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Greenham and WiB blockade

October 9, 2006
Faslane continuing - by Rebecca Johnson
Onze verontschuldigingen omdat deze updating nog niet in het Nederlands vertaald is.

it now seems a long time since we shared such lovely times here in Scotland.
Faslane 365 had been going really well. A couple days after the women's action, 13 people got arrested from the Sheffield group, and then yesterday there was a wonderful ceilidh with about 40 people singing and dancing from Assynt, a group from the Scottish highlands and islands. In the afternoon, 9 of them were arrested, including a violin-playing thoracic surgeon, and then this morning 4 women from the Highlands blocked the road by locking on to each other at 7 am and were arrested. Half an hour later, about 50 people arrived with the folk-singing group 'Seize the Day', and groups of four simultaneously blockaded the North and the South Gates, causing immense confusion at the base. The morning rush hour traffic was backed up for 2 hours, and has only just cleared.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you SO MUCH, dearest Lieve, Marianne, Carla and Ria for sharing our women's action (and my birthday) and for your lovely presence and presents!! :)

hope you got home okay and can tell everyone about how important it is for there to be international - and especially European - pressure on the UK government.
with much love,
rebecca

Article in the Guardian, Monday October 9, 2006
http://www.guardian.co.uk/nuclear/article/0,,1890901,00.html

Protest and survive
When police arrested 13 women at the Faslane nuclear submarine base last week, among them was one of the leading veterans of Greenham Common. Rebecca Johnson tells Aida Edemariam about 25 years of civil disobedience

October 6, 2006
First report of Rebecca Johnson

Here is my initial report to go on the website - intentionally detailed with info about how we were treated that I hope will be helpful to incoming blockading groups, and I've spoken to several of them by phone as well. I do hope as many of you as poss will also post your stories and anecdotes and pix on the website.

News flash: 13 of the Sheffield block got arrested today, as they locked on at the North Gate this afternoon and held up traffic for over half an hour. They are also being held overnight, and it will be interesting to see if they get charged or not.

Thank You for making the Women's Action Happen!
I do hope as many of you as poss will also post your stories and anecdotes and pix on the website (www.faslane365.org ) . please feel free to forward.
lots and lots of love and sisterhood,
Rebecca

Greenham and Women in Black Blockade
October 1-3, 2006

by Rebecca Johnson


Altogether round 80-90 women took part in blockades and visibility actions at the Faslane nuclear base from Sunday October 1 st to Tuesday October 3 rd, making links and opposing Trident at the start of Faslane 365. Thirteen women were arrested on the second day, as Greenham women combined with Women in Black to keep a highly visible presence at the North Gate for three days. In addition to women from all over Britain, there was participation from abroad, including six women from Women in Black Belgium, France and Palestine, and a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom from the United States.

As part of our objective of visibility, women camped on both sides of the gate and on the verge nearby. We put up a lot of banners and set up shelters where food and meetings could be shared. We crossed and recrossed the roads in front of the gate, learned Scottish dancing on the roundabout, enjoyed a chaotic ceilidh (ably abetted by some wonderful fiddle-playing), handed out leaflets on Trident, and held workshops.

On Monday morning, from 7.20 onwards (just before and during the shift change) 12 women were arrested as small groups conducting consecutive blocks over a period of about an hour. A 13 th woman was arrested much later in the day. All were charged with ‘breach of the peace’, although our actions varied from lying down and directly blocking traffic to impeding traffic with conga dancing – as well as crossing the roundabout equipped with a cup of cocoa, contrary to police instructions. The radio news said that traffic was backed up for over an hour.

The 13 arrested women were taken to Clydebank police station and held in separate cells for 30 hours before being informed that the procurator fiscal had decided not to press any charges. The thirteen were released around 12.00-1.00 pm on Tuesday October 3 rd, to be greeted by cheers and a song from the supporting group, who were at the police station with transport. On getting back to the base, we were greeted by the women who had held the camp while we were incarcerated, keeping up the visible presence at the North Gate. We held a debrief and took down the camp at around 6 pm, before closing with some more singing and dancing on the roundabout as dusk fell. See below for more detail and points to ponder that incoming groups might find useful.

Setting up, Camping and Visibility

It was pouring heavily with rain when the first few women arrived at 8.00 am on Sunday, so to begin with we set up gazebos on either side of the North Gate and decorated the fence with banners, photographs, placards and ribbons in the Suffragette colours. There was an enormous and jittery police presence, well over a hundred at the gate and police vans parked opposite the Faslane cemetery, around 100 yards past the North Gate. The police were anxious, wanting to know how many more women were expected. We played with them, keeping them guessing about numbers and whether some women might be going to the South Gate or even Coulport.

