Monday, 10 March 2008

AWE Peace Camp on International Women’s Day

On Saturday 8 March, the camp celebrated international women’s day, and camped outside AWE Aldermaston, reaffirming their right to protest.

Press reports on the camp’s demise were based on the outcome of a Judicial Review of three of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Aldermaston byelaws, introduced in May 2007, covering the MoD controlled land outside the fence at AWE Aldermaston. One of the byelaws sought to prohibit camping, and thus criminalise the women’s peace camp.

AWPC received the judgment in the Judicial Review on 6 March 2008. Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Walker, who heard the case on 1 February, found in favour of the claim on some points and against it on others.

In favour of the application, the judgement confirmed that the women’s case had merit. It also quashed the byelaw criminalising the “putting of any thing on any surface”. This means that women can once against hang banners on AWE’s fence, alerting the public to the nuclear weapons factory. The judgement also confirmed that the test of reasonableness had to be applied in relation to any arrests under a further byelaw criminalizing “annoying behaviour”.

However, the judgement dismissed the claim that a byelaw, which criminalises camping – and thus the Women’s Peace Camp – was unjustified. AWPC are taking advice on whether they will appeal against the judgement on this byelaw.

A spokeswoman for AWPC said, "The Peace Camp has been here for 22 years – and we mean to continue. The camp is a visible sign that freedom of expression is alive and well. Our camp is not only a valid means of alerting people to the deadly risk that Britain’s nuclear weapons programme poses, but is also a place where women’s views can be heard."

The judgement has implications beyond Aldermaston, including on the right to protest at military and other government controlled sites.
AWPC will be welcoming visitors to their camp at Falcongate at AWE Aldermaston on Easter Monday 24 April, as part of CND’s 50th birthday and anniversary of the first Aldermaston March.

For further information: see or ring 07969 739 812
[1] See, for example, Independent, 8 March 2005,
[2] For more details of the byelaws, and the Judicial Review, see
[3] Hi-res images of the camp available for non-exclusive print or web use, available on request

Regular monthly, women-only peace camp. Second weekend of each month.
Shareholder actions, propaganda, nonviolent direct action, public awareness, vegan cake.

Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign)

postal: 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX, Britain
UK m: 07969 739 812
email: info at

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