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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Peace protesters march on Faslane
Protesters are marching on Faslane Naval Base
A large number of peace protesters have been staging a demonstration outside the Trident nuclear weapons submarine base at Faslane on the Clyde.

The Easter Monday demo has been resurrected by Scottish CND to coincide with a new anti-Trident campaign by British CND.

The march started at the Faslane Peace Camp at 1300BST on Monday and will end with a rally outside the base.

Speakers from the SNP, SSP and CND have been taking part.

Nuclear fears

The march and rally coincided with a similar protest being staged at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

On Friday about 400 protesters set off from London for the Atomic Weapons Establishment Friday as part of the CND-inspired campaign.

The organisation fears the possibility of the UK joining the US in building a new generation of nuclear weapons, the current expansion of facilities at Aldermaston and its recruitment of new scientists.

Nuclear weapons are illegal. They breach humanitarian law because they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilian populations
Chris Ballance
Green Party MSP
The Faslane event forms part of this and a specific protest against the continued presence of Trident missiles at the base near Helensburgh.

Scottish CND chair Alan McKinnon said: "It is vital to highlight the fact Britain continues to flout international law and its own treaty obligations by maintaining Trident.

"While Tony Blair is busy congratulating Libya for abandoning its WMD programme we deploy Trident round the clock ready at any time to kill millions of innocent people."

Scottish CND secretary Allison Hunter added: "Britain has confirmed its dependence on Trident and is engaged with the US in planning the next generation of these appalling weapons. This hypocrisy must be exposed."

'Redundant dinosaurs'

Green Party MSP Chris Ballance, SNP leader John Swinney and SSP leader Tommy Sheridan were adding their political weight to the proceedings and were being joined by author A L Kennedy and Osama Saeed, of the Muslim Association of Britain, in voicing their protests.

Mr Ballance said: "These weapons are irrelevant to modern needs.

"They are as immoral, offensive and objectionable as they have been for the last 50 years but they are also now redundant dinosaurs of a previous age.

"How can the UK Government justify spending vast amounts of taxpayers' money on weapons of mass destruction especially when British troops have just fought a war in order to reduce and control these very kinds of weapons?

"Nuclear weapons are illegal. They breach humanitarian law because they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilian populations - there is no place for them in Scotland."

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