Police today began removing peace protesters gathering for a mass demonstration outside the home of Britain’s Trident fleet.
Busloads of people from across Europe this morning converged on the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane on the River Clyde.
They included members of CND, the Faslane Peace Camp and anti-nuclear weapons group Trident Ploughshares and started arriving at the base from around 6.30am.
Some of the protesters lay on the ground in the rain outside the main entrance to the base, linked together by a metal pipe.
There was quite a carnival atmosphere with some of the gathered crowd banging drums and blowing whistles, but also a heavy police presence.
By 7.15am officers began leading the demonstrators away from the gates but organisers remained firm in their determination to try to blockade the base.
Peace protester Angie Zelter, 50, was among the crowd.
She was arrested at Coulport, part of the Faslane complex, during a demonstration three years ago but walked free from court in October 1999 when a sheriff ruled nuclear weapons breached international law.
She said this morning: ‘‘There is a war on terrorism at the moment and it seems absurd to us that, objectively, the main terrorism network around the world is the Trident system which is threatening mass destruction on a huge scale against innocent civilians.’’
Demonstrators said they were expecting 5,000 people to take part in the protest over the next three days.
David Mackenzie, of Trident Ploughshares, said it was a bid to bring widespread disruption to the base to prevent its ‘‘ridiculous and illegal’’ work.