The Climate Change activist group Extinction Rebellion have blockaded the North gate of HMNB Clyde (known as Faslane). Police were alerted to their presence at 06:20am this morning, and have been on the scene ever since. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence told the media that the situation is being dealt with, and the protests will not compromise their work.
The all female group, all part of Extinction Rebellion Scotland, have tied themselves to giant planters with words such as “Safe”, “Green” and “Future” painted on them, creating a human barrier across the gate to the base. The group (Abbreviated to XR) were established in May 2018, with the aim of using “nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action” regarding climate change and global warming.
Faslane is the Royal Navy’s main presence in Scotland, and is home to a core submarine service and new nuclear weapons, as well as the alleged new generation of hunter-killer submarines.
The protest group are demanding a future “safe from the threat of nuclear weapons an environmental destruction.” XR says that their actions today are part of the Peace Lotus Campaign, a global day of anti war resistance celebrating the anniversary of the Vietnam War on March 29th (a month ago).
I spoke to Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Jones, based at Lympstone Marine Camp, about his thoughts on nuclear weapons and the protesters.
“Personally I feel that until all nuclear weapons are destroyed, whilst we are a fighting nation, we do need to retain the option for retaliation. That said I do believe that the likelihood of them ever being used is very remote.”
“As for the protesters, I don’t mind them having their say but I fail to see what they achieve other than the disruption and annoyance to others trying to do their jobs. I spoke to fellow Civil Servant George Robb, who has been (to Faslane) when he was a Petty Officer in the Navy, and he is of the same opinion.”