Devon

Arrests at Trident anti-nuclear dockyard protest

Anti-nuclear protest at Devonport
Image caption The protest was organised by a group which opposes the UK's nuclear weapon system

A number of people were arrested during an anti-nuclear demonstration outside Plymouth's Royal Naval base.

More than 100 people from campaign group Trident Ploughshares began "blockading" the main gates at Devonport before 0600 GMT.

Some lay down across the road, while others chained or glued themselves together.

A small group of protesters also got on to Drake's Island at the mouth of the dockyard in Plymouth Sound.

The main road outside the dockyard was closed to traffic for about two hours and workers had to go in on foot.

Trident Ploughshares said it was expressing an "unambiguous message of opposition" to the UK's Trident nuclear weapon system.

Protester Shirley Law said: "Radiation and people don't mix and to have something like a Trident refitting programme in a city of 250,000 people is a bad idea."

'Minor scuffles'

Plymouth Moorview MP Alison Seabeck said she had "some sympathy" with the protest, but getting rid of Trident was not the answer.

"In a perfect world I wouldn't want nuclear weapons - I really wouldn't want them," she said.

"However, we're not in a perfect world. There are risks and I therefore support the continuation of Trident."

A spokesman at the naval base said in a free and democratic country people had a right to protest.

There were a few "minor" scuffles, but Devon and Cornwall Police said the demonstration had been mostly "peaceful and good natured".

A police spokesman said more than 10 people were arrested for public order offences.

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