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Hundreds converge on Atomic Weapons Establishment

The roads around the Atomic Weapons Establishment were gridlocked this morning as over 400 people took part in activities as part of a Greenpeace and Block the Builders weapons inpection.


Teams of citizen inspectors from all around the UK and beyond braved the rain and arrived by foot, bicycle and minibus. A red route master double decker bus was used to address the war criminals by tannoy. At each gate the inspection teams sought evidence of illegal weapons of mass destruction and asked to inspect the site.


As police refused entrance, the inspectors were forced to continue their journeys around the 6 mile perimeter. With very poor provision for pedestrians, inevitably this resulted in long tailbacks in all directions. At the same time a large group of cyclists circled the perimeter at an extraordinarily slow pace (hilly terrain).


Eventually all the groups converged near the site where the Orion laser is under construction. They witnessed the crimes being perpetrated at AWE under a large balloon warning of the radiation hazard posed by the manufacture of nuclear weapons.


The new legal advice regarding Trident replacement, from Phillipe Sands QC, was pinned to the fence around the site, along with other informative notices.


A massive police operation to foil the inspection was attempted involving Ministry of Defence Police, Thames Valley and Hampshire forces. A police helicopter circled overhead throughout and horses were deployed. Some inspectors were eventually held in a pen at the main gate, but others evaded police efforts and continued with their inspection work.


Dubious section 14 powers were used to impose conditions on some of those present but most of the police resorted to the pretend police powers of rudeness and pushing.


Pictures from the day's events can be found at:

target="_blank">Greenpeace Moblog


More information is available on the Greenpeace site using the following link: