Newsletter Number 16, Summer 2003


Real disarmament at Leuchars
Not Endless Discussion – Real Disarmament Now
Supporting Ulla and other prisoners
My first time in The Really Big Blockade
Blowing the whistle on Trident
Weapons inspection in Devonport
The Bomspotting campaign invites you to “Get in SHAPE”: 25th October 2003.

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Real disarmament at Leuchars

On 11th March Ulla Roder entered an unguarded aircraft hangar at RAF Leuchars in Fife, and disarmed a Tornado jet, causing damage that could total over a million pounds. The Tornados based at Leuchars were at the time being used in the war against Iraq.

Ulla, from Denmark, is one of the three women who were acquitted after taking part in the disarmament of Trident submarine testing equipment onboard the Maytime research barge on Loch Goil in 1999.Several Trident Ploughshares activists have spent time in prison over recent months as a result of disarmament actions aimed at halting the war in Iraq. While the other activists have been released on remand to await trial, Ulla is currently on remand in Cornton Vale Prison, in Stirling. Since she is in custody the Crown must serve any indictment within 80 days and the trial must follow within 30 days after that. However, a trial before June is unlikely. If convicted, she could spend many months or even years in prison.It is vital that we continue to offer support for Ulla, and any other activists who serve time in prison for taking part in nonviolent direct action. The mainstream media have been unwilling to publicise Ulla’s story- stating concerns that the matter is still “sub judice”. For this reason, we publish a message from Ulla describing her action in her own words.

We also have ideas on how to support Ulla, and other peace prisoners.

Not Endless Discussion – Real Disarmament Now

I looked at the seat in the cockpit in the streamlined white Tornado warplane, which I had just entered. In my mind I had the picture of a young pilot, boy, son, father; the many years of fear for the people of Iraq; for their survival; for a new world war -nuclear war; fear of losing the little bit of freedom we people have left in this world, to a state which has officially declared that it wants “Full Spectrum Dominance” on earth as well as in space and which has shown all willingness and cynicism to use whatever means of power to gain this. All this made me lift the red and black bolt-cutters in my hand. Crash! I shouted out aloud in the hangar. There was no-one to hear, but it helped. “We don’t want your war, Bush and Blair!” This for all the dead civilians in Iraq and all the children still suffering at poor hospitals, caused by 12 years of sanctions against civilians. Crash! The control panel was out of commission.

The echo of the hammering was still in the air when I started on the wings. The hard surface resisted my attempts. This for my disabled friend who cannot afford a decent wheelchair. This for my other disabled friend who daily has to crawl up a stone stairway outside his house, because a proper house with disabled access cannot be provided for him and his family. This for all the marginalised people, the sick and older folks; this for all the people in poverty whose basic needs are not fulfilled; this in hope for the future of our children in the world. I had done enough.

The nose cone got the rest of my anger and all the energy I had. Lies! Disarmament treaties and negotiations -thirty years! International law! Ignorance! All lies to buy time for the weapon industries and military to re-arm for the warfare of the 21st Century. Shame! Shame! Shame on all nuclear weapon states. Shame for all the time the courts have ignored the arguments of ordinary people. Now really tired, I slammed the bolt-cutters down on the back of the plane. This for all the arrogance from intelligent, learned people, who have never glanced long enough into the eyes of a young drug addict to understand why they suffer, but coldhearted send them away for shoplifting for their daily needs instead of giving them access to proper treatment because that is too expensive. A fiver a week or you go to prison! Problem solved. Then I returned to the cockpit and silently put the bolt-cutters down. On top I placed a piece of bread and in silence I symbolically shared it with all the hungry -breaking off small pieces and spreading it around, praying for peace and justice in the world. I then went down to two fuel containers on the ground -looking like two ugly fat bombs . On each was placed the sign: TO THE GULF. I put my last bit of bread on each of the signs. My job was done. No more will anyone face the horrors of war from that plane. One more war machine was disarmed. I felt a deep inner peace.

I now waited for someone to arrive. After a while I was very respectfully and peacefully detained and led away, while the alarm sounded through the whole base. Good! More delay in the preparations for war.

And now I am facing a trial – maybe for £25 million pounds worth of damage -more than my entire family will earn in a lifetime by hard and decent work. A Tornado costs £70 million pounds. We paid for this plane and we will pay for all the other planes I saw out there that night, being got ready for an illegal war.

