road protests 1999   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links

From: "bannerheather" (
Subject: help!
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 22:24:50 -0000

Help! I've written an article about my recent arrest at Faslane, and I can't get the e-mail address of ANY decent journalists to send it to! Is it possible for you to send it out to any of the press you have the e-mail address for? I've got to go and get arrested again to get into court, thanks.


Chitty Chitty star banged up

Heather Ripley, child star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, spent 12 hours enjoying the hospitality of Clydebank police station last monday, Feb 15th. when she was arrested at 7:30a.m. during an attempt to blockade the south gate of Faslane Nuclear submarine base.

She has been a strong supporter of Scottish CND for about 5 years, frequently visiting the peacecamp, which is being evicted by Argyll and Bute District Council. "I love the peacecampers, the people there are my dearest and closest friends, they work unbelievably hard, living in dire conditions with not even enough money to feed themselves properly but with total commitment to opposing Nuclear weapons which are immoral, dangerous, polluting, a terrible waste of resources and were found to be generally illegal by the International Court of Justice on July 8th 1996."

Ripley took up protesting when she read about plans to excavate a prehistoric burial chamber on the northern line of the Callanish standing stones in Lewis to build a road over it 5 years ago." I fall more deeply and passionately in love with my native land the older I get, I can't bear our beautifull country, or its rich heritage to be threatened by anything". After meeting road protesters from the Newbury bypass who come up to Scotland regularily to help Scots protesters, Ripley moved down to Newbury and lived with her children in a tent on the camp there for 5 months. "It nearly stopped me protesting for good, the senseless destruction I saw there broke my heart" she says. "But that was nothing when you compare it to the devastation at Hirishima and Nagasaki.No one in their right mind should tolerate the continued threat of it happening again and 87% of Scots are opposed to nuclear weapons-if Tony Blair is so fond of them he aught to park them in his own back yard, not ours!".

Ripley had taken a well known Dundee solicitor with her to give legal advice to the protestors liable to be arrested and had promised him she would not to go to the blockade and get arrested, but when she was asked to drive people up to the gate and then saw the sea of "yellow jackets" (the term protesters use to describe the security guards) all her bad memories of Newbury came flooding back.

"I realised most of the protesters prepared to be arrested had already been bundled off to jail and all the pain and rage and frustration I felt overpowered me and I couldn't help myself. When an 84 year old local man Bobby Harrison lay down on the road in freezing cold rain to stop the staff vehicles entering the base I had to lie down beside him and am proud that I did so, he inspired me." The type of people one usually meets on Hollywood movie sets wouldn't normally take that sort of action, but Ripley and 50 other demonstraters were arrested in the company of ex- Chair of the SNP Billy Wolfe, Labour MP Dennis Canavan and Tommy Sheridan of the Scottish Socialist Alliance not to mention Angie Zelter who was aquitted of smashing up a Hawk aircraft to prevent it flying to east Timor to kill innocent civilians.

"Angie is an incredible woman, there is no compromising her morality or integrity, she is a huge inspiration to us all.I am a Quaker, and I will contnue to conscientiously object, loudly and strongly against Trident- I am fully prepared to go back to jail if neccessary when we try to blockade "Vengeance" the 4th sub that will arrive at Faslane on the 1st or 2nd March."

Ripley, a single parent with 2 children, moved back to her home town last year to look after her 94 year old grandmothers house when she had to go into a nursing home after a stroke.

"It hasn't been easy-living back home again - everyone knows me and there's allways a lot of gossip about what I'm doing, but people here accept me as I am now, not just the wee girl in the film but a grown woman with very strong and passionate ideology."

Any readers who feel inspired to send messages of support can -
contact the peacecamp (tel: 01436820901)
or e-mail Ripley at

road protests 1999   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links