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Irish Activist Calls on Britain to Decommission Trident


Trident Ploughshares

Press Briefing 22nd November 1999

Appearing in Helensburgh District Court today Irish citizen and trained nurse Mary Kelly criticised the British Government for failing to set a timetable for the decommissioning of its illegal nuclear weapons. She had been charged with breach of the peace following her participation in February in a blockade of Faslane naval base.

Conducting her own defence she noted that every news bulletin carried an item about the decommissioning of IRA weapons. Along with other peaceful nations Ireland suffered from the threat of the UK's nuclear arsenal. She said it was time the equal attention and applied equal pressure was applied to the urgent need for the Nuclear Weapons States to begin nuclear weapon decommissioning.

During cross-examination by Kelly, two Strathclyde police offers, Sergeant Joseph Logan and Sergeant Stuart Ogilvie, made the intriguing claim that they were not aware that there were nuclear weapons inside Faslane.

In summing up Kelly asked JP Scullion to "continue that pioneering and brave precedent set by Sheriff Margaret Gimblett * and uphold international law." Scullion found her guilty and in view of the expense she had been put to attend court, fined her only 20.

A Trident Ploughshares spokesperson said: " Mary gave a brilliant summary of the moral and legal basis for the struggle against Trident. Unfortunately, Helensburgh District Court still fails to get the point. The ongoing direct action and the trials in the pipeline will give it plenty more chances to get its legal act together."

* On September 22nd 1999 Sheriff Margaret Gimblett acquitted three Trident Ploughshares activists, who had disarmed the Trident barge "Maytime", on all the charges against them on the grounds that their action was justified since Trident presented an active threat that was illegal under international law.

Trident Ploughshares 2000

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