SCOTLAND: 'The real crime is nuclear weapons'

Issue 

Scottish Socialist Party MP Tommy Sheridan on August 25 chose to go to jail rather than pay a fine imposed on him after his arrest at an anti-nuclear demonstration at the Faslane Naval Base on February 11, 2002.

Nuclear-armed British submarines operate from the base. Sheridan had been fined £200 for "breach of the peace" in August 2002. After refusing to pay the fine, an arrest warrant was issued. A Glasgow court sentenced him to seven days' jail.

Sheridan stated on August 25: "I refuse to recognise that opposition to the inhumanity of nuclear weapons is a crime. The real crime against humanity is the existence of nuclear weapons and it's the duty of all socialists and those who want to contribute to a more peaceful society to do what they can peacefully to oppose nuclear weapons."

Sheridan was released on the morning of August 28. He remained defiant, telling the BBC: "Sometimes you have to make a stand ... The biggest waste of taxpayers' money is the £1.5bn a year that [Britain] spends on the maintenance of weapons of mass destruction."

From Green Left Weekly, September 3, 2003.

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