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Saturday 20 October 2018

Protesters held after blockade outside Sellafield

Bernard Purcell

ELEVEN Irish people were arrested and cautioned by police in Cumbria after a human blockade near the Sellafield nuclear plant yesterday caused widespread disruption to local traffic and schools.

The decision to block the A595 local access road to the plant which held up road and rail traffic was condemned as "a dangerous and flawed tactic" by local police who said they had previously facilitated such protests .

Supt Steve Turnbull said "a repetition of today's action on the A595 may result in someone getting injured or even killed."

He added: "I understand the right to oppose Sellafield and support that right to lawfully protest but I cannot condone the general public becoming the target of the protestors. I have no doubt the protestors have done themselves a great deal of harm in the eyes of the local community."

As the protesters, five women and six men, were cautioned they were not publicly named by police.

The blockade started before 6am at two of the entrances to the plant causing a tailback of several miles.

Many of the protestors, students and members of an environmental group called Gluaiseacht and a group which styles itself Globalise Resistance, were involved in a protest at the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland earlier this week. They have been involved in two other protests at Sellafield in recent months which took place without incident.

Supt Turnbull said that the traffic disruption prevented local people getting to work and a number of schools were unable to open. He said trains on the west coast line linking Barrow and Carlisle were delayed because rail staff could not get to work.

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