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TP Activists enter Burghfield

Six peace campaigners from Norwich, Leeds, Leicester and London, today (at 11.45a.m.) successfully cut their way into AWE. Burghfield, near Reading. They then scattered over the base, to distribute leaflets to the base personnel. They did this as part of Trident Ploughshares, a national campaign of open, accountable and non-violent disarmament of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

The use of torture in Iraqi prisons this year has shown that MOD personnel are not clearly told their responsibilities and duties under international law. The anti-war activists are taking steps to remedy that situation, at Burghfield WMD base.

Dr Kathryn Amos, a post-doctoral researcher in Earth Science at Leeds University explained: ?AWE Burghfield is essential to the maintenance of Britain?s immoral and illegal Trident nuclear weapons. Burghfield carries out the final stages of manufacture of Trident?s warheads, and is responsible for maintaining them in working order. We are here today to make base personnel aware of their responsibilities under international law for their part in the threat or use of illegal nuclear weapons. Even a direct order to work on illegal weapons systems should not be carried out and could result in prosecution in the future.?

Zina Zelter, a Leicester-based music teacher and peace activist added, ?every time a state deploys or tries to justify its deployment of weapons of mass destruction, the use of violence and fear to get what you want becomes more accepted. Trident is illegal, horrific and immoral. The deployment of Trident is state terrorism. Civilians are responsible for making sure their governments abide by international laws. We urge people to take nonviolent direct action against Britain?s illegal nuclear weapons.?

Dr Rupert Read, a Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia [Norwich], watched the activists as they entered Burghfield. He said, ?This is a good demonstration of what ordinary people, in trying, entirely peacefully, to get the British government to fulfill its obligations under international law. It is a national disgrace that we supposedly went to war against Iraq in order to disarm it of ? non-existent! ? WMDs, and yet Britain has huge stocks of nuclear WMDs, which are the most deadly WMDs of all.?

END. CONTACT: Rupert Read 07946 459066 / 07731 648961
Rupertreadrules @
Emma Bateman 07748 447224
Or call 07963 968046 for a live interview with those who have entered the base!
[Digital stills also available]

The activists who entered Burghfield today comprise a 47 year-old History teacher, a 19 year-old housewife, a 43 year-old self-educated single parent, a 30 year-old violin teacher, a 27 year-old sustainable policy adviser, and a 25 year-old university researcher.
[Their individual statements as to why they took this action are available, on request.]