Aldermaston Atomic Mind Blower

IssueSeptember 2007
News by Delyn Harris

On 8 June two women from mid- Wales were arrested at a cocktail party. Drunk and disorderly? How very dare you!

The party was to celebrate 22 years of the Women's Peace Camp at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment.

The MoD are, however, evidently not happy about the attention the peace camp and its sister campaign Block the Builders have focused on the nuclear weapons factory. Recent actions called for an end to expansion of the base in preparation for Trident replacement. The MoD responded with a set of shiny new - ie steely-cold and clinical - byelaws aimed at preventing peaceful protest.

Earlier drafts, successfully challenged by the peace camp, prohibited even holding placards.

The two would-be revellers from mid-Wales were arrested with eight other women and one dog. There followed three hours of confusion as police realised they did not have enough transport. They filled their time rounding up women who had wandered away from Black Marias, which police forgot to lock, and calling the fire brigade to douse a “blaze” in a metal container less than a foot in diameter.

All the women (but not the dog) were charged with lighting a fire and camping - despite there being no tents or bedding in the area. Campaigners who want to support the camp should not be put off - the prohibited area can be avoided (see )

Despite the worst efforts of the MoD, the cocktail party went ahead at the conveniently close and equally-convivial site of Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Forty women clinking glasses in the summer rain. Of course, the British government could always spoil their party by simply ceasing its nuclear proliferation... Here's to many more years of campaigning at Aldermaston, then!

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