We had sent out a press release a few days before going to the base, and I did a radio interview from Faslane for BBC Radio Scotland’s morning ‘faith’ programme, which, according to the producer who phoned me back a couple of hours later, resulted in the station being ‘inundated’ with emails wishing us luck!

There were around 60-70 women on the first day, and because this group had come together in the ad hoc ‘Greenham’ way, Sunday was devoted to discussing the issues, reccying the terrain, doing nonviolence training and getting a detailed legal briefing, as well as getting to know each other and networking. Although we did not quite make the hundred, some more women came over the next two days, making the overall number who participated around 80-90, though some also had to leave early.

In addition to the banners and messages, we pushed the boundaries of visibility by setting several tents up against the fence by the North Gate, including a modest toilet tent with a bucket, and also on the grassy (somewhat boggy) verge by the cemetery turn-off, on the other side of the road. We were not prevented from parking cars, vans and a minibus in the cemetery car park, opposite the police vans.

No-one seemed to mind there being a short-term camp on the verge, including a campfire. The MoD did try hard to make us take the tents away from the gate, but since they seemed rather confused about who owned the verge between the A814 and the base fence, we faced them down and camped anyway. This was very important, as maintaining high visibility was part of the strategy for the women’s action, and meant that some of us were on hand in case anyone had tried to sabotage or take down the banners or gazebos overnight (they didn’t). Though a little noisy, a good night’s sleep was possible, and we encourage all groups to consider doing this. It is highly visible, upsets the base, and solves your accommodation problems! They will tell you you can’t, but they appear to be on shaky legal ground, so it is worth pushing.

Blockading on Monday

We had intended to start blockading after 7.30 when the shift change at the base increases the volume of traffic wanting to get in. However, with anarchistic women the best laid plans can go astray. Two women suddenly decided to kick off at 7.20, by sitting down on the roundabout. At that point (and not wanting them to become isolated) we made individual choices about what to do. Some women chose to sit down in front of the gate immediately.


Others waited until the traffic started moving again, and then found a section of the road near the gate where the police were thin on the ground and laid down. Others waited even longer and then made their moves, which apparently surprised the police who thought we’d finished. The police were very keyed up and seemed to have instructions to arrest immediately, so some women were arrested crossing or dancing on the road, without being given time to move. In each case, traffic was blocked for a relatively short period of time, though the radio reported that these serial mini-blockades had backed traffic up for over an hour (compounded by the fact that they took place during what passes for the morning rush hour at the base).

My personal experience was this: When the first two women blockaded, I was in the middle of breakfast. I had my cup of cocoa in one hand and four empty cups in the other as I was taking them across the road to set up breakfast for the others in the second gazebo, by our tents. I walked across the roundabout to take a look at the blockading women and check everyone was okay. One was being dragged to the side, and traffic was stopped. As I was walking back, where the A814 swings into the base, I was grabbed by a burly police officer who told me to get out of the road. Unfortunately, as he jostled me, he spilled my cocoa. Safety instructions for travellers tell you that when encountering turbulence you should sit down. So I did.

Immediately several police officers swooped on me and grabbed my arms, so I put down the empty cups (didn’t want them to break or risk hurting anyone) and asked one of the police to hold my cup of cocoa (which, bizarrely, he did). I then lay down gracefully, as whale-like and heavy as possible.

It has taken me decades to put on this much weight, so it took them some time and several tries before they managed to lift me off the road. I thought I would be moved to the side, since apart from the first instruction to get off the road, the police did not warn me or threaten me with arrest. In fact, I was carried, spread-eagled, down to the bus stop. They had to let me down a couple times to readjust their grip, during which I continued to sprawl. They were, however, doing their best to be respectful of my safety and modesty as they carried me. I was then taken to the police vans opposite the cemetery and ‘processed’, which meant they asked my name, which I gave, and various personal questions which I did not reply to. Together with several women who had also been taken to the vans, I was informed that I was being arrested for breach of the peace and would be photographed with my arresting officers and put in the van. I was not formally charged at this time (or, indeed, any other time) or given a chance to have my reply noted down.

Detention for 30 hours and released with no charge

When ten women had been arrested and the police van was full, we were driven to Clydebank police station and taken in to be processed two-by-two. While some of us were still waiting in the vans, another police van arrived with two more women who had been doing the ‘conga’ in front of the North Gate.

