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G8 Protestors in Full Swing

Protestors are in their full swing Monday across Scotland where leaders of the world's richest nations are to convene a summit this week.

Early in the morning, thousands of anti-war protestors marched to the Royal Navy Base in Faslane on the west coast of Scotland to start "The Faslane Blockade".

Protestors carried placards reading "No War, No Nukes" and "Water Not War". The action, which is planned for the whole day, is to blockade one of the most important military bases in the United Kingdom.

"We aim to focus on the military power by which the world's richest countries protect their economic interests. Militarism drains money away from health, education and housing, pollutes the natural environment and leads to the death of thousands of innocent people," says their leaflet.

"Our protest is non-violent. Our people are stationed at the four gates of the base, which is completely shut today," said David Heller, a member of the G8 Faslane Blockade Action team, over the phone.

Faslane, some 90 kilometers from Gleneagles where the G8 summit is taking place, is home to Britain's four Trident nuclear weapon submarines.

Based only 45 kilometers from Glasgow, the base is home to 200 Trident warheads and each one has eight times the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. It's revealed that Trident costs 45 pounds (some US$90) per second.

The blockade is one of a serious of protests and resistance actions planned around the summit which is slated for July 6-8.

In Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, some one thousand anarchists turned up in the downtown area to have what they called "carnival for full enjoyment". People dressed in black and hooded clothes along with fun-seekers in blaring colors chanted "Police go away", "Our street" and had several stand-off with police and riot squad.

"They are very disruptive and all they want is to tie up the police so they won't have time for riots in other areas," said a church staff, adding "they won't come off with much though, because the police wouldn't give them the excuse to riot."

There are no registered protest with Edinburgh police, who have been quite jittery since Sunday night for fear of any possible damage to businesses and residence.

Thousands of police are out on the street keeping alert to any unexpected incidents. As word spread that the anarchists are targeting on capitalism, financial institutions on main streets are advised to take great precautions.

It turned out all the banks in city centers are closed for Monday whereas business in main street stores is very slow.

Most residents in Edinburgh welcome peaceful demonstrators like those turned up last Saturday for the "Make Poverty History" rally and march.

"I've never seen this before. It was very exciting. But I don't like the anarchists who are coming for trouble," said a self-employed woman who is out to see for herself.

As July 6 draws near, more protests are brewing. Some anti-G8 activists are already marching near Gleneagles, the venue of the summit, determined to get their voice heard.

(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2005)

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