Women protesting Trident replacement at AWE Burghfield call for Nuclear Ban Treaty and end to violence against women

Women in Black and Trident Ploughshares

Press release 20 June 2016

AWE Burghfield, 20 June 2016 – Women in Black London and other feminist peace activists continued the Trident Ploughshares month-long protest at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield in Berkshire, after surprising the MoD and base security by starting their blockade on Sunday evening.

Despite heavy rain, they blockaded though the night and continued to close the nuclear bomb factory’s Construction Gate during the morning rush hour, with banners and coils of peace scarf that had been knitted by women from all over the world as part of the “Wool against weapons” and “Wrap up Trident demonstrations in 2013-14.

“As well as demanding that Trident and all nuclear weapons should be prohibited by an international treaty, as other WMD have been banned,” said Sue Finch, “we want to pay tribute to Jo Cox MP and commemorate her wonderful life and work, as today is World Day for Refugees.  There can be no excuse for wars and armed violence, whether wielded by hate-filled men with guns or nuclear weapons.”

Despite the rain, Ministry of Defence (MoD) police insisted on calling on the nuclear base’s fire service to extinguish a small fire in a raised metal fire wok the women had lit to keep warm. “Instead of stopping us making tea, they should be worried about the fires in the base, where high explosives are packed around the plutonium cores,” said Dr Rebecca Johnson, one of the protesters. “The real dangers to the public include Trident warheads that are frequently transported on our roads and motorways.”

Military convoys carrying assembled warheads travel between between AWE Burghfield and the Coulport and Faslane nuclear bases in Scotland.

There are rumours that after the EU referendum, David Cameron may try to force a vote through parliament in July, on contracts worth up to £41 billion for new nuclear submarines to carry Trident for a further 40 years or more.  If it were to go ahead, the total price tag for replacing Trident is likely to exceed £205 billion, according to CND.

In May, the UK government failed to attend UN-mandated talks on multilateral nuclear disarmament, at which the majority of UN Member States discussed how best to abolish and eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Press contact Rebecca Johnson (rej@acronym.org.uk) 0773 336 0955

Trident Ploughshares contact: Angie Zelter: 074-565-88943

For photos on the Burghfield blockade see www.tridentploughshares.org