A VETERAN peace campaigner has been arrested so many times she's lost count.
Grandmother Joan Meredith, 77, from Brereton Close, Malpas, stopped counting after being detained for the 16th time and guess what...she's just been arrested again.
On her latest protest, Joan took part in a two-day campaign involving GOATs - Golden Oldies Against Trident - outside Faslane on the River Clyde, the Trident nuclear submarine base.
The older members created a decoy by acting as 'lollipop' people allowing a 40-strong group of younger protestors to lay in the road and lock themselves to each other, blocking the entrance.
Joan said it took about three hours for police to separate the campaigners but acknowledged they showed 'care and good humour' even though their task was a difficult one.
Joan,who was among those arrested, said: 'We were put three in a cell. Our treatment in the police station was kind and welcoming and we were processed as quickly as possible.
'We were prepared to stay 30 hours - this happened to me last time - but after three hours five of us were let out, the three older ones and two who were ill. The younger ones were detained.'
Joan, a member of campaign group 365 Faslane, was released without charge. She said 400 people had been arrested outside the base since October 1.
'More and more groups are going up such as cyclists, MPs, church ministers, Quakers, groups from Wales, poets and singers,' she said.
Tony Blair recently announced the government is to press ahead with a replacement for the agingTrident missile system with one which the government says may cost £42 billion but which opponents claim may be as much as £72 billion.
Joan, a retired teacher for the deaf, commented: 'Trident is a weapon of mass destruction well past its sell-by date. Nuclear weapons were given up by South Africa when Mandela came to power so this government has an example to follow.
'The young people were absolutely sure that, with threats to the world of climate change, jobs should be switched now from making weapons that kill to solving the real problems that we face. Come on Tony Blair do something positive!'
Joan wants to set up a local group which can protest at Faslane on a regular basis. She can be contacted on 01948 860862.
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