Arrests in Faslane Protest

13 April 2015, 12:07 | Updated: 13 April 2015, 18:41

34 people have been arrested after being cut free from a gate at Faslane naval base, according to anti-nuclear protesters.

Some protesters had to be cut free from gates at Faslane naval base as the Scrap Trident Coalition staged a blockade.

A group covered themselves in red paint to form a red line to symbolise their ''total rejection of the UK's weapons of mass slaughter''.

Organisers described the day as a ''huge success'' with around 250 people taking part in the demonstration between 7am and 3pm.

Police Scotland arrested 32 people at the gates to the base while Ministry of Defence Police arrested two people.

The blockade is part of a series of events organised by Scrap Trident to focus attention on the UK's nuclear deterrent in the run-up to May's General Election.

Thousands attended a march and rally in Glasgow city centre earlier this month to call on the UK Government to abandon plans to replace Trident.

A Scrap Trident spokesman said: ''This has been one of the most effective blockades in our experience with so many workers being unable to enter the base and such a relaxed, colourful and upbeat vibe to the whole protest.

''It has been wonderful to have the presence of people ranging in age from five to over 80, to have a member of our own Parliament sitting down with us, and so many others from diverse backgrounds.

Trident is a hot topic at the General Election and this gives us hope that at last we can tackle the British state's addiction to monstrous and mindless violence. We are also aware that even among the workers in the base and the police who attended today there is growing support for removing the WMD stain from our shores.''

A Faslane spokesman said: ''The MoD recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest activities.''

He added that the operational output of the base was not affected by the protest activity as they had contingency plans in place.

Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens and MSP for Glasgow, was among those taking part in the demonstration.

He said: ''Trident is an obscenity. Through direct action and through the ballot box we can make the case for the UK to play a new role on the world stage.

''By pursuing peace, a global deal on climate change and ending the arms trade we can stand tall rather than clinging to outdated and dangerous status symbols.''

The nuclear weapons system came to the fore of the campaign last week after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed that a Conservative government would go ahead with the construction of four new Trident nuclear missile submarines to replace the existing fleet of ageing Vanguard-class boats.

He warned that the deterrent would be put at risk by the prospect of Labour leader Ed Miliband entering into a pact with the anti-Trident SNP in the event of a hung parliament in May.

But Mr Miliband insisted Labour is fully committed to renewing the Trident submarine missile fleet.

Over the weekend, leading figures in music, the arts and science, including Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Higgs, comedian Frankie Boyle and Mercury Prize-winning band Young Fathers, called for the nuclear deterrent to be scrapped in a letter to the Observer.