Socialist Worker

Devonport blockade

Issue No. 1786

Over 400 people joined a march and sit-down protests as the HMS Vanguard nuclear submarine entered Plymouth's Devonport dockyard for the first time last Sunday. Seven people were arrested during a mass blockade of the nuclear submarine dockyard.

Plymouth is scheduled to become the sole British base for nuclear submarines later this year, despite real fears for safety. Ian Avent, from Plymouth's campaign group CANSAR, told the protest rally that there are possibly 11 on-board nuclear reactors currently based at Devonport, in the middle of a city of 270,000 people.

Among the nuclear submarines currently at Plymouth is HMS Tireless. This sub was met with protests of thousands of people when it was towed into Gibraltar with a leaking reactor last year.

Sunday's Plymouth demonstration was supported by Unison and marched the three miles of the Dockyard wall, with mass sit-downs chanting, 'People not profit-peace not war.'

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Sat 9 Feb 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1786
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