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Trident is “Illegal, immoral and inhumane” say 34 academics and scholars arrested in 6 hour blockade of Faslane nuclear base

More than 70 eminent academics and scholars held a seminar blockade on the insanity and illegality of nuclear weapons at the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland. After four hours, seminar participants, which included students from the Universities of Oxford, Sussex and Edinburgh, as well as professors, lawyers and lecturers, decided to conduct the rest of the seminar in front of the North (main) gate of the base, where it continued for a further 6 hours in pouring rain. Altogether 34 professors, lecturers and students were arrested, charged with “breach of the peace” and detained at several police stations in and around Glasgow.

In addition to internationally renowned physicist, Professor Kouichi Toyoshima of Saga University, Japan, the seminar blockade included Professor John Hull, Dr Nadje Al-Ali, Stellan Vinthagen of Gothenburg University, Sweden, and several professors and lecturers from the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Dr Justin Kenrick of Glasgow University; and Professors Mark Blaxster and Lynn Jamieson of Edinburgh University were among those arrested and detained.

Among the participants in the blockade were four members of an eminent academic family from Lewes, Sussex: Professor Sir Richard Jolly, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General; his wife, Dr Alison Jolly, an expert on human evolution; and two of their daughters, Dr Margaretta Jolly (University of Exeter), and Susie Jolly (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex).

As he and his family were arrested by police, Professor Sir Richard Jolly said: “The government should pay heed to the admirals, generals and leading military advisers who have spoken against the peril and high costs of nuclear weapons which no sane person can seriously consider using. We should all be taking responsibility to stop the deployment and renewal of Trident.”

Photos and copies of many of the papers delivered at the seminar are available from the Faslane 365 website: www.faslane365.org.

Thousands have participated and more than 450 people have been arrested since the Faslane 365 blockades started on October 1, 2006. On Monday, January 8, an ‘Elected Representatives Blockade’ of Faslane is expected to involve Members of Parliament, Members of the Scottish Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and Councillors.

Stellan Vinthagen

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