All this world needs is love

Ulla Roder

Supporting Ulla and other prisoners

“Any political movement that does not support its political internees is a sham movement!” (Ojore Lutalo)

The Trident Ploughshares prisoner support web page has information on supporting prisoners, as well as an up to date list of who’s in prison, who’s been released, and background to the cases. Prisoner Support

Letters- One of the easiest and most powerful ways to support prisoners is to write a letter. Receiving post can be the highlight of a prisoner’s day. It can help to keep them in touch with the peace movement, and remind them that their action was worthwhile. It can certainly make more of an impact that writing to your MP!

Whether you know the person you are writing to or not, the following tips can help make the whole process go smoother:

It can be quite daunting to write a letter to someone you don’t know, so the first letter can be reasonably short, maybe only a postcard.

Always send your card in an envelope;

Include a return name and address on the envelope;

Be chatty and creative: send photos from your life, drawings;

Tell prisoners what you are doing to stop war and war preparations;

Don’t write anything that might get the prisoner into trouble;

Think about the sort of thing you’d like to receive if you were in prison;

Don’t begin, “You are so brave, I could never do what you have done

Don’t expect the prisoner to reply.

Ulla’s address is: HMI Cornton Vale, Cornton Road, Stirling, FK9 5NU, Scotland.

Send Love to Ulla

For Mother Earth Scotland have started a campaign to support Ulla and raise awareness of the campaign. They have been printing Ulla’s statement (above) and giving it to people along with a cardboard loveheart to send to Ulla with a message of support. More details on the prisoner support web page.

Visits – If you would like to visit Ulla, get in touch with Sue on 01786 472703.

Other Peace Prisoners

Around the world there are many people in prison for taking part in anti-nuclear or anti-militarist actions. People who have trespassed military bases, disarmament weapons or refused to be conscripted into the army. You can find links to more information on many of these prisoners from the Trident Ploughshares prisoner support web page.

Toby Olditch and Phillip Pritchard

Toby and Phil were arrested at RAF Fairford on March 18 2003, on their way to disarm a B-52 bomber. They were stopped after attaching photos of Iraqi people labelled “collateral damage?” to the fence, planting white poppies, a symbol of peace and sowing seeds to represent life.

Send them an email at:

Or cards (especially of nice outside places):

Toby Olditch-JT5132

Philip Pritchard-JT5131

HMP Gloucester

Barrack Square



More info:

Finnish Union of Conscientious Objectors

Trident Ploughshares has built links with the Finnish Union of Conscientious Objectors. Every year 60 Finnish men are sentenced to 6 months in prison for refusing to join the army, and refusing the alternative civilian service- which is much longer, and often carried out under hasher conditions than the military service.

You can find details of prisoner addresses, and more information at

Sacred Earth and Space II Ploughshares

Jackie Hudson, Carol Gilbert, and Ardeth Platte are three Dominican nuns, each facing up to 8 years in prison as a result of the “Sacred Earth and Space II” ploughshares action at a nuclear missile silo. On October 6th last year, the three nuns cut through the fence of a Minuteman III missile silo site on Colorado’s northeastern plains, swung hammers at the silo and painted crosses on it with their own blood. They said they acted as war with Iraq neared and because the United States has never promised not to use nuclear weapons.

After spending several months in prison on remand, they were found guilty of “interfering with the nation’s defense and causing property damage of more than $1,000”. They were recently released from prison until they are sentenced on 25th June.

Prison addresses will be put on the TP prisoner support website, when they are known.

My first time in The Really Big Blockade

It was in February when I heard about a journey from Finland to Scotland to The Really Big Blockade. GREAT, I thought, but I was afraid I won’t have money to take part. But because the price of the trip was not high and I live quite quietly and economically I could do it; so I travelled to Scotland. And it really was something very special and great – even that I got on the trip an uncomfortable flu and I’m still suffering because of it… (But being ill is just a part of life…)

We came to Glasgow so early that we could take part to the Anti-nuclear conference. There were lots of quite interesting and important things, I think. But I found very soon that I can’t understand everything that was spoken in English and so it felt quite frustrating to take part to many different things – and I suppose I wasn’t the only Finn who felt like that. But anyway I think we all foreigners got the idea why taking part to The Really Big Blockade was so important – well, I think we all knew it already when we decided to come to Scotland…

On the Big Blockade-day I got up at 4.15 and felt so tired… I felt also very excited… But it did not feel very nice to go out to the cold darkness… We were in the grey Faslane little bit after 7. First a motorbike policeman tried to lead us past the whole base and so we first drove through the village to some beautiful picnic place… But then we came back – of course, because we came to demonstrate against evil nuclear weapons and not to have a picnic.

