Campaigners from all over Britain united on October 25 to blockade the government’s nuclear bomb factory in Berkshire in England’s south-east, preventing the staff from entering the site.
The Trident Ploughshares activists locked themselves together across the site’s gates before work began at the Burghfield site. A private road leading to Burghfield was also barricaded at each end by cars with protesters fastened to them.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) praised the courageous campaigners and said their action was part of a “groundswell” of opposition to the Tory government spending £200 billion on the Trident nuclear weapons replacement system.
Burghfield and its partner factory Aldermaston are manufacturing replacement warheads for Trident to be installed in Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet in Scotland.
Retired civil servant Jim Davies said: “I’ve never been involved in an action like this before and it’s heartening and empowering to feel that something can be done.”
October 24 was the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, which was set up with the aim of preventing conflicts after World War II. Britain refuses to be part of, or recognise, a United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, signed by 122 countries.
Separately, Hereford Peace Council CND campaigners travelled to parliament on a “peace train” carrying petitions signed by thousands calling on the government to get rid of nuclear weapons and sign the UN treaty.
CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “Today’s actions are part of an increasing groundswell of activity against these weapons of mass destruction which do nothing to keep us safe.
“Economists, defence experts and anyone with common sense are all coming to a consensus that these weapons are expensive, useless and irrelevant in the face of today’s security threats.
“Most of the world don’t have nuclear weapons and indeed 122 countries voted for a UN treaty which would ban all nuclear weapons.
“It’s time for the government to side with this majority of countries who want a safer and more peaceful world, rather than the small number, led by a dangerous President Trump, who are recklessly pursuing nuclear Armageddon.”
[Abridged from Morning Star Online.]