Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Aldermaston lead operator to run UK 2011 Census

US-based arms giant Lockheed Martin is the lead partner in AWE ML, the private consortium which operates the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, England on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence [1]. In addition to the nuclear warheads, Lockheed Martin manufactures the Trident missiles themselves, which the UK leases from the US.

But Lockheed Martin has its grubby paws in many other pies. The British Government (under Labour) saw fit to grant the firm the contract to operate the 2011 census for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Dr Geoff Meaden explains why this might be of concern to us:

"In 2011 there will be the 10-yearly compulsory national census that records a wide range of information on every person in every household in the United Kingdom. I wonder how many readers know that the contract to gather the data for this census has been won by the Lockheed Martin Corporation of Maryland, USA, who also helped with the 2001 census. Lockheed Martin are the world’s second largest weapons manufacturer, they make trident nuclear missiles, and they own a one third share of Britain’s Aldermaston Nuclear weapons factory (AWE) where they are helping to develop the next generation of Britain’s nuclear deterrence. Currently, the greatest area of growth for Lockheed Martin is in ‘Intelligence and Surveillance’, and as part of this work the company have been moving into data collection. Their Vice-President (Lorraine Martin) is on record as saying “We want to know what’s going on anytime, any place on the planet”.

"Neither the British nor US governments’ will make clear whether information gathered by the census falls under the American Patriot Act if gathered in part by a US-owned company, i.e. even though it is clear that US companies are legally obliged to pass on to their government any data held by them. Additionally, all information outsourced to the USA may be made widely available in that country, not only for law enforcement purposes, but also to private entities. So we have no legal precedence as to whether, under the pretext of national security, this census information can be acquired by the US government. The UK Office of National Statistics claims that our data will be safe but the UK government has demonstrated on several occasions that it cannot be trusted with managing digital data containing personal records.

"The data gathered by the ten-yearly census is easily the most the comprehensive data set in the UK, and it is used extensively for various socio-economic purposes. Following the 2001 census 6% of households in the UK failed to comply with submitting their household information. This means that about three million people were ‘uncounted’. An investigation into this established that the largest group of people who did not comply was minority Muslims. These were people who mistrust the state, especially America – its government and corporations. Having Lockheed Martin gather census information is hardly likely to encourage compliance and this will result in increasingly unreliable census data. And one wonders whether the US would be happy for a British weapons manufacturer and surveillance company to be collecting their census data!

"By contracting Lockheed Martin to do this work, what was a perfectly respectable and useful socio-economic activity may now be perceived as part of the security world of intelligence and surveillance. There will be a range of ethical reasons as to why people may not wish to comply. Given that there is a strong movement in the UK for investing in ethical companies, and that many people here will not wish to boost the profits of a weapon’s manufacturing company through participating in this business venture, I would hope that we in the social science community will give support to people who do not wish to comply with the 2011 UK national census, and that we will campaign to get this contract terminated in the future."

Would you trust Lockheed Martin with your personal information?


1. The other partners in AWE ML are US-based Jacobs Engineering and UK-based Serco.

2. The 2011 census is due to take place in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Sunday 27 March.

3. See also:
Be careful who you share your details with - Sian Berry, New Statesman - 8 May 2007

[Last modified: 9 Nov 2010, 15:22 GMT]

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Arrests Update from Thames Valley Police

From Thames Valley Police website:

Protest – AWE Aldermaston – arrests update

Tuesday 16 February 2010, 12:07pm

Thames Valley Police can confirm that 26 arrests were made at yesterday’s protest at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston.

Five people were arrested for gaining entry to a secure site and the remaining 21 were for obstruction of the highway.

Eleven people have been released on bail to return to Newbury police station in May and the rest have been given cautions.

Here is the full break down of arrests:

Article in The Friend

From The Friend: 

Friends turn out in peaceful Aldermaston blockade

17 02 2010 | by Symon Hill

Symon Hill reports on the campaign against renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system

Protestors blockade entrances and exits to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston on Monday. | Photo: CND CC:BY.

