From David Mackenzie for Trident Ploughshares

20th July 2000

Mr. John Orr O.B.E.

Chief Constable

Strathclyde Police

173 Pitt Street


G2 4JS

Dear Mr. Orr,

You will already be aware that along with Scottish CND we intend to blockade Faslane naval base on Tuesday 1st of August from 7 a.m. The blockade will be an attempt to disrupt the illegal work of Faslane naval base, where the UK’s four Trident nuclear missile submarines are based. Trident breaches basic principles of international humanitarian law, notably the requirement for any weapon of war to be able to discriminate between the military and civilians, the requirement not to cause excessive and unnecessary suffering to combatants themselves and the requirement to avoid long term and severe damage to the environment. These principles, along with others, were re-affirmed in the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in July 1996. In short, Trident is illegal.

Although the UK government stated its “unequivocal” commitment to eliminating its nuclear arsenal at the recent Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is as yet no evidence of any practical move in that direction. As things stand one British Trident submarine is on constant alert, ready to commit mass murder.

Trident Ploughshares(TP)is a nonviolent direct disarmament campaign. Its 170 members have pledged to prevent nuclear crime in a nonviolent, peaceful, open and accountable manner. Thirteen countries worldwide are represented by its members, who are from a wide diversity of backgrounds. The TP supporters’ database has over 1500 names, including 79 parliamentarians.

Since our campaign began in 1998 Strathclyde Police have been professional in handling our actions and the force has publicly supported the right to peaceful protest. Liaison with your officers over the planned blockade on August 1st has again been positive and constructive.

We do not take all that for granted but we are asking now for another essential step. On the 1st of August we will be upholding the law, not breaking it. We call on you to give us the support that is our due from a civilian police force with an avowed commitment to preventing crime and enforcing the law on its own patch. At the very least, so that we can maximise disruption of the illegal work of the base, you should not arrest us or move us forcibly from the scene. Ideally you will now set in motion a genuine and thorough investigation of the criminal conspiracy being perpetrated at Faslane and Coulport. It is time to act on the full implications of your professional ethos and to stop pretending that nuclear crime does not exist.

Yours in Love and Peace

David Mackenzie

c.c. Inspector Stephen Gilligan “L” Division