Category Archives: Politics

Take your hammer and break the chains…

The weekend found me in Scotland, involved in preparations to disarm a nuclear submarine.

“I’ll take my hammer and break the chains
I’ll not remain in silence.
I will stand and I will defend
My right to fight against violence.”

No, really. Britain’s Trident submarines are an internationally illegal nuclear weapon delivery system. The International Court of Justice has ruled that nuclear weapons could only possibly be legal if the very existence of a state was in question. Even then it is not clear. And there is absolutely no excuse to have four submarines, with one constantly patrolling shipping lanes and the coast of Africa.

The proposed action is legal, non-violent, and accountable. This is in the manner of an action taken last year against a Hawk jet fighter which British Aerospace were preparing to send to Indonesia to assist in the genocide in East Timor. The women accused of criminal damage were set free by a court which agreed they were acting to prevent a greater crime.

Try to imagine how good it feels to really think, “Yes, we’re really going to do this. We’re justified, legal, and have a broad base of support from around the world.” And we are going to do it.

The camp I stayed at had a brilliant atmosphere. There were actually no discernable egos, the bane of most protest camps and actions. I think this was especially because of the spread of ages and backgrounds. Non-violent, accountable actions seem to attract people who are reassured of the motives.

As ever, Faslane’s majestic beauty was scarred by the military razor wire, and it wasn’t easy for some of the people I’d brought, who saw it all for the first time. It’s hard to look at a grey shed and think that what it contains could end the world, but that’s exactly the kind of wicked, surreal sight which motivates all the more.

Somehow, in the midst of it all, I also managed to meet some wonderful new people, and have established once and for all that in the night sky, Sirius is in fact a horse, and Pegasus, well, woof.