Blockading Techniques

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This is not meant to be a definitive guide to blockading. There are many online resources for this and if you feel that you need some extra information or a workshop, please get in touch (see Contacts at the end of the briefing). We will also go through this at the workshops in Glasgow on Sunday 12th.

Sitting down: Many people will take part in the blockade by simply sitting on the road, linking arms or holding hands. Some people will “go limp” when arrested so that the police have to carry them, thus making it more difficult to clear the road. This is called “passive resistance” and is a tactic often used in peaceful protests.

Sheila & Margaret locked on“Locking on”: To make it more difficult for the police to remove them some people chain  themselves together or join their hands together through metal, or plastic tubes and lock together using carabiners (climbing clips) attached to chain or rope around their wrists. These “lock-ons” can be really fun to make, you can get very creative with household and garden shed materials (but remember your own safety and that of the “cutting team” who will be removing you. Please do not put anything sharp into a lock-on). The tubes have to be long enough to prevent the police sliding them along your arms to reveal the chain or rope holding your hands together. The police will try to confiscate any lock-ons and may arrest people with lock-ons before they get to the gate. The police are very good at spotting lock-on tubes, so a degree of creativity is essential in hiding them, e.g. as part of a fancy dress costume or a prop for street theatre, inside rucksacks, instrument cases, even Maypoles and cuddly toys!

Spanish paint jobOther techniques: Throughout the vibrant history of activism at Faslane, people have used lots of wacky and wonderful techniques to blockade. Super-glue has been successfully used by people to super-glue their own hands together after linking arms, or inside a lock-on tube. People have even covered themselves in paint to put the police off dealing with them.

We hope that the blockade will last into the afternoon, so please be prepared to be there a while. Bring something padded to sit on, warm, waterproof clothing and snacks. Try to keep hydrated, whilst remembering that a full bladder is not ideal when in a “lock-on” situation.

Whatever you do, please bear in mind your own safety and that of those around you. If you do have any doubts, safety concerns or even just need help with ideas, please get in touch. You can request a free workshop that will help you get prepared prior to the event, and there are more details about what happens when you are locked-on a bit later in the briefing.

(Practical tip: If you plan to lock-on don’t drink anything in the morning. Carry a small backpack with a water bottle to drink later and a sandwich and snack for the police van and a book to read in the cells.)