Voluntary Sector: Taking action... Trident Ploughshares vs AWE/Government

Protesters: Trident Ploughshares
Target: Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)/Government
Location: AWE, Aldermaston
Date: 27 October

- The Lowdown

More than 30 people were arrested during what The Guardian called one of the biggest anti-nuclear protests for ten years. Members of the campaign group Trident Ploughshares blocked a number of gates outside the AWE at Aldermaston, near Reading. The protest marked the start of the UN World Disarmament Week. The action was supported by other groups including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

- Why the protest?

The group is concerned the Government is using the plant to develop replacement nuclear missiles for the current Trident system. It also objects to money being spent on plant modernisation. The group's spokesman Daniel Viesnik said: 'The Government does not take notice of anything else other than direct action.'

- How did the AWE respond?

AWE spokeswoman Rachel Whybrow was quoted in the Reading Evening Post: 'AWE recognises that everyone has a right to demonstrate peacefully and lawfully.' She added that the AWE worked closely with the police to ensure the protest did not compromise safety or security.

- Media coverage

Most used the 33 arrests as the top line and the police statement was given prominence. Nationals including PA, the BBC and the Daily Mirror covered the story.

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