Suffolk activists blockade nuclear weapons site

Hundreds of protestors chained to the gates of nuclear weapons site angry at Government plans to replace the Trident missile system

ACTIVISTS from Suffolk are among hundreds of campaigners blockading a nuclear weapons site where warheads for Trident submarines are made.

They have joined fellow protestors from all over the world to demonstrate at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston, Berkshire today.

In what has been described as the biggest demonstration of its kind “for many years,” demonstrators arrived at 7am and blocked the seven gates at the site by sitting down in front of them and locking themselves together.

The aim is to stop the Trident missile system being replaced.

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Among the protestors are two Nobel Peace Prize recipients, Jody Williams, who led a campaign to ban land mines, and Mairead Maguire, who led a campaign to end violence in Northern Ireland.

Local campaigners from Trident Ploughshares and Eastern Region Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) have slammed the approval of a new enriched uranium facility.

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Mell Harrison, 38, from Geldeston, Beccles and a campaign officer for CND said: “ Local democracy is yet again being dumped- over 60% of people living locally to Aldermaston were against the new Uranium Enrichment facility at AWE, and there have been 1,400 letters of objection- yet still the planning application got the go ahead.

“There is much discussion over Iran enriching uranium- and here we are doing the same thing- its a hypocrisy.

“I am going to take part in the blockade with people from all over Europe because I can not stand by and let nuclear proliferation happen- especially when it’s happening here in the UK.”

And Niki Stickles, from Bungay said it is vital we get rid of nuclear weapons.

“Local people are rightly concerned about the production of additional high level nuclear waste on their doorstep and the lack of consultation and information provided about the new facility,” she said.

“But the majority of the British public is also increasingly concerned about our government wasting billions of pounds on useless and illegal new nuclear weapons. We must get rid of them.”

On Wednesday, West Berkshire Council approved the Ministry of Defence’s planning application for a new enriched uranium handling and storage facility Project Pegasus.

Campaigners say the new facility will be used to build a new generation of nuclear warheads, which they say breaches the UK’s legal obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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