The day was so cold… And the daffodil-peace symbol near to North Gate was so beautiful… The policemen with their yellow coats and their accent were so funny (and looked almost like daffodils from the hill where the peace symbol is!)… And all the people with some special costumes and blocking stuff and instruments and banners and what ever were so great…! Especially older people were admirable strong, brave and tough when they sat or stood for hours and hours in the chilly and rainy weather!

I didn’t want to get arrested, so I was just supporting the others – well, not “just” because I think it’s not just “just”… I think supporting is also very important and it’s quite understandable if everyone doesn’t want to get problems with the police.

And the first one who was arrested on the North gate was a Finn! And the third one too… And later also many other Finns… Maybe I’m a shameful wimp because I didn’t want to be one of them… But I just think it was not necessary for me to be in any blocks and I was happy to just stand close to the gate.

(…But when I later heard from many Finns how nicely warm places their cells were I was almost jealous… They could sleep on soft mattresses in their own, warm and peaceful cells at the same time when I desperately tried to get some sleep on the bloody cold and damp Warehouse – only hard concrete and a far too thin camp mattress underneath me… Not fair!

In spite of coldness and couple of rain showers the atmosphere was warm all day long. Music and songs, theatre and gymnastic shows, slogans and blocks – they all made the demonstration very powerful, impressive and special! It was great to notice that there was no aggressiveness – not even from police (at least I didn’t seen or heard anything bad – on the contrary the Scottish police seemed to be much more well-behaved than the quite boorish Finnish police!). Great!

We Finns were the biggest foreigners group in The Blockade. I’m quite proud because of my active compatriots – even that the truth is that Finnish people as well as people in all countries could (and SHOULD!) be much, much more active, thinking and broadminded. Too many people condemn all kind of activism and demonstrations without any proper knowing and orientating with the idea. When I told to my parents that I’m going to Scotland and taking part of Anti-nuclear conference and The Really Big Blockade I was surprised to see how negatively they reacted. They both are against nuclear power, weapons and war, but they do not like demonstrations at all. They don’t believe that our world will benefit anything for activism and demonstrations, and they are afraid that being involved in activist happenings will only get harm for you. But anyway I want to try to do something else than just fret about the bad condition of our world and that’s why I went to The Really Big Blockade. I’m happy that so many others from many different countries did the same thing! I’m ready to do it again and I hope that many others are too.

In The Really Big Blockade almost half of the Finns got arrested and some of them got even through to gates to the base…

Quite a brave thing to do! But Finns are usually rather brave… Especially activists – well, activists from all countries are brave, I think. And this world needs brave activists!

Peace & Love,

Rauni from Finland

P.S. Big thanks for the kitchen people (especially for them whose idea was that hot water is available all the time – in the coldness was so lovely to get hot tea when ever you want…!) who made all the good food in the Warehouse! And of course THANKS for you all who planned and made all happenings!

The North Gate was closed from 7 in the morning until 4.30 in the afternoon. The South gate was closed until 1pm.

When the closing ceremony was over, the Bandit Alarm in the base sounded, signaling the fact that activists had cut their way into the base.

At the end of the day police stopped arresting blockaders, including MSP Tommy Sheridan who was locked onto others at the North gate of the base.

530 people registered for the blockade and it is likely that there were around 600 present. There were 171 arrests

The blockaders came from Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany , Ireland, and all over the UK

This was the seventh in the recent series of mass blockades of Faslane, which began with the Love the Planet blockade in February 1999.

Blowing the whistle on Trident

On Saturday February 22nd concerned citizens from all over Britain went to their local police stations to report the presence of illegal weapons of mass destruction on British soil. A complaint about the British nuclear weapons was also handed in to police stations in Sweden.

The complaint ends:

“Everyone, military and civilian, has the legal duty to ensure that they are not involved in serious wrongdoing. We therefore hold each individual involved in the UK nuclear weapons system personally responsible for their neglect of the law, and for the preparation of crimes against humanity.”

Jeremy Clines, who reported Trident to the York police, said: “We hope we get a positive response, but if we don’t we will have no option but to take peaceful action ourselves, at the Really Big Blockade of Faslane on 22nd April.”

