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Trident Valentine's Day Protest - News Transcripts


Trident Ploughshares Valentine's Day Protest:

ITV Lunchtime News:-

Newscaster (John Suchet): "More than 100 peace protesters were arrested today as they attempted to blockade a nuclear submarine base. Anti-nuclear protesters began converging on Faslane naval base in Argyll in the early hours, in an attempt to stop the work at the complex where Britain's Trident nuclear submarines are based."

Programme Editor: Craig Oliver.

BBC-1 Television 1 o'clock News:-

Presenter (Anna Ford); "More than 150 protesters have been arrested as they tried to blockade a nuclear submarine base in Argyll. Hundreds of people took part in the demonstration, at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, to try and stop work at the complex where Britain's Trident submarines are based."

Reporter (Emma Simpson): "They swamped the entrances to the base, a sit-down protest, the aim: to bring work here to a halt. Police removed them one by one in chaotic scenes which stopped traffic for nearly an hour. Some demonstrators even attached themselves to oil drums to avoid being lifted. Several Scottish MSPs and Euro MPs were among the protesters."

[film of protesters being arrested]

Chief Superintendent Harry Bunch (Strathclyde Police): "It's been largely a peaceful protest. The demonstrators have congregated here, at the north gate. They have locked on to pipes and lay down in the road. It's been cleared and, as I say, the number of arrests now totalling approximately 150 to 160."

Reporter: "Today's demonstration follows a ruling last year that the Trident system was illegal. Three women were acquitted of causing criminal damage for breaking into this base after a Sheriff ruled that attempts to disarm Trident were justified."

Helen Steven (Anti-nuclear protestor): "The UK is breaking international law at the moment by having these weapons here. So we're here to say it's got to stop."

[placard shown on screen: "A threat to kill millions is illegal. 'Trident Ploughshares 2000'."]

Reporter: "But the union which represents Faslane civilian staff condemned today's blockade as a threat to jobs and safety."

BBC Radio 4 "The World at One"-:

Presenter (Nick Clarke): "In spirit, at least, the newly-knighted Sir Sean Connery should be in a Strathclyde Police interview room this lunchtime. Scotland's favourite film-star sent a fax to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament expressing his support for today's anti-nuclear demonstration at the Faslane naval base. The blockade is part of the long campaign to rid the area of the Trident nuclear submarine fleet there and we understand it's now brought more than 150 arrests. A Green MEP and the Socialist Member of the Scottish Parliament, Tommy Sheridan, were amongst those removed by police. Another was Angela Zelter from 'Trident Ploughshares', the organisation which helped plan the blockade. She was recently cleared of breaking into a nearby Trident facility and causing criminal damage. I'm joined now by Maggie Charnley from 'Trident Ploughshares'.

"Maggie Charnley, the unions inside have complained bitterly about yet more disruption to their work by the protesters. Why have you decided to re-mount this sort of blockade?"

Maggie Charnley ("Trident Ploughshares"): "We believe that Trident is completely against International Law: the Humanitarian Laws of War and the Geneva Convention, and we believe that our blocking of that machine and the process is helping to uphold International Law. The fact that people are disrupted in their daily work: their daily work is upholding part of the system that is illegal."

Presenter: "It's a one-day blockade this one, is it?"

Maggie Charnley: "That's right."

Presenter: "What happens at the end of it?"

Maggie Charnley: "We'll go home again and we start again. We actually have camps every three months and the next one will be the first in the campaign to be held in England, and will be in Aldermaston near Reading."

Presenter: "This is a campaign which has gone on a long time. The Trident fleet is the backbone of the naval forces that we have. You are, realistically - despite the successes you may achieve and you did achieve one in the courts the other day - you are not going to alter this, are you? This is not going to be made to go away?"

Maggie Charnley: "I don't believe that's true. I believe that most of the British public no longer want nuclear missiles and cannot see the reasoning behind them. You can't argue that they're a fair means of war and, as I said before, they break the International Laws of War. We can only do our best to get rid of them and I think that eventually the Government will see the same point of view as we do."

Presenter: "And very briefly the Green MEP intends, apparently - if she is charged - to take the matter to the European Parliament and claim Parliamentary immunity. Is that right?"

Maggie Charnley: "Yes, that is correct."

Programme Editor: Anne Dixie ---- END OF TRANSCRIPT ----

Transcripts are typed from a recording and not copied from the original script. Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, MTS cannot vouch for their total accuracy although every possible care is taken during the transcription process.

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