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Issue #1647      July 16, 2014

Detained for blocking nuke convoy

BRITAIN: Four peace activists were arrested last week after blockading a military convoy transporting nuclear weapons through Scottish streets under the cover of darkness. The four were picked up after briefly halting nuclear warhead-laden lorries near Loch Lomond in the early hours of the morning.

Monitoring group NukeWatch said they believed the four converted trucks – part of a convoy of more than 20 military vehicles – were carrying around half a dozen warheads.

The convoy snaked up the M74 through south Glasgow en route to Coulport – part of a Ministry of Defence project to overhaul its nuclear arsenal. Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) co-ordinator John Ainslie said it was hard for people in Glasgow to imagine the peril they had endured while they slept.

“This is an insult to the people of Glasgow and the rest of Scotland,” he said.

“Only 10 weeks before we vote on whether to be independent, the UK government have sent this massive convoy of weapons of mass destruction through the centre of Scotland’s largest city.”

Meanwhile Glasgow Anniesland Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Bill Kidd told the Morning Star he would be demanding an explanation from Westminster Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

Mr Kidd, who also presides over the international network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, said the convoys represented “a totally unacceptable risk to the public. Weapons of this nature can never be used responsibly. They’re against humanitarian law and, while they do exist in the world, we shouldn’t be transporting them on public roads in the dead of night when ordinary people pass in cars and surrounded by people sleeping in their homes,” he said.

Ministry of Defence officials said the department carries out triannual exercises to test its emergency response to a crashed nuclear convoy and resulting radiation leaks.

But an internal report from a 2011 dry run released last June described “major difficulties,” with emergency services at the scene in Glasgow stranded without help from the ministry’s weapons experts for more than five hours.

An MoD spokesman declined to comment on the movement of materiel “for national security reasons.”

Morning Star

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