The complaint was handed in to police stations in Newtown, Lancaster, North Yorkshire, Skipton and Keighley, Grantown, Fylingdales, Stockholm (Sweden), York, Blackpool, Leicester, Stafford, Norwich, Glasgow, Helensburgh, Edinburgh and Stirling


“About a dozen of us from Stirling CND, plus two Irish women connected to the Shannon protests who just happened to be passing our street stall, paraded to the Central Scotland Police HG in Stirling where a genial Inspector, who knew some of us from convoy escapades, was happy to be photographed by local press receiving the complaint. On our parade through the streets there was lots of supportive honking from cars and a brief siren bellow from a fire engine.” (David Mackenzie)


“At 11 a.m. today, 22nd. February, 4 members of Blackpool & Fylde CND, handed in at Blackpool Central police station the double-sided sheet requesting action re those involved in the Trident system. The local paper, The Blackpool Gazette, published our Press Release, almost word for word, on Wednesday.” (Ken Gorman)


“Around 15 residents of Stafford handed in citizens’ complaints and asked the police to investigate the breach of international law. Inspector Paul Gilbert accepted the letters and promised to look into the matter to see if it was anything Staffordshire Police should get involved in, and undertook to let us know. It was reported on local commercial radio news, complete with the statistics of the firepower of Trident.” (Alison Crane)

Dear TP Pledgers and supporters,

As part of our contribution to the REALLY BIG BLOCKADE, the Adomnan of Iona Affinity Group redrafted the “Blow the Whistle” statement into an indictment against Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon, the Commander of the Trident Fleet, Rear Admiral Derek Anthony, and all persons involved with deployment of British nuclear weapons, and sent it to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The text of our letter to the ICC can be sent to you by e-mail (contact Jane on

Last Saturday we received the following reply from Sam Muller, Deputy-Director of Common Services at the ICC: –

The Hague, 28 April 2003

Dear Sir,

This serves to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 18 April 2003, addressed to the International Criminal Court.

Even though the Statute of Rome entered into force on 1 July 2002, the Court has not yet begun investigations and prosecution of crimes within its jurisdiction (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes). The Prosecutor has been elected and he is expected to take office in June 2003. No one can initiate investigations until then.

Your letter has been safely filed and will be brought to the attention of the Prosecutor once he takes office. You will be informed then of the state of your complaint.

Please note that, according to the Statute, the Court will only investigate and prosecute crimes committed after 1 July 2002.


Sam Muller,

Deputy-Director of Common Services.

It will be interesting to discover in due course what the ICC Prosecutor makes of our indictment!

Best regards,


Wednesday 7th May 2003.

Weapons inspection in Devonport

The action by Elisa and Petter was part of the successful first TP camp last November in Devonport, Plymouth, where Trident submarine Vanguard is being refitted. A second camp is planned for the autumn, date still to be decided. Call 08454588363 or check

15th November 2002 me and my friend Petter left the Trident Ploughshares Devonport peace camp at 9.30 p.m. We were left near by the Devonport Royal Naval base, where we walked through the itching bushes to find a good spot to cut our way in to the base. Finally there was a perfect quiet place under a railway bridge to climb over the fence. After covering the sharp edges of the fence, we climbed over, which wasn’t the easiest part of the action. We had to walk about 300m across the base passing a tennis court and some interesting buildings with radiation signs on the doors. The only weird thing was that there was absolutely no security. Only few cars were passing by and some people walking but nobody paid any attention on us. Finally when reaching the dock number 9, where the HMS Vanguard was to be refitted, we had to use our bolt cutters to cut a little door to a small fence protecting the submarine. We walked on the deck, saw the holes where the missiles would be fired and even went inside the sub without anybody even knowing we were there. After about 20 minutes we decided to press a fire alarm to get us caught. The first one didn’t work but we found two more of them. After pressing the alarms about 10 workers started to climb up from the lower parts of the sub, just next to us. We tried to get their attention by telling who we were and asking if they knew that the Trident was illegal. But nobody was interested, until an officer from the office just next to the sub came and asked us to go with him. We were chatting and drinking tea when the MOD police came to arrest us at 11.55 p.m. On Monday morning we were released on bail not to enter the city of Plymouth including Devonport.

