Stroud campaigners take part in anti-nuclear weapons protest
By Holly Jackson
CAMPAIGNERS from Stroud joined anti-nuclear weapons activists from around the world at a protest in Berkshire recently, which saw police make 21 arrests.
The demonstrators blockaded a road leading to the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) Burghfield site to highlight their opposition to Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Protesters - who want the Government to scrap the multi-billion dollar Trident programme when it comes up for renewal in 2016 - targeted the factory because it manufactures warheads for the submarine-based missile system.
Stroud resident Jaine Rose, who took part in the protest, said: "I wanted to support this non-violent direct action because this is where Britain's nuclear warheads are assembled and maintained so that the UK has the capability to destroy 40 cities at one time.
"These weapons are illegal under international law, and they are extremely dangerous to maintain. It is time we had real security."
As a result of the blockade, workers were prevented from starting their morning shifts and the factory was forced to close for an hour-and-a-half.
Those arrested were held on suspicion of obstructing a public highway.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Action AWE and international organisations like Abolition Des Armes Nucléaires were among those represented at the demo on Monday, September 2.
Some protesters had travelled from as far afield as Norway, Spain, Argentina and Japan to take part.
Chief Inspector Lindsey Finch, of Thames Valley Police, said officers had worked with protesters to facilitate peaceful protest but were ensuring that any criminal activity was dealt with proportionately.
A spokesman for AWE Burghfield, said on-site security, the Ministry of Defence Police and Thames Valley Police were in attendance and were planning to remain for the duration of the protest action.
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