Anti-Trident Banner-Drop in Scottish Parliament
Press Release: 5th April 2001
Dramatic Banner-Drop in Scottish
Campaigners Put Trident on Holyrood Agenda
Today, during a crowded First Minister's question time at the Scottish Parliament, Trident Ploughshares campaigners dramatically interrupted normal business by dropping a banner and demanding that the Parliament face up to the Trident question.
The 12 activists, including all of the Trident Three, draped from the public gallery a banner which read: "COMPASSION, INTEGRITY ,WISDOM = NO TRIDENT. WHERE'S THE JUSTICE?" quoting the words on the Parliament mace. Some of the activists shouted out: " The people of Scotland want rid of Trident. What will you do about it?" Others tied themselves to the barrier at the front of the public gallery. Their action drew applause from some members of the Parliament and held up business for about 15 minutes before they were removed by police and taken to an Edinburgh police station, apart from one who was released immediately.
Campaigners are incensed at what they see as the supine failure of the Scottish High Court to challenge the illegality of Trident in responding to the Lord Advocate's Reference on the trial of the Trident Three. One of the activists, Barbara McGregor (33), an artist and warehouse worker from Glasgow, said: "As a Scot I am horrified that our highest court has said that threatening mass murder is OK. It's now up to Parliament and the Scottish people as a whole to show its revulsion for a state that practices terrorism and a dodgy legal system that backs it up."
The activists were Elinor Mackenzie, Barbara McGregor, Jane Tallents, Joy Mitchell, Brian Quail, Marjan Willemsen, Ellen Moxley, Ulla Roder, Angie Zelter, Leesa French, Morag Balfour and Maire-Colette Wilkie. Ellen was not arrested. The others were held by the police until the evening when all but one were released and bailed to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Brian was held overnight to appear in a Glasgow Court since there was an outstanding warrant against him.
People will gather at the north gate of the Faslane naval base, home to the Trident submarine fleet, this Saturday at 11 a.m., to restate the case against Trident and to continue the work of direct disarmament.
Contact: David Mackenzie 01324 880744 (07775711054)
TP website: http://www.tridentploughshares.org/
TP NEWSLINE (regularly updated campaign information) 01603 469296
Quick up-date at 1pm
After the powerful intervention into First Ministers Question yesterday at the Scottish Parliament there has been good coverage. Made it onto the news last night including shots of us on the balcony with the banners, also good pieces in the Herald and Scotsman today. I just heard the end of a debate about it on the Radio Scotland lunchtime phone in, Tor from Stirling phoned in an excellent bit, the political panel gave the usual mixed response. One of them commented that as Scottish Labour policy is against Trident the Labour MSPs should be supporting us too! There is a row brewing about the MSPs who applauded us yesterday and especially Margo McDonald (SNP) who joined us on the balcony!. David Steel says there will be an investigation.
Meanwhile Brian was tranferred to Glasgow to appear in the District Court for an unpaid fine and has been sent to prison til Monday (Barlinnie probably). The Magistrate was awful and Alex Cochrane was arrested for Contempt of Court for saying so. We are still waiting to hear what is happening to him.
Demo at Faslane tomorrow.
Possibly a warhead convoy arriving Sunday.
Court here in Helensburgh on Monday
Trident Ploughshares 42-46 Bethel St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1NR Tel: +44 1324 880744 Fax: +44 1324 562719 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.gn.apc.org/tp2000