Monday, 8 January 2007


GREEN Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas is in police custody today after she was arrested this morning during a peaceful demonstration against the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons arsenal. She was arrested and charged shortly after 10am this morning for breaching the peace when she was sitting in the road blocking the entrance to the Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane, Scotland.“The irony is extraordinary,” she said shortly after her arrest. “I have been arrested for breaching the peace when I am peacefully trying to drawattention to the immoral, illegal and counterproductive breach of the peace which is Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.“What’s more likely to cause a breach of the peace – sitting down in a road or stockpiling 200 nuclear warheads, each which a destructive capacity 18times greater than the bomb which killed 200,000 in Hiroshima?” Dr Lucas was taking part in a day of action alongside some 60 MPs, MEPs and councillors – from a range of green and left-leading political parties – as part of Faslane 365, a one year continuous peaceful demonstration against Britain’s arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Dr Lucas, who is a co-founder and Co-President of the European Parliament’scross-party peace initiatives group of MEPs and a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s decision-making National Council, said:“Britain’s Trident nuclear warheads are deadly weapons of mass destruction which cost billions and are completely irrelevant to global geo-politics today.” “Elected politicians from a wide range of parties joined hands today to blockade the Trident nuclear submarine base to show our collective opposition to this nuclear folly - and the Labour Government’s unlawful plans to replace and upgrade it,” she added. Dr Lucas has been arrested at Faslane before: following a peaceful sit-down outside the base in 2001 she was also charged with breaching the peace. Despite arguing that she intended exactly the opposite – to prevent a breach of the peace and a greater crime taking place – she was convicted. An eventual appeal to the European Court of Human Rights was declared inadmissible in 2003. “Last month Tony Blair said he wanted to replace Britain’s nuclear arsenal but, in the face of strong parliamentary and public opposition, reduce it from 200 warheads to about 160: 1,280 times as much destructive power as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima rather than 1,600. This symbolic gesture will, of course, make little practical difference at all.” “There is simply no legal, moral, military or economic case for the Government to replace Trident. If the Government has billions to spend on protecting security, it shouldn’t gamble it on chasing Cold War shadows but listen to its own advisors and instead use the cash to tackle the real security threats we face today: terrorism and climate change.”

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