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Weapons Inspection at the Atomic Weapons Establishments

At 2.0pm on Wednesday 11 February, four women arrived at AWE Aldermaston, suitably equipped with white suits, clipboards & questionnaires. Ministry of Defence Police were on hand (about 4 large men) to deny access to the Establishment.

Carol Naughton who, with others, had undertaken to make the weapons inspections in order to present to the next Non-Proliferation Treaty prep com the reality of this country's (non)compliance with the its Treaty obligations, struggled against the boorish rudeness of Sgt O'Brian. Eventually he allowed her to telephone AWE ML in reception. She was informed, much to her disbelief, that there was no one inside the Establishment... or possibly that there was no one inside the Establishment able to talk to her.... or possibly that there was no one inside the Establishment who was willing to talk to her.

It all came to the usual time honoured conclusion; reinforcements were called (4 more large MDP), and the Establishment was saved from having to answer questions as to the lawfulness of the activities carried on behind the fence.

Undaunted, the 4 women continued on to AWE Burghfield where they were met with the same result, but politely conveyed by PC Allsop. At both Establishments the Main Gates were closed and traffic prevented from coming or going, despite the women offering to stand to one side, and meet anyone willing to talk with them outside the Establishment.

The Weapons Inspectors were told they did not belong to an accredited organisation, and therefore AWE did not recognise them. This makes sense, as neither the government nor their "Goco" partners-in-crime recognise civil society, with whose money they commit their crimes