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Weapons site blockaded

23 May 2014

ACTION AWE

Access stopped: the protesters at Burghfield, on Monday 

Access stopped: the protesters at Burghfield, on Monday 

CHRISTIANS were among a group of anti-nuclear activists who briefly blockaded an entrance to an atomic-weapons site in Berkshire on Monday to protest against Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Eight members of Action AWE lay down in front of the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield for four hours on Monday morning, preventing lorries' accessing the site and causing traffic to build up on the road outside.

One of the activists, Andrew Dey, from London, said that the action sought to hold up work that had begun in preparation for potentially replacing Trident.

"We think that rather than [replace Trident] we should disarm Trident and scrap nuclear weapons, and become a nuclear-free state," he said. "If we want to live in a world of peace and justice, we have to be ready to go to the place of real violence."

Another protester, Joanna Frew, said: "If God is a God of creation, then nuclear weapons are the complete opposite of that. We have to do everything in faith and prayer to be co-creators with God, and not let destruction and fear be part of our society."

Police were called to the protest, but none of the activists was arrested. Mr Dey said that non-violent direct action would continue until the 2015 election.

After the 2010 election, the Coalition agreed to defer until 2016 the decision whether to build a new nuclear deterrent when Trident reaches the end of its life in the 2020s.

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, last year criticised the Government's review of Trident for not addressing the ethical basis of having nuclear weapons (News, 19 July 2013).

Bishop Platten said that the Government had yet to demonstrate how a nuclear deterrent would add to the nation's security.

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