Carnival atmosphere at Faslane Trident protest

Protesters gather at Faslane yesterday, to call for the scrapping of the nuclear deterrent. Picture: SWNS

Protesters gather at Faslane yesterday, to call for the scrapping of the nuclear deterrent. Picture: SWNS

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HUNDREDS of demonstrators yesterday turned out to protest against the basing of the UK’s nuclear deterrent at Faslane.

The naval base, situated on the Clyde, is home to the submarines which carry the Trident weapon system.

The Scrap Trident Coalition said the demonstration had support from all over Scotland, as well as backing from the Scottish Government.

The peaceful protest, which saw no arrests made, had a carnival atmosphere as hundreds of demonstrators marched down the hill to the north entrance of the base.

Banners were flown featuring slogans such as “Not here not anywhere Trident must go”, while peace flags were hung from the fence. Drummers played music and songs were sung to entertain the crowd.

One of the organisers, Brian Larkin, a coordinator at Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, was pleased with the turnout.

He said: “I’m really excited. We’ve been seeing the bus ticket sales rolling in over the past few weeks but it really started shooting up over the last ten days. It’s all about the referendum, it’s the will of the people. Eighty per cent of the people in Scotland, whether they voted Yes or No, actually want rid of Trident and have done for a long time.

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He added that the message for the day was “just for people to have a really good peaceful demonstration”.

He said: “We’re fed up of seeing nuclear weapons in Scotland but we don’t want them in the rest of the UK either.”

Attending the protest was Sheena McGregor, 56, from Kirriemuir.

The teacher said: “I’m very much against nuclear weapons. The thing that spurred me on to come here was seeing the extra submarines coming up, the No vote in the referendum, it’s just been a combination of things.

“With the austerity cuts we’re having, look at the amount of money that’s being spent on that, I find it a disgrace.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed the Scrap Trident campaign, calling for the UK Government to cancel plans to renew the nuclear weapons.

She said: “My opposition to the possession of nuclear weapons and to the basing of Trident in Scotland is absolute and I offer my full support to the Scrap Trident Coalition.

“It is my goal, and the policy of the Scottish Government, to secure the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Scotland and to support the pursuit of global nuclear disarmament.

“The Scottish Parliament voted to reaffirm its support for these goals on 6 August 2014.

“I offer the Scottish Government’s support for a peaceful and lawful demonstration.

“Through such efforts, the public and civic society can demonstrate to the UK Government the democratic opposition that exists to the continued possession and threat of nuclear weapons.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed there had been no arrests made during the demonstration.

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