Congratulations to Action AWE for blockading Britain’s nuclear bomb factory in Burghfield this morning!

Action AWE – a grassroots campaign against Trident replacement – was joined by around 150 campaigners from across the UK and as far as Belgium, Finland, France, Spain, and Sweden to protest against government plans to spend £100bn on a new generation of nuclear armed submarines.

The ‘Burghfield Lockdown’ saw blockaders descend on the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Burghfield, Berkshire, from 5am this morning to disrupt work at the facility. It marks the start of a month of action organised by Action AWE in the run up to the general election, where Trident replacement is set to be a key issue for voters.

The peaceful protest closed one of the roads to the site and blocked two of the entrances.

Andrew Dey, a blockader from Yorkshire, said: ‘It’s time for Britain to join other UN nations in negotiating an international nuclear ban treaty. We’re not calling for AWE Burghfield or Aldermaston to be immediately shut down. We’re calling for the manufacture and modernisation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction to end. The bases can be used for disarmament purposes, employees need not lose their jobs. The reality of a so called “nuclear deterrent” is that nuclear-armed submarines patrol globally – ready to fire 24/7 with the ability to wipe out cities almost anywhere on earth within 15 minutes, at a cost of billions which should be spent on the NHS.’

CND Chair Dave Webb, who joined the blockade, said:

‘The Burghfield Lockdown is a direct expression of the view of so many across the UK that Trident replacement is morally repulsive, politically irresponsible, and economically disastrous. While the NHS is being slashed it is simply unjustifiable to squander £100bn of taxpayers’ money on a weapon which does nothing to keep us safe and threatens indiscriminate mass murder.

‘With the final vote on Trident replacement due in 2016, we have a golden opportunity at the upcoming election to make sure we elect an anti-Trident parliament. We have to use this election as our vote against Trident replacement.’