100 groups signed up for the first hundred days before we give the final go-ahead. We need you to join us! There will be plenty of help and support, including nonviolence workshops, and a detailed briefing pack. Contact us for more specific information and to discuss any questions or practical issues that your group may have.
Donations are welcome and cheques should be made out to 'Faslane 365' and sent to Valley Farmhouse, East Runton, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9PN.