The Fro

News, gossip and opinion



Naval basarrests give anti-nuke boost



lan Hamilton QC,” ' Alasdair Gray a -

Tommy Sherid were among the protesters at the Big Blockld.

Civil disobedience the only way forward say Faslane protestors

Words: Rachel Richardson Picture: Tim Kerby

Who remembers Swampy, the hero of non-violent protest thrust into

the limelight after he, along with Animal and Muppet Dave, held up the upgrade of the A30 dual carriageway? Their exploits became a national farce, the kind of David and Goliath battle

i rarely seen since the suffragettes. The police spent seven humiliating days trying to capture the self-styled

l non-violent eco-warriors. Swampy

eventually exited his underground

tunnel a hero. His success was less the halting of the road works than the major PR coup he sparked. His

approach has been repeated during

l the anti-capitalist protests in Seattle

' and Nice.

; Most recently non-violent direct action resulted in 300 anti-nuclear protesters being arrested at the Big Blockade demonstration at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. Hundreds of police officers spent the morning of 12 February arresting well- known politicians and celebrities - among them Ian Hamilton QC, Alasdair Gray, George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan - who represented little threat, yet were creating a civil disturbance by blocking off a naval base.

It was the protesters who won by drawing attention and little criticism to

Coming quite soon . . . Those lucky Americans are getting themselves in a right old excited state,for the forthcoming third series of The Sopranos.

Word is that creator David Chase will seek closure of the New Jersey mob drama after

i a fourth season. Insiders

l are keeping plotlines

l tighter than a

l douchebag at a sit-

4 rue LIST 1—15 Mar 2001

down but vague hints from Chase suggest that the new emphasi will be on Tony and Carmela’s parental rol British fans should ge cabled up with E4 for their first taste of life after Pussy sometime in the summer. . . Lars von Trier‘s best mate Bjork returns w her first new album in four years;

their cause. Their success means we can expect more civil disobedience. Marie-Ann, a resident of the Faslane Peace camp, told The List: ‘To get rid of Trident, we have to get mass civil disobedience, so that we can tell the government that we don’t need it.’ Can the Faslane protesters win the battle that Swampy lost? It is not so unlikely; in the short-term the protesters are awaiting the result of a legal hearing about a point of law raised in the case of Angie Zelter and Ulla Roder. They were arrested, charged and acquitted for disarming a floating laboratory called Maytime, a vital part of the Trident operating programme. They argued in court that they had purposely destroyed the equipment in June 1999, but that their actions were lawful and moral, as they were acting to prevent nuclear crime because the UK’s weapons are illegal under international law.

The case has become the subject of a Lord Advocate’s Reference examining the protesters’ claims about international law as it applies to Scotland. The findings are expected soon. If the principle is upheld that ordinary citizens have the right to try to correct great wrongs, it will be a success in the name of non-violent direct action.

Vespertine comes out in May. Her only comments so far are that it will be the opposite of her Dancer In The Dark scundtrack. Whatever that means . . . On the comedy trail is London club Jongleurs with its ‘\ showcase at ‘._ Glasgow's Bourbon Street for April Fools' Day. Rumour


68. t



ABC gets the chop

Largest cinema shuts up shop

We've been hearing about the impending death of picture palaces for years: they're all going to be closed down by the rise of the multiplex. blah. blah. Well, now

it's happened in Edinburgh. The ABC Cinema on Lothian Road. 62 years old and boasting the largest auditorium in the country, has closed down. The 800-seat Screen 1, all plush red velvet decor. has hosted numerous star- studded gala premieres through the Edinburgh International Film Festival over the years. No more. Instead. you can go and sit in a small box and watch films on a screen the size of a portable telly. General manager Leslie Thompson says the ABC will become an office block. and although there will be a cinema within, its combined four screens won't approach the size of the old Screen 1. ‘You’ll never see the like of it again,’ Thompson says.

We’re sulking. (Miles Fielder)

Cream not up to Scratch The Venue defends new booking policy

Regular readers of our club news column Word Up will have noticed outspoken comment on recent schedule changes made at Edinburgh's Venue by new owner Ellis Johnson. His decision to book Liverpool superclub Cream for a monthly residency has resulted in disruption to many local club promoters. Official spokesperson

has it that the night is a preCurSOr to a more

permanent attraction . . .

Can straight men and women ever be best friends with no strings attached? The eternal question. And one which Channel 4 is hoping to answer as it Jets north to find Edinburghers who have a member of the opposite sex as their

and events co ordinator for the Venue. Roger l-lowison, made the following statement to The List: “He [Ellis Johnson] has made a business decision which has directly affected Scratch and other club nights. T his decision was made simply to get more peeple in the club.“ Amends have since been made to Scratch in the form of a new slot as from Saturday 24 March. Meanwhile. Howrson and Johnson are jointly drafting “negotiable contracts' that aim to protect both the owner and the promoter and prevent conflicts of this nature arising in future. (Catherine Bromleyl

top pal. Feeling brave? Call Hannah on 0207 313 8676 . . .After James 'Titanic' Cameron's move into tellyland with Dark Angel. HoIIw/ood hotshot Bryan ‘X-Men’ Singer is moving into Small screen entertainment with a re— make of ludicrous space drama Battlestar Galactica.