FASLANE Naval Base was “shut down” for two hours after peace campaigners locked themselves on to both entrances in protest at the UK Government sending uranium weapons to Ukraine.

On Wednesday April 5, just after 8.50am, a group of six targeted the base in Helensburgh and managed to co-ordinate a twinned action - with activists locking themselves onto both the north and south gates at the base.

One campaigner told The National it was part of a campaign to raise awareness around the UK Government sending armour-piercing depleted uranium shells to Ukraine to be used in the conflict with Russia.

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The ammunition was gifted for use in the 14 Challenger 2 tanks also provided to Ukrainian forces, and are deemed “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armoured vehicles”.

However peace campaigners, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) have warned that depleted uranium shells can have devastating environmental and health impacts.

The activists told The National that the weaponry is "unethical", and said the implications would “affect the health of soldiers on both sides, as well as civilians”.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the incident and said two individuals were arrested at the demonstration on Wednesday, with four individuals later appearing at Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court on Thursday afternoon.

The National: A peace camp member on the ground outside of Faslane Naval BaseA peace camp member on the ground outside of Faslane Naval Base (Image: Supplied)

The activists were charged with breach of the peace, but told The National they “wanted to be arrested” to make their case heard in court.

One activist told The National that the group of six split into two groups of three, with two protesters locking themselves to the entrances with metal pipes, while the third was there as an observer.

The first group, of two older female peace camp residents, joined by a male observer, managed to lock themselves onto the north gate in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

However, the activists said that their support person was quickly detained by officers, which meant they could not signal to the others at the south gate. However, the loud “bandit” alarm tipped them off, and led to the base being closed for two hours while the protesters refused to budge.

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One of the activists, Margaret, told The National: “We closed it for over two hours plus we were arrested and went to court, we wanted to make the point about depleted uranium.

“The reason we also do an HNB Clyde is because that is the UK submarine base for the whole of the UK, so that is where these weapons go out from.

“So that is why we're doing it because they are representing the UK Government.

“That’s their policy that makes that [Faslane base] be there, and it shouldn't be. We don't want it there.”

Margaret and fellow protester Willemien photographed themselves on the ground outside of the north gate, with one holding a placard which read: “Depleted uranium is not the answer, maybe try peace instead.”

The campaigners' court appearance was postponed on Thursday until a later unspecified date.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 8.50 am on Wednesday, 5 April 2023, police were made aware of a demonstration at Faslane Naval base at Faslane, Helensburgh.

"Officer assisted MOD colleagues who are the lead agency with regard to any subsequent investigation or arrest."

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A MOD spokesperson said: “We can confirm that two individuals were arrested yesterday morning outside HMNB Clyde and charged with breach of the peace.

“At no time did the individuals gain entry to the site and the safety and security of the Naval Base and our vessels were not compromised.

“The Naval Base has well-established procedures in place for such eventualities and our core business of supporting the Royal Navy fleet was not affected by this incident.”