Clydebank police were going ‘by the book’. They took virtually all possessions away, including jewellery (though one woman negotiated to keep her ring). Belts or draw-cords had to be removed from trousers, though negotiating with the custody officer could get that varied if the cord was integral to the trousers and would have to be cut. I gave my word as a practitioner of nonviolence with no intention of harming myself or anyone else, and thus managed to avoid the options of wearing paper trousers (!) or having the cord cut out of my trousers. Footwear and jackets had to be left outside cell doors.

Unlike my incarcerations in the 1980s, they took away our watches, claiming that some people had used ‘sharp edges on their watches to cut themselves’. Time gets very distorted when you are in heavily soundproofed cells with daylight penetrating only very weakly and indistinctly through thick pebbled glass in the ceiling.

Apart from the custody sergeant telling me I was charged with breach of the peace, nothing was written down and I was never given any chance to reply formally to the charge. I was not once questioned about the circumstances of the arrest or given any formal interrogation.

It appears that some women had been charged more formally and had their replies recorded before being put into the vans at the base, but this did not happen to all of us. To my knowledge, in the police station, no-one was interrogated or formally questioned. I wasn’t even fingerprinted and photographed until around 10.00 pm, though a few women were fingerprinted earlier and one said that she thinks the machine broke down, which might have accounted for the delay. Vegetarian, vegan and halal food was made available and various cups of tea, but no coffee. Most of the cells and blankets were fairly clean, but a couple of women were put into cells with blood and faeces dried into the walls. Each cell had a toilet with no seat in the corner, with toilet paper provided on request. There was an instruction list for prisoners in my cell which informed me of various rights, including the right to request writing materials. I did, and was given a blunt pencil and some sheets of paper. As I was in the middle of breakfast and was not prepared to be arrested quite so early, I hadn’t properly equipped myself with a book and toothbrush etc. So the lesson is Always Be Prepared (and take a book)!

The cells were very hot and stuffy, so take moisturiser which they will let you use if you pester enough! On the positive side, they brought paper cups with water whenever I asked, which was often. The acoustics in the cell are brilliant if you want to sing, but the echoes make it very difficult to hear what anyone else is saying or singing in their cells, though you can hear a bit of what happens in the corridors. I sang periodically, interspersed with lots of quiet, managing as much of Camilla’s Trident oratorio as I could remember and some other beautiful songs, and then made up Faslane-related words to various songs of protest (mostly from Greenham) and songs of incarceration. The other women said it had been helpful to hear the singing, even though they couldn’t generally make out the words.

Around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, a lovely Scottish solicitor called Claire Ryan came by. We had to talk to her separately in a room in a different part of the station from the cells. She was strongly of the opinion that for some of us at least (including me with my cocoa), there had been no grounds to arrest and detain us for breach of the peace.

She told us that we would probably be held overnight to be taken to court on the following day. That came as a surprise – we had been arrested so early in the morning that we assumed they would charge and bail us or deal with us that day. However, we have been advised that in Scotland they are more likely to hold people overnight for court the next day than they do in England or Wales. The night was long, but next morning I received a lovely chorus of happy birthday from the other women, which I could hear echoing harmoniously and in several different tempos down several corridors, though the weird cell design meant that the women singing couldn’t hear each other. Cards of paper towels and a bouquet of white toilet-tissue roses were pushed under my door.

We were allowed out to wash, and could briefly communicate then with other women. We were still expecting to go to court, but the morning dragged on. Then suddenly, around noon on Tuesday, we were told we would be released. When being processed out, I was given back my belongings and a letter from Andrew Miller, the Procurator Fiscal, which instructed the custody officer to “please deal with the above person(s) held in custody following report for today’s custody court as follows:- liberate on the above case only, following service of attached warning letter.”

Letter from Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (verbatim)
3 October 2006

Dear Madam
CASE AGAINST YOU

You have been reported to me for allegedly committing the following offence(s):
(1) Brach of the Peace on o2 October 2006 at A814 North Entrance HMNB Clyde, Faslane.

Consideration of this report shows that the evidence is sufficient to justify my bringing you before the Court on this ciminal charge.
On this occasion, however, I have decided not to take such proceedings, but you should note that if a similar report against you is submitted to me in the future I am unlikely to refrain again from taking criminal proceedings and you may well be prosecuted.

Yours faithfully,
Andrew Miller, Procurator Fiscal.

