Leeds Anti-Trident | 13.03.2007 16:06 | Faslane
On Monday we got up at 4 in the morning in order to be at the gate for 7. There were about 50 police there, which was rather flattering considering there were only 8 of us. However, by about 8.30 they had realised we weren’t going to blockade and relaxed, a large number going back to the vans. There was a different inspector in charge but he also came over; introduced himself and explained the ground rules. We found the Monday police a lot more open in expressing political opinions. Although the police on both days had been keen to talk to us in order to find out as much as possible, the police on Monday engaged us in conversation about what we thought of the war in Iraq, New Labour and other such topics. One policeman stated that he thought the troops should be brought home.
About 1.30PM a photographer came over from Sky news and took photos of us and the base. He said the report will come out this or tomorrow evening. We sang the Trident song for him and did some dancing, which hopefully generated some publicity.
The weather was much friendlier on Monday and we tried some diversion tactics, e.g. pairs wandering off in different directions at the same time and whispering and pointing. However, at no point did we look as though we were about to blockade and this helped a lot with police relations. They praised us for one of the most peaceful blockades they had seen and seemed respectful that instead of getting arrested by lunchtime we stayed there as a visual presence. We had the Quaker umbrellas and also yellow capes to go with our yellow banner so it was a bright, very visual protest. We took several photos, which will be uploaded in the next day or two.
We left at about 2PM in order to get back to Glasgow in time for our train back to Leeds. We were very tired but very happy to have done it and we are now all really enthusiastic about drumming up support for the national student protest in summer. We will definitely be back.