Hundreds of campaigners brought the gates of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston to a virtual standstill on Monday in the biggest protest to be seen at the site for some years. The blockade comes at a time of major political controversy over the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system and shortly ahead of a global summit on nuclear non-proliferation in May.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

CND Cymru (Wales) appraisal of the blockade


Aldermaston AWE Blockade February 15th 2010

On February 15th about 30 Welsh protestors including CND Cymru Chair Jill Evans MEP joined the hundreds blockading the nuclear weapons factory at Aldermaston, England. We had been allocated the Aldermaston AWE Construction Gate along with ‘bomspotting’ and other internationals.

Women's Gate Press Release

15 FEBRUARY 2010

Women’s Successful Blockade at Nuclear Weapons Factory

Today forty women successfully blockaded one of the main gates of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. Vehicles of base employees and police were prevented from entering or leaving the gate from 7 am till 10 am. Our non-violent act of peaceful protest was part of a blockade of all seven gates of this nuclear weapons ‘factory’ to protest against the Government’s plan to renew and modernize the submarines, missiles and warheads of the Trident nuclear weapons system, at an estimated cost of £97 billion.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Press release

Hundreds blockade nuclear bomb factory
Campaigners call for disarmament of Trident and abolition of nuclear weapons
Image credit: D. Viesnik (CopyLeft)

More images from the blockade: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnduk

An estimated eight hundred campaigners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and a number of other countries have joined a blockade of every gate of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire, England. [1] The blockade started at 7am. 

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Email in your blockade photos!

Send your photos for instant publication during the blockade to:
awe [at] cnduk.org

Any mobile phone that can send photo attachments by email can submit images, or you can email them in afterwards from a computer.

Your pictures will be published automatically here, on the CND website and other places.

The subject line of your email will be used as the image title and any text in your email will also be published, so please do not include anything you would not wish to be made public.

You retain ownership of your photos, but by submitting them agree that they can be freely used by others.

*Follow @TridentPlough on Twitter for live updates from the blockade*

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]

Monday, 8 February 2010

Press Release

Trident Ploughshares Press Release - Monday 8 February, 2010                            
Aldermaston Big Blockade – 15 February, 2010
Campaigners to shut down nuclear bomb factory as they call for disarmament of Trident and abolition of nuclear weapons
On Monday 15 February, from 7am, hundreds of campaigners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other countries will block access to every gate of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire, England.[1] The blockade, initiated by Trident Ploughshares (TP) and supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp(aign) (AWPC)[2] and other groups, aims to halt construction of multi-billion pound facilities for research and development of a new generation of nuclear warheads. [3, 4]

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Demo against planned new enriched uranium facility on Wednesday

From Stop Pegasus: Big demo at West Berkshire planning committee meeting on Wednesday (10th) February: 6pm, Calcot Centre, Highview (off Royal Avenue), Calcot RG31 4XD - join us!

Calcot is just to the west of Reading, just off the M4.
The nearest train station seems to be Theale.
Map: http://tinyurl.com/CalcotMap

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Training, transport and accommodation for the blockade

Practical information to help you prepare for the blockade.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Neuter the Nukes! - Aldermaston Blockade 2010

Daniel Viesnik (written for Peace News)

As dawn begins to break on a Monday morning in February, hundreds of dedicated individuals from all around Britain and beyond will descend upon the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, determined to block the base and halt work on facilities for a new generation of nuclear warheads.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Object to new enriched uranium facility at AWE Aldermaston by *15 JAN*

The Ministry of Defence has submitted a planning application to West Berkshire Council for an enriched uranium handling and storage facility (codenamed "Project Pegasus") at Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston. This facility would be used to develop a new generation of nuclear warheads.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Aldermaston Big Blockade - Monday 15 February, 2010

Called by Trident Ploughshares and supported by CND and Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign)

The Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire is in the process of spending billions of pounds of UK taxpayers' money building the facilities for a new generation of nuclear warheads. Britain's submarine-launched Trident nuclear missile system already endangers us all, encourages global proliferation and undermines international law and disarmament negotiations. Instead of building new nukes, we call for global leadership by disarming now.