A WALTHAMSTOW student was arrested as she took part in a peaceful protest against the Government's decision to renew the country's Trident nuclear arsenal.

Hannah Schling, 21, a history student at Oxford University, was one of 37 protesters who were held in police cells for 24 hours after being detained on Monday as they blockaded the road outside the nuclear submarine base in Faslane, west Scotland.

Whipps Cross Hospital campaigner Norma Dudley and fellow Waltham Forest resident, Eva Turner, were present at the protest as legal support witnesses.

The Government won House of Commons support for its £20bn plan to renew Trident in March, despite 88 Labour MPs voting against the proposal.

The rebels included Leyton MP Harry Cohen and Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard.

But then Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said renewal was necessary because there was the potential for a nuclear threat to re-emerge.

However, Ms Schling insists nuclear weapons do not ensure British security and claims the cost of maintaining Trident could reach £76bn during its lifetime.

She said: "(Nuclear weapons) have no place in true peace - one actively built on mutual interdependence, trust and dialogue.

"Trident is part of a foreign policy based on the use of threat and only serves to increase global tensions. It of course has no place in fighting terrorism and it diverts resources that are desperately needed to fund the NHS and to combat climate change."

Ms Schling, who attended Walthamstow School for Girls and Sir George Monoux College, has also been involved in setting up a "tent state", called Strident, which hosts workshops to discuss issues around nuclear proliferation.

She added: "With the Strident tent state we are sending a clear message to policy makers. With education, consensus decision-making and engagement with politics, a nuclear-free future can be envisioned - it needs to be put back on the agenda.

"Direct action is an important part of the involvement in our political process. By physically obstructing the workings of the base, I am adding strength to my voice - we can't be ignored."

For more information about the campaign visit www.faslane365students.org