TP blockades bomb factory

IssueAugust 2014
News by David Polden

On 9 June, the Trident Ploughshares direct action network blocked all vehicle entrances at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (awe) Burghfield for five hours. The factory cancelled all deliveries for the day.

The action, which was part of the Action AWE campaign, began at 6.45am with blockades of all three vehicle entrances. At the Construction Gate, a trailer was steered across the entrance and four protesters locked-on. A ministry of defence (MoD) road leading to the Main Gate was also blocked; a car was parked at each end, and two people locked-on to each car via tubes.

Traffic started building up immediately. Some cars were directed to a sports centre car park at the south of the base from where some workers entered the base.

Protesters gave out leaflets explaining the reason for stopping work at the factory while some press turned up, including a local TV crew.

Police concentrated on clearing the Construction Gate, where it took almost two hours’ cutting to remove those locked-on to the trailer. They were then arrested and taken to Loddon Valley police station from where they were released after one signed a formal caution and the other was bailed after being charged with highway obstruction.

With traffic now able to enter the base at 11.45am, the blockaders negotiated through the police liaison officer that they would be allowed to return home with their equipment, including the adapted cars, in return for them agreeing to self-release.

Based on an account by Angie Zelter.

Topics: Nuclear weapons