Friday, 12 February 2010

Press Release

Trident Ploughshares Press Release
12 February, 2010
For immediate release

Nuclear bomb opponents gear up for direct action as new warhead facility gets green light

Campaigners from Trident Ploughshares [1] have slammed the approval of a new enriched uranium facility, saying it gives added justification to their blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire next week. [2]


Among the hundreds of campaigners who will be present at the blockade on Monday, 15 February, are Nobel Peace Prize laureates Jody Williams, from Vermont, USA and M√°iread Corrigan-Maguire, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. [3] Also attending the blockade are the Catholic bishop of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon; the Anglican bishops of Bath and Wells, Bristol and Reading, Peter Price, Mike Hill and Stephen Cottrell; Jill Evans MEP, Vice President of Plaid Cymru and chair of CND Cymru (Wales); and Kate Hudson, chair of CND.

Long-time Trident Ploughshares (TP) activist Jane Tallents, from Helensburgh, Scotland, said: “I live close to Faslane, from where the navy’s Trident submarines set off armed with their deadly cargo of nuclear warheads made in Berkshire. I am travelling down to Aldermaston to stop the problem at source.”

Daniel Viesnik, 35, a TP activist from London, added: “I was in prison last week for peacefully saying no to a future nuclear holocaust. I feel it is my civic, moral and legal duty to help stop the next generation of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear crimes against humanity and the planet.”

Sarah Lasenby, an older TP activist from Oxford, added: “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. 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.

The Ministry of Defence’s planning application for a new enriched uranium handling and storage facility, Project Pegasus, was approved by West Berkshire council on Wednesday night despite receiving over 1400 letters of objection. [4] 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.

Media contacts: Daniel Viesnik +44 (0)7506 234 091; Brian Larkin +44 (0)7768 312 676; Angie Zelter +44 (0)7835 354 652;

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapon system in a nonviolent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner.

2. The Aldermaston Big Blockade is organised by Trident Ploughshares with the support of CND, Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp(aign) (AWPC) and various other organisations.


A stream of images from the blockade will be available on the day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnduk

Live updates from the blockade will be available via Twitter: http://twitter.com/TridentPlough

Additional information about the blockade can be found from the following sources:

Trident Ploughshares Press Release, 8 February 2010: http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article1587

Aldermaston Blockade blog - additional resources and blockade updates: http://blockawe.blogspot.com

Aldermaston Blockade briefing pack: http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article1577

3. Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 jointly with the campaign she worked for, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

M√°iread Corrigan-Maguire was awarded the prize in 1976 jointly with Betty Williams for their work to end violence in Northern Ireland.

4. See, for example, the following article from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8509000/8509099.stm

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