Hundreds of peace campaigners stage rally at nuclear submarine base

Hundreds of peace campaigners have gathered at the home of the UK’s nuclear deterrent for an international rally.

Around 600 demonstrators holding banners and waving CND flags and Saltires walked from the peace camp at Faslane in Argyll and Bute to the gates of HMNB Clyde, where the country’s nuclear submarines are based.

Key figures from the disarmament movement were among those attending the Nae Nukes Anywhere rally, including representatives from the US, Israel, Russia and Germany.

They were welcomed in an address by Scottish makar Jackie Kay, who read three poems for the occasion.

protesters at the Nae Nukes Anywhere rally
Police estimated that up to 600 people took part in the rally (Lucinda Cameron/PA)

There was a large police presence outside the north gates of the base, where protesters gathered for the rally.

Flavia Tudoreanu, co-ordinator of Scottish CND, said: “We want to put the message out that Scotland does not want nuclear weapons and aligns itself in the view with the prohibition of nuclear weapons treaty which was adopted last year.

“We want to put the message out that Scotland does oppose nuclear weapons and we would love to sign the treaty but we can’t.

“It’s been a year since the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons has been adopted , it’s got over 60 countries now signing and many of them have ratified.

“Internationally speaking there’s a lot of progress being made in nuclear disarmament and we need to align ourselves with the international community.”

She added: “These international speakers are coming today to put their messages of solidarity, to invite Scotland to take a stronger stance and be courageous and oppose nuclear weapons.”

thanks so much @JackieKayPoet for the lovely poems & intro #NAENUKES2018pic.twitter.com/Kmt13k25WM

— Scottish CND (@ScottishCND) September 22, 2018

Police said the protest appeared to pass peacefully.

Organisers of the event said: “Scotland is a significant and relatively autonomous part of a nuclear-armed state which opposes its possession of weapons of mass destruction.

“As things stand we cannot become a party to the new UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but there are lots of ways in which we can align ourselves to the Treaty.”