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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Arrests as Faslane protest ends
Faslane protest
The blockade marks the end to a year of protests

Police have arrested 171 people at a protest marking the end of a year of blockades against nuclear submarines at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde.

About 500 demonstrators took part in the final event of the protest at the home of the UK's Trident missiles.

Many of them started blockading the main entrance by gluing themselves to the Tarmac outside and chaining themselves together and to the fence.

Faslane officials said the protests had not had an effect on the base.

Strathclyde Police confirmed that 73 men and 98 women had been arrested.

The protesters were marking the end of Faslane 365, a year-long campaign against the hosting of the Trident fleet in Scotland.

During the final event, protesters started blockading the gates of the base from early in the morning.

Trident replacement

About a dozen protesters blocked the entrance to the main gate by lying on the ground with their arms linked by tubes.

Police used special cutting equipment to free them and then carried the demonstrators away.

Other protesters blocked the A814 to Garelochhead.

Motorists were urged to avoid the area around the base until the protest was over.

MSPs and MEPs also joined the Big Blockade which was backed by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

In March, MPs voted in support of the UK Government's plans to renew the country's nuclear submarine system - an issue reserved to Westminster.

Faslane protest
Police moved protesters who had attached themselves to pipes

The SNP administration in Scotland oppose any such renewal.

Scottish Green MSP Robin Harper was among the first to arrive.

He said: "The use, the threat of use, and the planned replacement of Trident are all illegal.

"We should take a lead in fighting the wars of this century - the war against poverty, injustice and environmental destruction - not spend 25bn on weapons of mass destruction aimed at civilians."

Scottish National Party MSP Sandra White said: "I congratulate all those who have taken part in the Faslane 365 campaign this past year.

"This is the most important event in the Scottish calendar this year because we can no longer afford both morally and financially to have these weapons of mass destruction on our shores."

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "We have taken consideration of the information given to us about the numbers attending and it has been policed accordingly."

Faslane 365 said those arrested included the Rev Chris Howson from Bradford, Rev John Webster from the Iona community, and two pensioners from Glasgow.

Anti-nuclear demonstrators from around the world have visited the base to join the protest over the past year.

The campaign has led to more than 940 arrests and a recent report showed the cost of policing the base has exceeded 5m.

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17 Mar 07 |  Scotland

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