Drobe writer in nuke protest arrestPublished: 24th Nov 2006, 02:52:42 | Permalink | Printable
This is what we do in our spare time A Drobe reporter was among a group of anti-nuclear protesters arrested outside a Scottish submarine base earlier this month. Ian Chamberlain was arrested by Strathclyde police for allegedly breaching the peace after he and others blockaded the entrance to the naval base with signs. The base is home to four Trident nuclear submarines, which form the backbone of the UK's nuclear defence platform.
Lancaster University religious studies student Ian, a Drobe newsdesk and features writer, has exhibited at RISC OS shows selling products on behalf of third party developers. He was held in custody for 23 hours before he was released with a caution, and warned he faces criminal charges if he returns to protest again at the Faslane base.
The group were protesting against the government's plans to replace the UK's nuclear weapons system, arguing that there will be little parliamentary and public debate on the cost, and whether or not the UK should dismantle its nuclear weapon systems as part of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Ian said: "We went because a decision to renew Trident, a shared UK-US nuclear defence system, is about to be made, and will cost taxpayers around £25 billion, although experts believe the actual cost could be as much as £75 billion. It is likely that the decision will be made undemocratically. i.e. parliament won't be given the opportunity to properly debate the issue.
"We want there to be a debate, and for all to be engaged with this debate. Renewing Trident is arguably illegal because it contravenes the nuclear non-proliferation treaty which the UK signed after the cold-war. It is also immoral, how can the UK complain of Iran's nuclear developments while redeveloping its own?"
Meanwhile the Cabinet are reportedly backing the more expensive route of replacing Trident, although parliament will be allowed to discuss the issue for the next three months before taking a vote early in 2007. Leader of the Commons Jack Straw said MPs would pressed to vote in line with the government.
He said: "We have a responsibility not to cop out of this but to come to a decision and we shall. We're talking about defence of the nation here, not the Shop Act or fox hunting."
Supporters of the government's stance say the UK is not required to completely dismantle its weapons, and argue that a "minimum nuclear deterrent" must be kept up-to-date.
Arrested say no to nuclear weapons from Morecambe Today
Trident replacement FAQ from BBC Online
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