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Three year protest begins at Aldermaston

In a low-key protest, seven people calmly held banners saying ‘talented people need useful jobs’, calling for AWE staff to use their skills for dismantling warheads, and ‘NPT Article VI?’ in reference to article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for states to work toward complete nuclear disarmament.
The protests have been planned by Action Atomic Weapons Eradication (AAWE), a grass-roots campaign of non-violent protests, which seek to halt nuclear weapons production at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) facilities in Aldermaston and Burghfield.
The AAWE campaign is formed of different anti-nuclear and peace groups including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Pax-Christi.
The group plans to apply pressure on government ministers in the run-up to the next general election in 2015, with the main decision on the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, trident, expected in 2016.
Member of CND and Pax-Christi, Martin Birdseye, said: “We respect the workers at Aldermaston but they are engineering the means to incinerate millions of innocent people and put the world at risk.
“We just want AWE staff to think hard about this. Therefore we hold placards with simple messages that they cannot fail to see as they drive to work.”
The protests coincide with a non-proliferation conference being held in Oslo this month to discuss the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, which the group want to see AWE attend.
Thames Valley Police Local Area Police Commander, Supt Robin Rickard, said that the force would be working closely with sister forces and the Ministry of Defence Police to ensure that the protests remained peaceful while aiming for minimal disruption to residents.
Mr Rickard said: “We have also liased with the organisers and hope to develop a good understanding with them.
“We respect everyone’s right to protest in this way. However, should activity go beyond peaceful those breaking the law will be dealt with proportionately.”
The group is planning a demonstration at Aldermaston on Easter Monday and is calling on people across the country to come and protest peacefully.
A Twitter account has been created to provide protest updates and potential disruption to transport, which can be followed @westberksprotestinfo.

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