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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 16:31 GMT
Eight charged over Trident protest
Anti-nuclear graffiti
Faslane has been the scene of many protests
Eight people have been arrested and charged with minor offences following a protest at the Faslane base, home to the UK's fleet of Trident nuclear submarines.

Demonstrators, including a woman in a wheelchair, chained themselves together at the south gate.

Two tripods were erected with scaffolding poles at the north gate.

The protest was organised by people from the Faslane peace camp.

The demonstration is against what they say is the "illegality" of the UK's nuclear weapons programme.

A spokeswoman for the base said: "There has been an attempt to block both the north gate and the south gate, whoever, we were able to open alternative gates.

"As a result, traffic has been moving slowly but freely and, at most, I suspect people have been half an hour late for work."

Warfare conduct

Faslane is frequently targeted by anti-nuclear campaigners. Seventy-six people were arrested at the last major protest in August.

At the time, the protest group Trident Ploughshares accused the UK Government of breaching international law.

Spokesman David McKenzie said: "Over the last 100 years, codes have been developed for the humane conduct of warfare, from the St Petersburg convention through the Geneva protocols to the International Court of Justice ruling in 1996.

"They all make it clear that any weapon that cannot distinguish between civilians and the military on the scale that Trident cannot, is immoral, illegal and should be removed immediately."

In February, more than 150 people - including Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan and Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas - were arrested as they tried to stop work at the base.

However, the Valentine's Day demonstration, which was backed by Sir Sean Connery, was condemned by unions as a threat to the livelihoods of the 8,000 people who work at the base.

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See also:

09 Oct 00 | Scotland
Trident 'legal' says Crown
14 Feb 00 | Scotland
150 held in Trident protest
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