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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Veteran Christian peace campaigners fined
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¬†Two veteran anti-Trident campaigners were fined £250 each in Helensburgh District Court yesterday, for a protest at the nuclear weapons depot at Coulport on Loch Long last August. Joan Meredith (72), from Malpas in Cheshire and Joy Mitchell (70), from Berwick, were jointly charged with a breach of the peace after sitting down in the entrance to the base. Joan told Justice of the Peace Viv Dance that she had joined a vigil outside the base but had felt that a more definite statement of protest was required and so had knelt down in the road. Explaining her actions, she said she remembered the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the resolution, made at the first meeting of the UN, to rid the world of nuclear weapons and could hardly believe that over 50 years on there had been no progress. Joy and Joan said it had been an entirely peaceful act, as was shown by the friendly and relaxed greeting they had received from an MOD dog-handler as they were led inside the base. Joy said she was glad to be in court on Ash Wednesday, the day of repentance in the Christian calendar, adding that there was a need for national repentance over Trident. Both women have spent time in jail for previous anti-Trident protests and pledged to continue their campaign. Another veteran protester, Roger Franklin from Stroud in Gloucestershire, failed to appear in court for his trial, having told fellow activists that he will no longer answer any summons, having "ceased all communication with this warmongering state". A warrant was issued for his arrest. Meanwhile the Adomnan affinity group of Trident Ploughshares joined the Clergy Action Group in a moving Ash Wednesday service in Edinburgh's Parliament Square, at which models of Trident submarines were burned and the ashes daubed on foreheads as a sign of repentance.
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