by Angie Zelter, Pheasants Union Affinity GroupThere were no police patrols about so we made our way straight to the barge when Ellen and Ulla scuttled up the ladder and started to try various doors and openings.
I tied up the boat and was immediately drawn to a window on the side. Immediately it opened – we later found out it was the only unlocked window on the barge! Calling the others in a low voice, I clambered onto a side rail and up and in through the window. It led into the main research laboratory – the biggest room in the barge – and was full of computers and equipment. As I looked around I realized that it made no sense to smash them up where they were – the cleanest, safest and quickest way to disarm this laboratory was to throw everything into the loch. I unplugged a computer and lugged it over to a larger window which I was a le to open from the inside. Meanwhile, Ulla had joined me. We decided that Ellen should stay on the outside so we could hand the equipement to her through the window – she had the joyous task of throwing everything into the water. As she explained, in one of her letters from prison later, it was a wonderfully liberating experience: she felt as if she were getting rid of the ‘building blocks of oppressions: Trident, the ‘free’ market, the exploitation of children, unbridled militarism, the all-pervading violence of society, third world debt.’
We threw overboard all the computers, phones, faxes, documentation, manuals, discs, spare parts – everything moveable, except for first aid and safety equipment.
David described the scene later in the following words: ‘It was riveting to be on the shore and take it all in, the small scurrying figures, the sharp clang of metal, the frequent heavy splashes of sinking hardware and the delicate fluttering of hundreds of sheets of paper.’
Having completed our work inside the barge we left it clean and tidy (it felt a bit like housework) and lay out on the now empty work-tables a copy of our joint statement, video, handbook, and pictures of the terrible destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We are pretty sure that it was the press release our supporters had sent out just after 9pm that eventually alerted the security people to the fact that they had a problem ‘up the Goil’, but it still took a while before they reached us.
We were back at work trying to drill into this room when the police finally showed up at about 10.30pm. We walked up to their boat as it came alongside, helping them tie up, smiling and telling them we were quite peaceful and friendly and had been engaged in a little nuclear crime prevention, would they like to join us? With smiles all round, they asked us to get into the police launch and so began our arrest and remand.