The trial on 13th and 14th March 2003

We came back to Plymouth to hear the verdict on a charge of criminal damage to the small fence protecting the HMS Vanguard caused during a citizen’s weapons inspection. The actual trial on 13th March went well. We had an opportunity to motivate our action against illegal, immoral and unsafe Trident system. We told the court that it was hypocritical of the British government to threaten Iraq with war, and the possibility of nuclear attack, with no proof of illegal weapons of mass destruction, because the weapons inspectors were not allowed access. We were arrested for a peaceful inspection with proof of illegal weapons…

After hearing that and our arguments about international law the district judge praised our calmness, peacefulness, the minimal damage we caused and our clearly honest and sincere beliefs about the horrors of nuclear weapons and the imminent threat. But still she didn’t found a sufficient close link between the fence cutting and situation in Iraq for the chares to be dropped.

We got both compensation order of £146 and we were conditionally discharged not to commit another offence 12 moths for Petter and 6 month for me, otherwise we will be re-sentenced for this offence.

Elisa Silvennoinen


The Bomspotting campaign invites you to “Get in SHAPE”: 25th October 2003.
What is SHAPE?

SHAPE is the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe. It is the military HQ of NATO in Europe. Since 1967, it has been based at a site near Mons, 50km south of Brussels, in Belgium. NATO takes the political decisions, then SHAPE takes the military decisions to carry these out, and gives these to the national armies via the “National Military Representative”, who work at SHAPE.

The international staff of SHAPE is made up of 2000 military and civilian staff from US (520), UK (380), Germany (320), Italy (140), Belgium (120), Netherlands (120) and other NATO allies. The international staff is also supported by a “national” military staff from each NATO member state.

To explain the role of SHAPE more fully, it is necessary to make your way through a maze of abbreviations like… SACEUR, ACE, SACLANT, EUCOM, AMF(A), JTSMG, STANAVFORMED, ACLANT, NATO.

General James L. Jones is SACEUR: Supreme Allied Commander Europe

SACEUR is the commander of ACE: Allied Command Europe.

ACE has its headquarters at SHAPE, and is responsible for the NATO territory that stretches from the most northern point in Turkey, to the South of Turkey. An important restructuring of NATO, agreed at the summit in Prague in 2002, will leave SHAPE as the only strategic military command for the alliance. SHAPE will also take over command of the NATO fleet in the North Atlantic Ocean…

SHAPE’s Nuclear Role

In peacetime, SACAEUR, ACE and SHAPE prepare and finalise defence plans, set down standards for organising, training, equipping, maintaining and sustaining the forces earmarked or assigned to his command, conduct exercises and evaluations to ensure that the forces knit together into a unified and capable force for the collective defence of NATO territory. In crisis/wartime they control all land, sea and air operations of NATO-assigned forces throughout Allied Command Europe (ACE).

In practice, this means that SHAPE for making decisions about the American nuclear weapons in Kleine Brogel, Lakenheath and in other airbases across Europe. Soon, SHAPE will also be responsible for making decisions about the nuclear submarines with a NATO role that are on patrol in the North Atlantic Ocean. This includes Trident. The precise role of SHAPE in relation to these illegal weapons of mass destruction is unclear, but it is clear that SHAPE is responsible for making plans for the possible use of nuclear weapons… and all the death, destruction and suffering that this would inevitably bring…

Doesn’t this sound a bit familiar?

All the planing at SHAPE is done in secret. Saddam Hussein was accused of making secret plans for the use of weapons of mass destruction. General James L. Jones (SACEUR) is accused of making secret plans for the use of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was faced a UN weapons inspection regime, and eventually had his country occupied by the US… In contrast, SACEUR is allowed to continue this planning in secret, with the complete support of the US, UK and their allies…

Don’t you think it’s time the inspectors called at SHAPE?

Bomspotting, in cooperation with For Mother Earth and Forum voor Vredesactie, plans a citizens’ inspection at SHAPE on Saturday 25th October 2003. We will enter SHAPE in a safe, accountable and responsible manner, in order to search for evidence of plans to use weapons of mass destruction. We will ask personnel working in SHAPE about their role in preparing for the use of these weapons.

Put the date in your diary

Spread the word

Organise a non-violence training

Book a bus

Get in SHAPE 25th October 2003

If you’d like to come to the “Get in SHAPE” action, or if you’d like more information on the campaign, please contact:

For Mother Earth

Maria Hendrikaplein 5

9000 Gent

tel: 00 32 9 242 87 52

fax: 00 32 9 242 87 51