Congresbury GP Dr Richard Lawson plans to help obstruct Britain's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on July 6th. With at least four other members of the Somerset Stop Trident Replacement campaign, he will take the train up to Faslane, the Scottish base of Trident nuclear submarines. The "independent"* nuclear “deterrent”** has the combined destructive power to kill somewhere in the region of 160,000,000 (one hundred and sixty million) people.
Dr Lawson, who is International Coordinator for the Green Party, said
"It is the duty of all citizens to disobey their Government when it is acting illegally and foolishly. I do not relish the prospect of jail, but there comes a time when we have to stand up and be counted. Or in this case, lie down and get arrested."
The Somerset group's action is part of the Faslane 365, which is a year-long daily disruption of the doomsday base. 600 people have been arrested in the action since it began in October 2006. The Green MEP Caroline Lucas has been arrested, as has the Somerset-based political folk band Seize the Day. At the end of October 2006, five elderly Quakers from Bristol (combined ages over 360) were arrested.
"Gandhi used civil disobedience to make the British quit India. His actions were ignored at first by the British Government, but in the end, the tide of history was with him.
We have a choice: nuclear WMD will either be abolished or used in a final act of catastrophic folly.
Nuclear weapons do indeed raise the threshold at which politicians go to war, but Iraq shows that war making is not a logical process, and possession of WMD is not a guarantee that they will not be used".
Dr Lawson, who has a wife and three children, feels driven to take direct action because of the lack of national debate.
"Tony Blair said he wanted a Trident debate, but then he suppressed the poor old Labour Party hacks who tried to raise the matter at their sorry excuse of a party conference. The Tories of course are always 100% in favour of anything of a warlike nature, although I am sure they will want to paint it a fetching shade of green when they come in to power". Labour and Tories were noticeably absent from the Trident debates held earlier this year in Bath and Wells.
The logical case for nuclear disarmament is on this blog, on 9.6.2007
*in fact Trident is totally dependent on George W Bush
** in fact “deterrence” is old hat. In modern military doctrine these are tactical war-fighting weapons.