Faslane Peace Camp is a permanent peace camp sited alongside Faslane Naval base in Argyll and Bute, Scotland (Google Maps link). It has been occupied continuously, in a few different locations, since 12 June 1982. In 1984 the book Faslane:Diary of a Peace Camp was published, co-written by the members of the peacecamp at the time.[1]

The site Edit

File:Peace camp.jpg

The site and look of the camp has varied considerably over the years, depending on the number and attitude of the residents. At one point there were two sites (one at each main gate) with distinct political attitudes (roughly characterised as anarchist and socialist). The camp is well established with mains water, a conventional toilet, a telephone, a large kitchen and living room, hot water and a bath, and planning permission for 12 caravans. However, the tenancy was ended 5 years ago when the council borders changed. The new council then organised an eviction order but decided not to waste money on a large-scale eviction.

Protests Edit


Camp residents have occasionally breached the security of the Naval Base by getting inside the fence [1] or by canoeing or swimming into the base. [2] Also by successfully disrupting the road transportation of the Trident missile warheads,[3] which are heavily guarded by the Special Escort Group (Ministry of Defence Police), and by blockading the two gates. [4]

They are also active, with Trident Ploughshares and CND in large public blockades of the base, attended by members of the public and a few politicians. Such annual events aim to keep the base closed for as long as possible by preventing its staff from arriving for work, and usually involve large numbers of protestors being arrested.

Faslane 365Edit

The Faslane 365 campaign is an effort to establish a continuous protest at the base for a 365 day period using autonomous groups of 100 people.

The campaign was launched in September 2006 with the first protest action commencing on 1 October 2006 carried out by a campaigning group of women associated with protests at Greenham Common.

Arrests were made on 2 October of 12 women, and on 9 October of 7 unspecified people. On 16 October 23 Swedes and 19 Finns were arrested.BBC According to the
File:York at Faslane South Gate DaveTaylor.jpg
Faslane365 website [5], there have been 473 arrests up to 8th January 2007. The most recent independent corroboration of the number of arrests appeared in The Guardian on 12 December 2006, in an article which reported that there had been 344 arrests up to that date.[6] Another notable day of protest took place on the 7th of January 2007 when a group of around 40 world renowned academics including Sir Richard Jolly and 25 students from Oxford, Cambridge, Sussex and Edinburgh held a seminar discussing the replacement of the trident missiles at the base. Protesters subsequently managed to stage the most successful blockade of the campaign (apart from a negotiated three day blockage over Christmas) so far closing the North Gate for six hours. All those who blockaded were arrested and held overnight. The majority of these arrests have been for breach of the peace, with 22 prosecutions being made so far: the vast majority of arrested protestors are released, receiving a letter from the Procurator Fiscal's office explaining that although "evidence is sufficient to justify my bringing you before the Court on this criminal charge", the Procurator Fiscal has "decided not to take such proceedings".

Political SituationEdit

The presence of the Faslane base is also an issue in Scottish politics. The Scottish National Party, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Green Party all oppose the deployment of nuclear weapons, although the Scottish National Party have made assurances that they would retain the base for the servicing of conventionally-armed and powered naval units. The issue of Trident is however a reserved matter dealt with at Westminster, rather than regionally.

It is not unusual for members of these Scottish political parties, and indeed some from the Labour Party, to attend rallies outside Faslane. As an example of the inter-relationship of Scottish party politics with Faslane Peace Camp, one of its founder members, Les Robertson, went on to become a Labour Party Councillor on the local Dumbarton Council and is a regular candidate for the Scottish Socialist Party.[2] Robertson has served two prison sentences for protests he's taken part in at the Faslane base, the first in 1983 when he was still resident at the camp, and the most recent in 2005.[3] Jim Bollan is another Scottish politician who has been involved with protests organised by Faslane Peace Camp since the 1980s.[4]


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See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

News CoverageEdit

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