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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 08:34 GMT
Activists move after peace 'victory'
protester
A sit-down protest at the yard was broken up by police
Peace campaigners who have raised questions over security at Devonport naval base have left the area.

Trident Ploughshares supporters were arrested at the weekend after they broke into the base and boarded the nuclear submarine, HMS Vanguard.

Petter Joelson from Sweden and Elisa Silvennoinen from Finland were later released on bail by Plymouth magistrates, but the incident has raised serious concerns about security at the base.

The Ministry of Defence and DML, the company which runs the dockyard, have announced that a full external review will now take place.


Clearly something has gone wrong

Commodore Andrew Mathews

Commodore Andrew Mathews, commander of Devonport naval base, Plymouth, said the incident was a "serious breach of security".

He said: "We have a significant security team here. Clearly something has gone wrong and we have two major investigations underway."

Protesters dismantling their peace camp near the base were pleased with the results of their protest action.

Petter Joelson, said: "We have got a trial and that is a victory for us.


We got on to the nuclear submarine and walked around it first and then pushed the fire alarm

Elisa Silvennoinen
"We are here to make the point that they have nuclear submarines."

The pair said they entered the base wearing ordinary clothing.

Ms Silvennoinen: "We walked inside the base and didn't see anybody.

"We got on to the nuclear submarine and walked around it first and then pushed the fire alarm."

They would not reveal where their point of entry was, or how they by-passed the security system.

The case was adjourned for a pre-trial review on 16 December.

vanguard
Vanguard is undergoing a refit

Seven women protesters were arrested in a sit-down protest outside the Albert Gate of the base on Monday.

They were charged with unlawful obstruction and were bailed to appear before Plymouth magistrates on November 26.

HMS Vanguard arrived at Devonport in February this year for a two-year refit and refuelling.

It is the first of the Vanguard class submarines to be refitted at the naval base and is one of seven nuclear-powered submarines based there.


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See also:

18 Nov 02 | England
18 Nov 02 | England
11 Feb 02 | England
15 Jan 02 | England
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