How many lives to the litre?

IssueOctober 2005
News by Kate Holcombe

At midnight on Friday 16 September, we were dropped off at the edge of the forest at Padworth, between the UK's nuclear weapons factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield, for a hike to the fence of Defence Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Aldermaston, we had enough food and water for a week, and huge banners saying, "Nukes Out", "US bases out of UK", "How many lives to the litre", and our flags.

At 1am we threw our bags over the fence and climbed in. We had a long walk/crawl to a communications mast in the middle of a complex of buildings, but at 3am we started to climb. The job was a bit tricky with over a 150lb of weight to carry between us, and then there was the other little matter - we are both scared of heights!

Somehow the journey skywards was completed and we spent several hours hanging banners before being seen.

The great escape

The Ministry of Defence Police eventually arrived, followed by Thames Valley Police and a representative from Babcock - the company running the site, with Serco, on behalf of the MoD. We had a selection of locks and chains keeping them off the mast.

In response to efforts to capture us on the Saturday night - a metal security fence was erected around the mast and private security guards brought in - we were inspired to change our plan of a lengthy occupation and escape.

No action is being taken against us by the police - who don't seem keen to advertise a huge and hidden storage and distribution site for military fuel, supplying diesel and aviation to US and UK military and connected sites.