Nuclear Weapons

1 September 2013Feature

Frustrated by the answers you get from your MP?

Suppose you get a reply from a government ministry to your carefully-crafted letter – about Trident maybe. The minister or official should think about this one. Off-the shelf answers will not do.

But that’s just what you usually get – the creaky story about living in uncertain times, and how we must maintain a ‘credible’ nuclear capability.

We’re not asking much. We don’t expect a sudden conversion to sanity. We just want considered replies to considered questions or…

1 September 2013News

Activists help knit 7 mile scarf in lead-up to Burghfield disarmament camp

From 6-9 August, a group of peace activists including Serge Levillier, a lively 79-year-old Frenchman, held a fast and vigil outside Burghfield atomic weapons establishment in Berkshire. This was in solidarity with fasts also happening in France and Germany.

We put up banners, sang together, and read from the accounts left by survivors of the terrible atomic bombings in Japan. We did shadow drawings on the tarmac outside the main gate to remember those at the heart of the explosion,…

1 July 2013Feature

Milan Rai surveys the history of Western nuclear threats against the Global South

The most serious threat of nuclear terrorism comes not from some fragmented, vengeful jihadist network, but from the western states who form the nuclear core of the NATO alliance, who have issued repeated threats against non-nuclear weapon states in the Global South.

It is in fact official policy that Britain will use or threaten to use its nuclear weapons to preserve its economic and financial advantages throughout the world. You just have to join the dots.

This is one of the…

24 June 2013Letter

Last Saturday I went to Waddington to protest about drones and I took the opportunity to ask a number of people whether they knew where Britain’s nuclear weapons are designed and made. 

Of course, the results are anecdotal but I was shocked to find that many of these people, all of whom were against nukes, had no idea where we make our bombs.

When prompted, most of them knew the word ‘Aldermaston’, but had no idea what was made there. I wonder whether it is important…

8 June 2013Feature

British participants invited to join a fast for Hiroshima – in Paris

Each year a fast is held in Paris (or in the Paris area) between Hiroshima and Nagasaki days (6-9 August) calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons in general, and the abolition of French nuclear weapons in particular.

The fast is organised by the Maison de Vigilance, which has been demonstrating against French nuclear weapons since 1984.

A movement, a campaign, and a spiritual home for opponents of nuclear weapons which organises monthly protests in…

8 June 2013News

After a recent call out to activists across the country, Faslane Peace Camp hosted a series of meetings/gatherings to see what could be done to save the camp from closing due to low numbers of residents willing to live on the site (see PN 2557).

Faslane Peace Camp, May 2013. Photo: Camcorder Guerrillas

Newspapers across the world published articles indicating the camp would likely close, and activist groups across the country publicised our plight.

The final meeting held yesterday [14 May – eds] saw many individuals, including past and present residents, travel from all over the UK to offer their time and support to keep the camp running.

It has been widely agreed that it would be a bad move to close the camp…

8 June 2013News

On 7 May, eight protesters from Christian groups blockaded the gate to Burghfield, the factory near Aldermaston where Trident nuclear warheads are finally assembled.

Blockading Burghfield. Photo: Action AWE

The blockaders, who ‘locked-on’ by joining their hands together inside plastic tubes, managed to stay in place for five hours before leaving. There were no arrests.

The action was part of a year-long campaign of actions organised by Action AWE, which describes itself as ‘a grassroots campaign of nonviolent actions dedicated to halting nuclear weapons production at the atomic weapons establishment (AWE) factories at Aldermaston and…

10 May 2013News

A proposal

For the last two years, there has been a small group of us rebuilding Faslane Peace Camp as a community of anti-nuclear action.

We came together with a shared vision that if we maintain the camp as a safe, alcohol- and drug-free space with regular actions and campaigning, we could create a strong, autonomous community active in the fight against Trident and the militarisation of the west coast of Scotland.

Part of our vision has been achieved in making the…

10 May 2013News

On 15 April, 47 campaigners were arrested as hundreds of people from as far away as New Zealand converged on Faslane naval base, home to the Trident nuclear missile submarine system, 25 miles north of Glasgow.

All gates into the base were blockaded for three hours on a Monday morning, from 7am to 10am. Those arrested ranged in age from 19 to 83 and came from across Scotland, Wales and England.

Students, pensioners, environmentalists and activists from a dozen campaign groups and political parties lay down in the entrance to the base and locked themselves together with metal and plastic tubes, chains and ‘thumb-cuffs’ (handcuffs for thumbs). They demanded the UK disarm the Trident weapons…

10 May 2013News

On 13 April, protesters gathered outside the ministry of defence drone testing site near Aberporth.

Buzzy bees at Aberporth drone testing site Photo: Lotte Reimer

Initiated by Anonymous activists, who pulled out at the last minute because they forgot to ask their mums if they could have a party, the protest went ahead with local people, singers, Rebel Clowns and other busy bees, who buzzed in solidarity with drones trying to clear their name.

Said one local drone: ‘It’s tough enough that there are so few of us these days, with pesticides and whatnot, but tarnishing our…

10 May 2013News

 At the beginning of March, 500 activists from 70 countries gathered in Oslo for a Civil Society Forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). This preceded the Norwegian government’s conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and reflected ICAN’s intention to redirect the debate towards the catastrophic impact of nuclear weapons and to push for a treaty banning them.

The first day focussed on the…

10 May 2013News

Ever since the first Aldermaston March at Easter 1958, Aldermaston, where the UK’s nuclear warheads are made, has been the focus of CND’s anti-nuclear protest at Easter.

Easter Monday at Aldermaston Photo:Sue Longbottom

This year, appropriately or not, Easter Monday fell on 1 April, and CND staged a demo there entitled, ‘Stop Fooling with Nuclear Weapons’.

People from different parts of the country were assigned to various of the eight gates to the factory complex. Those of us from London were assigned to the ‘Home Office Gate’, so, before noon, the start time for the demo, I got out of one of three nearly-full 50-seat coaches from London.…

10 May 2013News

On 10 April, eight activists from Oxford CND, Reading, Croughton and Hampshire closed Tadley gate at Aldermaston AWE (atomic weapons establishment) as part of a year-long action known as ActionAWE (‘Action Atomic Weapons Eradication to stop Trident replacement’).

The team, dressed in white suits held a 40-minute die-in in front of a large banner (in front of the gate) during the evening end of work shift.

There were no arrests. Police re-directed traffic…

10 May 2013Feature

A call for military spending to be re-directed to meeting human needs

Street art, corner of Saxon Street and Norman Road,
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. Photo: Milan Rai

This month, building on a wave of peace activism, a three-month peace pilgrimage will begin on the Scottish island of Iona, travelling across and then down the east coast of Scotland towards London. The message of the Pilgrimage for Peace and Economic Justice is the same as that of a series of events last month.

In April, the Scrap Trident coalition held a major…

19 April 2013Blog entry

Report back from Natalia Grana’s recent trip to the Faslane Peace Camp

Ever since Peace News Summer camp 2012 I had been hankering after getting up to visit Faslane Peace camp, in fact to be totally honest I had wanted to visit and support the peace camp since I heard about it many years previously, and had driven past it during the Faslane365 year of actions when we did an action.

Anyway, with the backing of…