Returning to the North Gate

Women remaining at the North Gate had kept up a strong presence throughout October 2 and 3, with groups knitting, singing, doing ceilidhs, planning actions, and holding workshops on various topics, including Palestine and international Women in Black. They had continued to test the police by periodically appearing to head for the road, etc.

Some time on Monday, the MoD again insisted that the tents that had been put up against the fence by the North Gate should be taken down, but it turned out that their owners had all been arrested. The other women refused to take them down, but watched carefully when the MoD police took them down and packed them up, although it is still not at all clear that the MoD were legally entitled to do this. The camp on the opposite verge was allowed to stay for the whole period.

Once those who had been incarcerated were back at the base, we discussed what had happened, debriefed on the police tactics and legal developments, and then took down the camp at around 6 pm. We closed with some more singing and dancing on the roundabout as dusk fell, before women either left or went back to one of the rented houses in Garelochhead to celebrate, relax and have a party.

Points to note and lessons to learn

1) The police were prepared for much larger numbers. They removed blockaders as quickly as possible, with or without warnings or going through proper arrest procedures, although it appears that they improved their techniques with some of the later arrests.

Clearly, as this was the start to Faslane 365, the authorities had decided to ‘nip it in the bud’ and their quick arrests and holding overnight were both designed to deter other groups. It shouldn’t and it won’t.

2) Most groups will be better prepared in advance than we were, because in true greenham fashion we had put the call out as widely as we could, but didn’t know exactly who would turn up. We reckoned that women would come from lots of different places and we would not be able to plan until they got here. Also, we had put a lot of emphasis on being a visible protest at the gate over the three days, deciding that the nature of the actual blockading would be determined by the women themselves once they got to Faslane. As it turned out, only a small number were ‘arrestables’. More might have been arrestables if there had been a lot more women there, as the small numbers and anarchic scenario made it more difficult for some. On the other hand, the empowering experience of the whole action has resulted in many of the women wanting to come back and do another women’s block next year, and more have said they might be willing to risk arrest in the future.

3) It was really worth refusing to be corralled behind barriers, and pushing our determination to decorate the fence and camp. This gave high visibility to what was, in fact, a smaller number of women than we’d hoped for. When you have quality but not quantity it is important to be creative to maximise your impact, which I think we did.

4) All the arrested women were released with a similar letter, regardless of whether or not they had been sitting or lying down with the intention of blockading, and regardless of whether or not they had been warned or given an opportunity to move, and several of us were not. So, irrespective of how strong or weak the case (and the solicitor was convinced that the case against some of us was very weak indeed), we were all treated the same and released on the same basis. We were fingerprinted and photographed, but never questioned about the ‘offence’, which may suggest that they didn’t intend to take us to court – in which case arresting and detaining us may not have been lawful. We intend to look into this.

5) Being held overnight for such an offence was a surprise to many of us, and incoming blockading groups should make sure they are better prepared for this. The intention was clearly to get the blockaders out of the way and hope that the protest collapses. Therefore it is all the more important that groups have people prepared to stay at the gate(s) and remain visible, as well as having the support teams to run around after the arrestees.

6) Being held a long time is tedious but not scary. (I was 51 when we started the action and didn’t get released until I was 52! ) Those that had books with them were in a much better position that those who didn’t. Late in the evening, our support people put in some Peace News for everyone and a Guardian for one woman, which she read and then passed to another... possibly got around to 3 or 4 of us. Apparently the police refused to allow books to be put in for us. Peace News is of course lovely but very short even if you read it from cover to cover and backwards, so I would advise groups to make it possible for support people to put in a more substantial and numerous selection of newspapers and magazines – at least one per person, which can be read and shared with others in the cells. That said, our support people, legal support and drivers were all Wonderful, and did what they could – most especially, meeting us when we got out! This is important as after several (or 30) hours in police cells, people can feel quite disoriented.

7) Flexibility is the Watchword

Groups that plan with equipment such as lock-ons will probably be able to block the gates longer than we could. All the groups will be different, and the women’s action planning recognised that a traditional blockade was not going to be possible unless large numbers turned up, which didn’t happen.

Most blockades won’t be as anarchic as the women’s block, but however well planned, groups need to be prepared to be flexible and switch to plans B, C or D, depending on the policing and the circumstances on the day. Don’t be afraid to change planning or to nip round to a different gate or disrupt Coulport if the policing is too heavy at your intended location for you to be effective.

If numbers are relatively small, plan ways to maximise your visibility, particularly by decorating and camping up at the base for your 48 hours.

