Monday, 6 September 2010

Hydrus protest four arrested

After a weekend of action four were arrested this morning.

One group affiliated with Trident Ploughshares closed AWE boiler house gate for a couple of hours by four people locking themselves together. Meanwhile another group of Catholics cut through the fence and they were arrested.

Trident ploughshares has been giving training this weekend to about 20 people on non violent direct action and peaceful protest. Also we went to Newbury, Thatcham, Reading and surrounding villages with a letter of protest about the new AWE developments such as Hydrus. About 90% of the citizens of Thatcham were shocked at the 3 million pounds a day spent on AWE. Particularly as the ConDems are telling us we will be getting cuts to services.

Chris Bluemel, who came from Southampton to chain himself to the gate, said: “We are fundamentally opposed to nuclear weapons, particularly at a time when the poorest in society are struggling as they are.
“It seems totally immoral to commit so much money to [Project Hydrus] and I feel that the argument that Trident is a deterrent that cannot be maintained.”

AWE spokeswoman, Rachel Whybrow, said: “AWE recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest activities.
“On site security as well as the Ministry of Defence Police will ensure that safety and security at AWE sites is not compromised as a result of the protest action.”

Trish Whitham, of Berkshire Greenpeace, said: ““AWE has not lifted a finger to consult the public on this major new development, so we weren't surprised to find that the majority of people had no idea about the plans for Project Hydrus and the concerns that they raise. Many of the people we spoke to were angry that the government plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a major new facility for research into building new nuclear weapons at a time when local services are facing big spending cuts, and we had no difficulty in persuading people to sign up to oppose the development.”

Ann Kobayashi, 70, a retired social worker from Wickford, Essex, said: "We don’t need new nuclear weapons, but we do need the skills and knowledge of the AWE workforce to address the significant challenges of decommissioning existing nuclear weapons and nuclear waste disposal, which will affect future generations."

Daniel Viesnik, 35, from London, said: "I am blockading today because I refuse to stand idly by as the Government presses ahead with its £3 million-a-day programme to modernise the nuclear warhead-making facilities here at Aldermaston without so much as a public consultation or parliamentary debate. I firmly believe that Trident and its planned replacement are illegal, immoral and a shameless waste of resources."

Steve from London, said: " 'Deterrent' cannot be anything like an appropriate word for the possession of a nuclear weapon: by analogy, if I were walking around with a knife to protect myself, not only must I be living in fear but also at the ready to use the weapon I am carrying. The only real deterrent is not to carry a weapon. It makes no difference whether it’s a hoodie with a knife or a so-called great nation-state."

The cold war is over, nuclear weapons proliferation is illegal. Time to cut the nukes.

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