Faslane Peace Camp faces closure

IssueMay 2013
News by The Campers

For the last two years, there has been a small group of us rebuilding Faslane Peace Camp as a community of anti-nuclear action.

We came together with a shared vision that if we maintain the camp as a safe, alcohol- and drug-free space with regular actions and campaigning, we could create a strong, autonomous community active in the fight against Trident and the militarisation of the west coast of Scotland.

Part of our vision has been achieved in making the camp a safe and welcoming space with facilities to support anti-nuclear action, low-impact living and skill-sharing.

We have worked really hard to sustain resistance to nuclear weapons as central to this space. However, our main hope that this community would grow has not been achieved. Maintaining this space whilst having an active campaign with so few of us has put us under such pressure, personally and as a collective, that we simply cannot continue.

Our proposal

We feel, as a group, our limit on being here is 12 June, the 31st anniversary of the Camp. If the responsibility on deciding and enacting the future of the camp is to be ours (if this notice does not provoke wider constructive discussion on the future of the camp) then we will enact the following proposal: ‘We will start taking the camp down on 12 May to create a garden space (to be finished by 12 June) that will both celebrate the 31 years of resistance here and act as a site facility to support future action camps.’

We use the word ‘proposal’ as we do not feel the responsibility of this decision is ours, nor do we want it to be. However, if not presented with viable and positive alternatives, then we will regrettably undertake this action.

We feel that leaving the camp empty and open to chance is not an option because we have seen it having ‘fallen into the wrong hands’ and feel that this is much more detrimental to the peace movement and activism in general than the camp not being here.

The camp’s potential

Many of the people who have passed through here have learned and continued to practise so many skills in active resistance and low-impact living. Those of us here have grown and learned so much, from a personal level to a more acute understanding of the nature of the state-sponsored terrorism of nuclear weapons and the banality of the everyday running of this evil.

This is a space to learn, grow and challenge a very fundamental human willingness to tolerate societal corruption (in this case, that of nuclear weapons) as well as maintaining a degree of living ‘outside the system’ whilst we make attempts to challenge it.

The facilities here are indicative of the ingenuity of 30 years of creative and resourceful individuals who have simply found ways to live without electricity, much or any money, and create alternative ways of organisation, which challenge so many of the negative learned behaviours in society.

We believe that maintaining a supportive community living here, as well as active campaigning, can only be sustainably achieved with a significant increase in numbers, possibly eight residents.

The potential and capacity of the camp is also severely limited by the lack of wider input and practical support for its inhabitants. Throughout our time here we have increasingly felt like caretakers of a souvenir.

In short, we feel that the camp can only have a future if a larger group of people decide they wish to be based here and the wider peace movement assumes a degree of collective responsibility to support these people, emotionally and practically and take active measures to ensure their welfare. The current residents, although unable to continue full time, would be committed to providing long-term support to any group or individuals that wish to continue the Camp.

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