This is just my personal account, which I’m putting up quickly in the hope that it is useful to the other groups coming in. I hope that lots more of the women who participated from October 1-3 will write their own stories and give their pix to put on the website. Each of these blockades will be different, and both we and the police and base will be engaged in a dance of change and adaptation. Most importantly, stay positive and nonviolent and Enjoy Yourselves!

Enormous thanks to Everyone who participated, including local people who dropped off cakes and things!
lots and lots of love and sisterhood
Rebecca

For more information: www.faslane365.org
info@faslane365.org

more press about the Women start of Faslane365: Scotsman.com News - Faslane - Arms and the Women

 

October 5, 2006
FASLANE365 started / FASLANE365 is op 1 oktober 2006 van start gegaan !

Onze verontschuldigingen omdat deze updating nog niet in het Nederlands vertaald is.
Nederlandstalige info vind je op
algemene informatie onderaan de pagina

UK Nuclear Weapons: Dangerous, Illegal, and Deployed in Scotland
first report on the weekend by Rebecca Johnson

The government has heightened awareness of nuclear weapons and choices by trying to rush through a decision to spend upwards of £25 billion on a follow-on to Trident, which government spokespeople are required euphemistically to call ‘Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent’. Trident is not independent (the missiles, guidance and many warhead design features depend entirely on the United States). Nor have UK nuclear weapons deterred any realistic threats, least of all General Galtieri, Saddam Hussein or the July 7 bombers.

What is Trident?
Britain’s nuclear weapon system was commissioned in 1980 and began coming into service in 1994. It comprises:
- four British-built nuclear-powered “ Vanguard-class” submarines (SSBNs), deployed at the Faslane nuclear   submarine base on the Clyde;
- 58 US-owned Trident II ballistic missiles (the D5 version); and
- up to 200 nuclear warheads manufactured at AWE Aldermaston to fit US design specifications
.

In large part due to the design of the submarines’ nuclear reactor, the official service life of the Trident weapon system is given as 25 years, which means they would be decommissioned around 2019-2026 unless a decision were taken to get rid of them earlier than this.

Britain’s Choice
In accordance with Tony Blair’s announcement before the May 2005 general election, Britain faces a decision about whether to commission a nuclear follow-on to Trident and if so, what.
Among the options the MoD may be considering are:

  • Building a new fleet of nuclear submarines to carry similar or upgraded missiles and warheads;
  • Scaling down a submarine-based capability, by reducing the number of boats, missiles and/or warheads, as well as reassessing the current requirement of having at least one boat on patrol at all times;
  • A more flexible nuclear arsenal, viewed perhaps as having a tactical, warfighting or ‘sub-strategic’ role in addition to the ‘strategic deterrence’ assumptions associated with Trident and the cold war. The possibilities might include adapting 2 to 4 of the Astute class of submarines to carry ballistic missiles and/or nuclear-armed cruise missiles, or reverting to long-range nuclear bombers equipped with air-launched cruise missiles or free-fall bombs;
  • Refitting the hulls and nuclear reactors to extend the service reliability of the existing submarines (service life extension).

Such options assume a nuclear follow-on for Trident in some form.
However, a far more fundamental decision actually faces the British people: holding on to nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future or eliminating them and working to reduce nuclear threats worldwide. Britain’s choice could determine the future of international non-proliferation and security developments for generations to come.

Security Challenges
By the time Trident came into service, the cold war was over, making these expensive submarines and their nuclear weapons obsolete. Before any decision is taken to replace Trident, we need to consider what our world might look like over the next 20-50 years and beyond – and, most importantly, what we want it to be like.
Most people in this country recognise that the biggest problems we face are climate change and poverty in the world. Even the strongest advocates of nuclear weapons recognise that they are irrelevant in tackling these challenges. Tony Blair has also acknowledged that Trident won’t deter terrorists.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned of a ‘cascade of proliferation’ if the nuclear weapon states fail to take their own nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) seriously.

International Law
A legal opinion from Matrix Chambers on “The Maintenance and Possible Replacement of the Trident Nuclear Missile System” was published in 2005. This specifically addressed the question of whether a replacement for Trident would be likely to constitute a breach of Article VI of the NPT. In this opinion, Rabinder Singh QC and Professor Christine Chinkin concluded that:

  • The use of the Trident system would breach international law, in particular because it would infringe the “intransgressible” requirement that a distinction must be drawn between combatants and non-combatants;
  • The replacement of Trident would likely constitute a breach of Article VI of the NPT; and
  • Such a breach would be a material breach of that treaty.

