Longest ever blockade of a British nuclear weapon base
Press release: 12th June 2016
Anti-Trident protesters, who have already blocked the construction entrance to the UK?s nuclear weapon assembly plant at Burghfield in Berkshire for seven uninterrupted days, are now in the process of setting up a continuous peace camp for the rest of the month there.
The blockade of the gate to the base began last Monday, the first day of the planned month-long programme of peaceful disruption at the site by Trident Ploughshares, and the occupation has continued since, with people sleeping there overnight and being cared for by relays of supporters. While some protesters are maintaining the blocking of the gateway with their arms locked together in tubing, others are setting up a camp on the verges opposite. The whole area is decorated with banners, placards and red streamers.
Police appear reluctant to move in and arrest the blockaders, perhaps in the hope that the protesters will move away voluntarily, so avoiding additional publicity arising from numerous arrests. There is no current indication that the campaigners will go away. Invitations have gone out to encourage people to join the protest, even for a short time.
An inside source has informed the protesters that their action has halted all building work within the base and large trucks have been turned away by police. As these are unable to enter via other gates this has given the protesters huge encouragement. Speaking at the gateway Rowland Dye said:
?This is the beginning of the end for Trident. We are jubilant at halting construction work for a whole week. This has probably never happened before at a UK military base. We are determined to continue and encourage groups coming to Burghfield throughout June to disrupt the base in as many creative and life affirming ways as possible.?
Camilla Cancantata said:
?Trident replacement is an issue that concerns everybody, no matter what their political allegiance or views on Brexit. The UK government insists that the only route for survival is through austerity; cutting health services, local public transport, closing libraries ? even imposing cuts on the military ? yet the figures involved in replacing Trident are staggering: an estimated £31 billion to replace the submarines, with a total bill of £205 billion for the entire weapons system.
Moreover, what the UK government is doing is both immoral and devious. They are calling this ‘routine maintenance’ when in fact it is re-armament, which flies in the face of our obligation to uphold international law and abide by the non-proliferation treaty of 1968 which was ratified by the UK.?
Contact at Burghfield : Angie 07456 588943 or Rowland 07711 214168
Notes for editors:
The Month of Action is organised by Trident Ploughshares http://tridentploughshares.org/
AWE Burghfield is where Trident warheads are assembled before being driven to Scotland to be deployed on Vanguard class submarines
The cost of the Trident renewal programme is currently £205 billion http://www.cnduk.org/cnd-media/item/2450-%C2%A3205-billion?-how-the-cost-of-trident-replacement-doubled