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Carry on camping
On 8 March, Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp (AWPC) read in The Independent that we were packing up our camp for the last time; famous people were mourning our loss and messages of support were flooding in.
This followed the judgement on 6 March at the High Court in a judicial review, brought by AWPC, of the legality of three Military Lands Act Byelaws introduced (as part of a package with SOCPA) in 2007, one of which prohibited camping.
We had argued against this, on grounds including our rights under the Human Rights Act to freedom of assembly and association, arguing - as our name suggests and on slightly existentialist grounds - that without a camp, we would not exist.
While the High Court failed to agree with us on our camping, they did quash the byelaw which criminalised “placing things on surfaces”, leaving us to lawfully hang banners on the fence around AWE Aldermaston, alerting passers-by to the illegality of the nuclear weapons factory.
Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. Despite the judgement, we will continue to exercise our right to protest. We camped at Aldermaston on 7-9 March, celebrating International Women's Day and we were there on 24 March for CND's birthday. AWPC is appealing the camping element of the judgement.