What, then, are our real options?
Because of the indiscriminate and massive effects of nuclear blast and heat and the penetrating and long-term effects of the radiation produced by a nuclear explosion, nuclear weapons are recognised to be the most deadly and devastating of mass destruction weapons. Trident warheads have around eight times the explosive power of the ‘small’ bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The current doctrine of nuclear deterrence requires that Britain presents a continuous threat to use these nuclear weapons. As determined by the International Court of Justice in 1996, such threats to use nuclear weapons contravene international humanitarian law, as would the use of nuclear weapons in any of the scenarios envisaged by UK nuclear policy.
Tony Blair has indicated that he wants to ‘replace’ Trident, which means committing to a new generation of nuclear weapons. If the British people stand by and let this happen, the government will spend billions of pounds more of our money on these weapons of mass destruction. And we’ll be signalling to the rest of the world that we regard nuclear weapons as indispensable for the foreseeable future. This is a very dangerous message to send, and makes it more difficult – if not impossible – to convince countries like North Korea and Iran that they should not also get nuclear weapons.

The Courage to Disarm
In 1998, Britain’s ambassador to the NPT said that: “when satisfied with progress towards its goal of the global elimination of nuclear weapons, [the UK government] will ensure that British nuclear weapons are included in multilateral negotiations”.
In 2005, the government reiterated the “unequivocal undertaking” it had made in conjunction with the consensus adoption of further NPT agreements by 188 states in 2000, “to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament”.
How does Britain expect progress to be made towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons if we keep buying and building the next generation of nuclear weapons... and the next after that? Britain is not merely a passive bystander as the international and security environment changes for better or worse.
British choices and actions themselves influence how others perceive nuclear weapons. By our policies and actions we advertise or devalue nuclear weapons, promote or prevent proliferation, weaken or strengthen international law and undermine or implement the obligations enshrined in the NPT.
Nuclear weapons do not make us safe or secure. Any deterrent role they might have had in the cold war is clearly inapplicable in the very different security environment of the 21 st century. They create physical risks and dangers, for example when the warheads travel hundreds of times along English and Scottish roads from Aldermaston in Berkshire up to Coulport and Faslane in Scotland. They impede the UK’s influence in promoting non-proliferation, controlling nuclear materials, and persuading other countries that weapons of mass destruction are not necessary for their own security. They reinforce dependence on the United States, through the use of US missiles and collaboration in nuclear research and design. They are morally and legally indefensible.
To have any chance of turning back the clock on nuclear proliferation, it is essential that we devalue nuclear weapons in military and security policies. Who better to take this lead than the United Kingdom, given the pending decision to spend some £25-40 billion on a new generation of nuclear weapons that would be irrelevant for defence and violate international law.

The majority of Scottish people oppose Trident
Faslane is the UK’s most feasible site for berthing any UK nuclear submarine system. As things currently stand, the Scottish Parliament will not be consulted about whether a new generation of nuclear weapons will be deployed on the Gare Loch, but they will be expected to find the money to support the Faslane base in all sorts of ways. Though the base provides some jobs, they are limited, as attested by the depressed state of towns nearby. Because of the base’s activities and need for security, the area cannot be significantly developed for other purposes, and a number of Scottish MSPs believe this beautiful location could be revitalised if the base were closed and the local authorities were free to develop other options including leisure and sports.
Opinion polls have consistently shown that over 70% of people in Scotland oppose nuclear weapons and do not want them based in Scotland (or anywhere else for that matter). It is not surprising that Scottish political parties and community groups were among the first to commit themselves to join in the Faslane 365 blockades, starting on October 1 st 2006. Faslane 365 is only one of the many ways in which British people can express their opposition to Trident. The blockades over the next year will provide a vital opportunity for people to raise their concerns and make their voices heard.

For more information: www.faslane365.org
info@faslane365.org

more press about the Women start of Faslane365: Scotsman.com News - Faslane - Arms and the Women

 

Update
4 augustus 2006

Onze verontschuldigingen omdat deze updating nog niet in het Nederlands vertaald is.
Nederlandstalige info vind je op algemene informatie van 8 mei 2006

Van 1 tot 3 oktober 2006 bannen Women in Black in Faslane (Schotland) nucleaire wapens naar de vuilnisbelt van de geschiedenis!

