PEACE campaigners from across the UK have returned home after staging a week of vigils and protests at the gates of Faslane and Coulport.

The campaigners, including members of the Trident Ploughshares, Extinction Rebellion for Peace (XR Peace) and Greenham Women for Life on Earth groups, and several others, set up camp at the Peaton Wood ahead of a full week of demonstrations running from June 9-16.

Some of the protesters travelled 400 miles from the south-west of England towing a giant version of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) logo, which started life in 2018 to mark 60 years of CND campaigning.

The demonstrators also took part in the 40th anniversary celebrations for the Faslane peace camp, a feature of local life at the north end of Shandon since June 1982.

The week’s protests were held to draw attention to the United Nations’ Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which has been ratified by 61 countries - though not the UK or any of the world’s major nuclear powers - since January 2021.

Veteran peace campaigner Angie Zelter, who was present throughout the week’s demonstrations, said: “The Ukraine war has made it more obvious than ever that nuclear weapons do not prevent war. They just make it more dangerous.

“The bottom line with so-called “deterrence” is the willingness to commit mass murder, an atrocity on a vast scale, a major war crime.

“It is not some common-sense insurance policy. Instead, it leads to the whole global civilian population being held hostage.”

As reported in the Advertiser last week, three people were arrested after a ‘lock-on’ protest outside the Coulport main gates on Monday, June 13.

The following day four protesters sailed canoes towards the Coulport site, while one stepped ashore within the base’s boundaries - though not within the heavily-protected depot itself - while being closely monitored by the Ministry of Defence Police.

Another campaigner was arrested following a ‘die-in’ protest at Coulport on June 15, while the final day of the demonstrations saw letters handed over by campaigners Sal Bennett and Julia Mercer, addressed to Commodore Bob Anstey, the commanding officer of HMNB Clyde.

The first Conference of the Parties of the TPNW is taking place in Vienna until today (Thursday).

Photos - Stefan Weil and Denise Laura Baker