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Eleanor Bradford reports from Faslane
"George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan were carried off by police"
 real 28k

Monday, 12 February, 2001, 08:47 GMT
Politicians arrested at nuclear protest
Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway
Mr Sheridan and Mr Galloway joined protesters
Two Scottish politicians have been arrested at at the home of Britains's Trident nuclear submarine fleet.

Labour MP George Galloway and Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan were among an estimated 60 people carried away by police as protesters began a major protest over Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Mr Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin and Scottish Socialist Party Leader Mr Sheridan shouted defiance as police removed them from the protest.

George Galloway and police
Mr Galloway was carried away by police

Mr Sheridan served five days of a 14-day jail sentence for non-payment of a fine in relation to a demonstration last February.

The demonstration, which has been designed to close the base for the day, began at 0700GMT and has been organised by anti-nuclear weapons group Trident Ploughshares and Scottish CND.

A number of protesters formed a human chain at the north gate entrance to the base and they were cheered on by crowds on either side of the main gate who waved banners of support.

Faslane is home to the four-strong Trident submarine fleet. Each vessel has 16 missile tubes and the weapons are said to be accurate to within 100 yards.

Hundreds have been arrested in previous protests over several years.

International law

The organisers, a group called Trident Ploughshares, have predicted that up to 1,000 activists would be present.

Campaigners have been expected from all over the UK, as well as Ireland, Belgium, Holland and Denmark.

The group said Trident breaks international law because the missiles cannot distinguish between civilian and military targets.

Tommy Sheridan arrested
Mr Sheridan has been arrested before
A spokesman said: "The blockade will widen still further the cracks that are showing in public and official complacency about Trident.

"There is a growing recognition that it is illegal and an acceptance that ordinary citizens have a right and a duty to intervene where they can."

Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Andrew McLellan, has joined the action.

The protesters received a message of support from Sir Sean Connery.

In a phone call to former Scottish National Party Leader Alex Salmond, he said: "I cannot be with you in person because of filming commitments.

"But be assured that I am with you in spirit and give you best wishes for your demonstration and your just cause," added Sir Sean, who once played a Russian submarine commander in the thriller, Hunt for Red October.

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See also:

22 Dec 00 | Scotland
Jailed MSP unrepentant
14 Feb 00 | Scotland
150 held in Trident protest
10 Dec 00 | Scotland
Marines to guard Trident base
09 Oct 00 | Scotland
Trident 'legal' says Crown
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