Taking action ... Anti-nuclear protesters vs Atomic Weapons Establishment

Protesters: Anti-nuclear protesters Target: Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Location: Aldermaston, Berkshire Date: 15 February

CND protest
CND protest


The lowdown

More than 400 members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Trident Ploughshares staged a protest outside the AWE in Aldermaston, joined by the Bishop of Reading, Stephen Cottrell. The group blocked the seven entrances to the site. Police cut protesters out of 'lock-on tubes' in an attempt to clear access to the site, making 11 arrests for obstruction.

Why the protest?

AWE provides the warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent. Last week, plans were approved to create a new facility to store enriched uranium at AWE. The CND's chairman said ministers should save money by scrapping the Trident replacement, saying it was 'militarily useless'. Meanwhile, a Trident Ploughshares spokesperson said the development of new warheads was 'illegal and immoral', and would lead to the 'proliferation of nuclear weapons'.

How did AWE respond?

A spokesperson told the BBC that the AWE did not wish to comment.

How did the media cover it?

The day before, PA advised that the protest was going to happen, using the CND chairman's quotes. BBC.co.uk covered the protest, reporting that 11 people had been arrested, but also quoting the police, who said the protest was 'peaceful'. There was also regional newspaper coverage.

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