A GROUP of campaigning Vikings will represent York as part of a year-long blockade of a nuclear base in Scotland.

The protesters will target Faslane, the home of the UK's Trident nuclear submarine fleet, while dressed as Vikings to try to disrupt its operations.

It has been spurred partly by Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for a replacement of the nuclear weapons system, and his refusal to have a public consultation on the issue.

About 50 York residents are expected to take part in the rolling peaceful blockade, which has involved groups from across the country and started in October.

Leah Watt, a teaching assistant, is set to take part. She said: "The Government simply has no valid reason for renewing the Trident missile system.

"It will cost us £76 billion over the next 20 years and is in contravention of international law. That money would be far better spent on education or health."

She said: "Our blockade will be a peaceful and playful act of resistance. The Government does not seem to be listening to reason or to the public.

"But they cannot fail to notice the 80 days of disruption to the base so far.

"If they press ahead with the decision to rearm, they will be pushing the world closer towards a new arms race, and they can be sure of more resistance."

The group will include many students travelling from the University of York.

Jeppe Graugaard, a third year politics, philosophy and economics student, said: "It is utter madness to be wasting this money on weapons of mass destruction at the same time as trying to discourage other countries from gaining nuclear technology.

"Just as with the Iraq war, it seems that most people are able to recognise a bad idea when they see one, but Blair cannot."

Anyone wanting to join the blockade is welcome.

There will be a meeting at 7.30pm tomorrow, upstairs in the Golden Fleece pub in Pavement, York, or people can email york@faslane365.org.

The group are also appealing for people who can drive cars or minibuses and are asking for donations to be sent to Kathrine Binney at Flat 3, Block F1, Alcuin College, University of York, YO10 5NB.