With the appalling and murderous insanity being inflicted on our sisters in Lebanon and Haifa, it is difficult to focus on anything else, so I hope you will forgive me if this message seems inappropriate at this time. Nuclear weapons, especially, seem a long way away when we daily see the warcrimes and carnage wrought by the warmongers, aided and abetted by the war criminals leading the US and UK governments. Such things are irrelevant when we need to be thinking about security in HUMAN (not military) terms. But they are part of the same violent mentality that seeks to destroy what it refuses to accept.

As with the war on
Iraq and his opposition to calls for an immediate ceasefire, Blair has already decided - without any real debate - that Britain will get the next generation of nuclear weapons. We can stop this, but only with concerted civil resistance, and WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Since there is no Women in Black Conference this year, we hope that lots of international WiBbers will consider joining WiB UK at Faslane on October 1 for our interim gathering for networking, information exchange and as much action as you want!  If you want to run a workshop, let us know and we can include it as we plan the days.

Below is a call to all women to join us in
Scotland, with further information and some web addresses for the Women's Action at Faslane on October 1-3, this year.

love,
Rebecca, Liz and Sue.

Women’s Action-Faslane 365

October 1 st – 3 rd 2006
at Faslane Nuclear Base, Scotland

Come for workshops, protest, music, dancing, singing, drumming, decorating the base, debate... and fun! 
Faslane is the UK ’s nuclear submarine base, and central to the government’s plans to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. It currently hosts 4 submarines carrying 58 Trident missiles and up to 200 warheads – each 8 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima .
25 years after Greenham, women will be starting off the first three days of Faslane 365, a year long peaceful blockade of the naval base involving groups and organisations from Scotland , England , Wales and beyond.
 
Gather from noon on October 1. Bring food to share, warm clothes, waterproofs, musical or other instruments...
There will be workshops on:
·        Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment – where the UK nuclear warheads are made
·        International Women in Black, issues and actions
·        Resisting Occupation and Patriarchy in Palestine
·        War Policies, Refugees and Asylum Seekers
·        Nonviolence training and planning for actions
·        And more...

Bring sleeping bags and tents and camp by the base or stay at a campsite, youth hostel or bed and breakfast nearby. 
Be ready to blockade the base on Monday and Tuesday. Come for one day or three – come to join in, take action or support . . .

ACT NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

The UK government is deciding now about developing a new generation of nuclear weapons costing billions of pounds. Work has already started at Aldermaston in violation of Britain ’s international legal obligations. Concerted civil resistance can stop this dangerous development and bring nuclear disarmament closer .

How to get to Faslane Base
Meeting point: at the North Gate on the A814
1. to Glasgow - by train, bus, hired minibuses, car, plane, bike
2. from Glasgow to Helensburgh - by bus/train/car/minibus/bike
3. from Helensburgh: buses leave from Helensburgh's Colquhoun Square (destination Garelochhead or Coulport) which stop at Faslane North Gate (15 minutes).
OR: train service from Queen Street (main level: destination Mallaig/Oban)

which stops at Garelochhead (about a mile walk to Faslane North Gate).
Check the current situation with Traveline Scotland: www.travelinescotland.com .

For more information about October 1 st – 3 rd contact:
Women in Black:
Sue 07944877813
Liz 07812917050
Rebecca 07733360955     greenhamwomen@faslane365.org

For updates and general information on Faslane 365, or to download leaflets and a resource pack: www.faslane365.org
General Tel #: 0845 45 88 365
or click on: http://www.faslane365.org/BGs/greenham_women.php   where you can download the leaflet and graphics in pdf.

 

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Algemene informatie
8 mei 2006

Van 1 tot 3 oktober 2006 zullen Greenham Women en Women in Black samen komen aan de nucleaire zeemachtbasis in Faslane in Schotland (48 km van Glasgow) om te protesteren tegen militair geweld en geweld tegen vrouwen. Wij willen met onze eisen voor échte veiligheid, vrede en gerechtigheid opstappen tot aan de poorten van de basis, in een betoging die gedragen wordt door woede, hoop en vastberadenheid voor de toekomst.

Deze actie betekent de start van Faslane 365, een geweldloze campagne die de illegale werking van de Trident nucleaire basis wil beletten. Wij stellen daarbij creatieve actie en interactie tegenover de waanzin en de verspilling van nucleaire wapens en oorlog. Door het succes en het inzicht van het Greenham Women’s Peace Camp van de jaren tachtig te verbinden met de passie en de wilskracht van Women in Black against War van vandaag zullen we Greenham’s 25 ste verjaardag vieren – niet met nostalgie, maar met internationale solidariteit en sisterhood!

