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3 Catholic Workers Arrested after Break-in to AWE Aldermaston

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday September 06, 2010 16:20author by Catholic Workerauthor address AWE Aldermaston, England Report this post to the editors

They're in Jail for us we're on the loose for them!

AWE Aldermaston Opened For Disarmament By Catholic Workers/Ploughshares Activists
Chris Cole, Fr. Martin Newell, Susan Clarkson
Chris Cole, Fr. Martin Newell, Susan Clarkson

Three Christian peace activists were arrested at AWE Aldermaston after opening the base for disarmament. The three, Fr.Martin Newell (43), Passionist Priest from the London Catholic Worker, Susan Clarkson (63) of the Oxford Catholic Worker, and Chris Cole (47) father of three - also from Oxford, cut a doorway into the outer fence of nuclear base. The group then attached a sign saying ‘Open for Disarmament: All Welcome’. The three then entered the base, through the new gateway knelt and prayed.

In a statement the three said: “We come to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston to open a new gateway into this tightly guarded factory of death. We come inspired by the message of Jesus to love our enemies, to be peacemakers and to live act nonviolently at all times. This week marks the 30th anniversary of the first act of nuclear disarmament, the ‘Ploughshares 8’ and we act, inspired by that spirit of disarmament. We believe that AWE Aldermaston and its extensive and expensive new development programme needs to be exposed for what it is: a factory for the creation of weapons of mass destruction which have the power to destroy this beautiful world, given to us by God, our loving creator, to care and tend.

For further details contact Ciaron O’Reilly: +44 7939 290 576

Related Link: http://londoncatholicworker.org
author by Updatepublication date Mon Sep 06, 2010 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The three are still be held in Newbury police station - 5.40 p.m.

author by fuaimpublication date Mon Sep 06, 2010 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Swords into Ploughshares...the spirit and message of Dorothy Day and Peter Mauran lives on. Viva!

author by Update 2publication date Mon Sep 06, 2010 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The three were released from custody at 9 pm. They return to court in December. Prosecution are exploring charges of criminal trespass under SOCPA
and a charge of criminal damage.

author by Trident Ploughsharespublication date Tue Sep 07, 2010 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trident Ploughshares Press Release – Monday, 6 September 2010 – For immediate release

Warhead Lab Plans Prompt Blockade of Nuclear Weapons Factory

Around twenty members and supporters of Trident Ploughshares joined a blockade and protest at one of the gates to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire during this morning’s rush hour in protest at plans to build a new multi-million pound warhead testing facility at the site. Four of the activists chained themselves together with arm tubes and lay down in front of the gate for two hours, but released themselves without any being arrested shortly after 9am. Others stood close to them with banners, and sang songs. Many workers trying to enter the base were diverted away by Ministry of Defence police, who were in attendance; but traffic on the public highway appeared to be unaffected. Following the blockade, a separate group of Christians cut through part of the perimeter fence and entered the base, with three people being arrested.

The planned ‘Project Hydrus’ is the latest development in an ongoing £1 billion-a-year modernisation programme at the AWE, which includes the Orion laser, an enriched uranium handling facility and three new supercomputers. The campaigners say this will enable the UK to develop a new generation of nuclear warheads, circumventing its obligations under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and undermining its disarmament commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are also concerned about the health and safety and environmental implications of the new developments, particularly in light of the lack of public disclosure on these matters.

The protest follows on from the weekend’s activities, during which Trident Ploughshares activists joined an alliance of anti-nuclear groups, including the Nuclear Information Service, and local Greenpeace groups and Green Party activists, who took to the streets to highlight their opposition to the planning application, obtaining 250 letters objecting to the proposed development.

Chris Bluemel, 30, a teacher from Southampton, said: "When the vast majority of the world’s countries have no need for nukes, it makes no sense at a time of economic crisis for the Government to commit at least £70bn of our hard-earned taxes on replacing nuclear weapons."

Ann Kobayashi, 70, a retired social worker from Wickford, Essex, said: "We don’t need new nuclear weapons, but we do need the skills and knowledge of the AWE workforce to address the significant challenges of decommissioning existing nuclear weapons and nuclear waste disposal, which will affect future generations."

Daniel Viesnik, 35, from London, said: "I am blockading today because I refuse to stand idly by as the Government presses ahead with its £3 million-a-day programme to modernise the nuclear warhead-making facilities here at Aldermaston without so much as a public consultation or parliamentary debate. I firmly believe that Trident and its planned replacement are illegal, immoral and a shameless waste of resources."

Steve Burak, 51, from London, said: " 'Deterrent' cannot be anything like an appropriate word for the possession of a nuclear weapon: by analogy, if I were walking around with a knife to protect myself, not only must I be living in fear but also at the ready to use the weapon I am carrying. The only real deterrent is not to carry a weapon. It makes no difference whether it’s a hoodie with a knife or a so-called great nation-state."

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disarm the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system in a nonviolent, open, peaceful, safe and fully accountable manner.
http://www.tridentploughshares.org

2. More information about Project Hydrus can be found on the Nuclear Information Service website: http://nuclearinfo.org/view/item/a2087

Related Link: http://www.tridentploughshares.org
author by The Catholic Worker Farmpublication date Tue Sep 07, 2010 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos of the Disarmament Gate and Arrest

Disarmament Gate
Disarmament Gate

Arrest
Arrest

 
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