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Campaign Profile: Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp (AWPC)

AWPC is a women-only anti-nuclear, anti-war group based around a monthly peace camp at the Atomic Weapons Establishment(AWE) Aldermaston, the UK's nuclear weapons factory. Women of all ages are involved, from 18 to 80, who oppose nuclear weapons in particular, and war and militarism in general. The camp(aign) is nonviolent, and likes to take direct action. Camp women are also involved in Nukewatch, which tracks nuclear weapons convoys deployed to Coulport in Scotland, and other military bases. Aims and objectives: The modest aims are to stop the design, development and production of nuclear weapons production at AWE Aldermaston, and see the plant safely decommissioned (although the site will be blighted with nuclear waste for several thousand years). Current objective is to stop the government's plan to design, develop and produce a new generation of nuclear weapons at Aldermaston.
Established: The camp was set up in 1985 by women from Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and celebrated its 20th birthday this year. In 2004 AWPC helped set up Block the Builders, a campaign to stop the new developments through nonviolent direct action; this group is open to both women and men.
Successes so far: Despite various attempts by the Ministry of Defence police to evict the camp, arrest women on spurious charges (and real ones), and most recently to attack the camp-fire (using the Aldermaston Fire Brigade), women have managed to maintain a camp on Ministry of Defence land for the past 20 years, and continued to witness, monitor and protest against the ongoing deployment of the Trident nuclear weapons system. It is also one of the few women-only spaces in the country for protest, information exchange and tea and talking around the fire. For the past five years, camp-organised shareholder actions have successfully disrupted successive AGMs of Serco plc, one of the companies which runs Aldermaston for the Ministry of Defence (the others are BNFL and Lockheed Martin).
In April 2004, AWPC helped organise a London to Aldermaston march, bringing a new generation of protest to the base. The camp(aign) has continued to oppose the new developments through the planning process and finally, in December 2005, with the help of others, managed to persuade the local planning committee not to approve the Ministry of Defence's plans for a new laser building (which forms an integral part of the planned developments - see p3 for news report).
Next steps: In 2006, AWPC needs support to make sure the laser project is prevented from going ahead, and to put a spanner in the new developments as a whole. Get in touch to find out what you can do.
Contact details: Visit the camp every second weekend of the month (men welcome in daylight hours) - see website for directions or ring 07969 739 812; email: info@aldermaston.net; http://www.aldermaston.net; for Block the Builders visit www.blockthebuilders.org.uk or email: btb@aldermaston.net For periodic alerts about what you can do to stop the next generation [tng] of nuclear weapons at Aldermaston, send an email with the subject line tng_subscribe to info@aldermaston.net.

Topics: Nuclear Weapons