De Women in Black groepen van de UK nodigen hun zusters van het internationale Women in Black netwerk uit om met hen mee te doen van 1 tot 3 oktober. Omdat er geen internationale WiB conferentie wordt georganiseerd in 2006 kan dit als een tussentijdse bijeenkomst worden beschouwd. En hoewel we geen conferentiefaciliteiten ter beschikking zullen hebben, zijn we van plan onze demonstraties op de basis te combineren met workshops over feminisme, oorlog en verzet, politiek en passie, muziek, dans en straattheater.

 

Waarom naar Faslane komen?

Faslane 365 is een dapper initiatief om de Faslane nucleaire basis voor een jaar te versperren. Veel vredes – en mensenrechten organisaties hebben de actie al onderschreven, en allen hebben de verantwoordelijkheid op zich genomen om de Trident basis op een geweldloze manier voor op zijn minst twee dagen te blokkeren.

Nucleaire wapens zijn irrelevant voor verdediging, maar kunnen wel de wereld vernietigen. Ze belichamen de ultieme dreiging en het toppunt van geweld, en vrouwen zijn altijd bij de eersten geweest om dit in te zien. De Britse regering is van plan om 25 biljoen pond uit te geven aan een opvolger van de Trident, en we hebben jullie hulp nodig om een einde te stellen aan die waanzin en verspilling.

We moeten de nucleaire wapens verwijzen naar de vuilnisbelt van de geschiedenis, en onze aandacht focussen op middelen om de aanslagen op de veiligheid die ons vandaag bedreigen aan te pakken: klimaatveranderingen, geweld tegen vrouwen, armoede, oorlogen om olie, hebzucht en macht, en de uitholling van de mensenrechten. Net zoals met onze acties tegen de kruisraketten in de jaren tachtig, kunnen we het inzetten van de Trident onmogelijk trachten te maken door blijvende, geweldloze oppositie te combineren met creatieve acties, politieke druk en wereldwijd netwerken. Door samen enorme druk uit te oefenen kunnen we een verschil maken.

Hoe?

Vanaf 1 oktober 2006 zullen in Faslane gedurende een jaar diverse groepen en verenigingen getuige zijn, de Faslane nucleaire basis versperren, en eisen een einde te stellen aan de nucleaire waanzin. Alle groepen die deelnemen aan deze continue blokkade moeten een aantal fundamentele principes en richtlijnen onderschrijven die geweldloosheid en respect voor iedereen benadrukken. Eveneens onderschrijven zij allen de fundamentele eis de Trident te ontmantelen, en eisen zij van de regering dat deze de ontwikkeling van om het even welke nucleaire wapens verbiedt, en een tijdsschema opstelt voor de ontmanteling van de bestaande wapens en faciliteiten. Naast deze basisverbintenis staat het alle groepen vrij de link te leggen naar hun eigen prioriteiten en thema’s, en de blokkade naar eigen goeddunken te organiseren. Zo plannen Greenham en WIB muziek, workshops, een herinrichting van de basis, enz.…

Waar?

Faslane bevindt zich op ongeveer 48 km van Glasgow, langs de noordkust van het mooie Gare Loch, Firth of Clyde, juist voorbij Helensburgh. Faslane heeft twee hoofdingangen op het land en een lange afrastering. We hebben duizenden vrouwen nodig om met ons mee te doen, alleen of in groep – dit is een gelegenheid om oude vrienden terug te ontmoeten en opnieuw netwerken en groepen op te bouwen in je eigen stad. De actie is niet gecentraliseerd en iedereen zal dus zoveel mogelijk zelf moeten instaan voor haar reis, voeding en overnachting. Diegenen die niet rechtstreeks wensen deel te nemen aan te blokkade, wat het risico op arrestatie inhoudt, kunnen op andere manieren deelnemen. Surf naar de website voor ideeën, informatie en praktische inlichtingen! Er is plaats voor iedereen, en iedereen is nodig!

Schrijf de datum van 1 tot 3 oktober in je agenda en kom naar Faslane! Aan iets dat zo bijzonder, belangrijk en tegelijk ook leuk is moeten we allemaal deelnemen. Help ons deze oproep zo veel mogelijk te verspreiden. Zend dit bericht naar elke vrouw die je kent en waar je om geeft!

Contacteer Rebecca voor meer informatie: greenhamwomen@faslane365.org or info@faslane365.org
www.faslane365.org

Dr Rebecca Johnson
Executive Director,
The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy
web: www.acronym.org.ukwww.acronym.org.uk

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