Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Thursday, October 03, 2013


There is a big fight going on in the UK over Britain's Trident nuclear submarine replacement program.  The subs are based at Faslane, Scotland and people in that nation want them out.  Growing activism across the UK is driving debate about whether or not the UK needs the "nuclear option" and how they can afford to waste their precious resources on such insanity.

Among those who are cranking up the action is the peace movement in Wales (Cymru).

Here is a report from today's event:

Main gate of Nuclear Weapons Factory blockaded by Welsh Dragons!

October 3 - From 7:00 am 50 activists from Wales have been blockading the Main Gate of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Burghfield (Southeast England). Campaigners are calling for Trident to be scrapped and plans to replace it to be abandoned. Activists from across Wales including from Knighton, Cardiff, Builth, Llandeilo and Swansea are accompanied by three huge red dragons and are 'locked on' with chains and pipes across the main entrance.

Blockaders have sent comments from the blockade:

Ray Davies (Bedwas, Caerffili) says:

"We have come from our Welsh Valleys to tell the world that we will never give up the struggle to free our beautiful world from the dangers and fear of nuclear weapons. We are blockading here at AWE Burghfield, where the Trident warheads are made, for our children and for all our future generations."

Marie Walsh (Blackwood, Gwent):

"Our three Welsh dragons, banners and 'Mad Trident' tea party have been getting lots of support from cars passing on the road where we are blocking the lane to the AWE Burghfield Main Gate. The message is Vote NO to Nuclear!"

Food not Bombs Cardiff:

"We believe the government should not spend any more money on bombs and war, but start spending more money on feeding hungry people."

Angie Zelter (Knighton):

"We need co-operation, not war, to deal with climate change and to enable everyone on the planet to live in security and health."

Jill Gough (CND Cymru National Secretary): 

"The total cost of a replacement for Trident would be over £100 billion. Whatever the cost, nuclear weapons would be immoral, illegal and obscene; the current cuts to jobs, housing, hospitals, schools and other public services only serve to highlight the skewed values of our governments."

 The blockaders expect to end their blockade this afternoon.

  • AWE Burghfield is situated between Aldermaston and Reading in Berkshire. It is responsible for the complex final assembly and maintenance of the warheads while in service, as well as their decommissioning.
  • The protest will be yet another Welsh contribution to current 'AWE Action' events.
  • CND Cymru and other peace organisations are strongly supported in Wales, a country well known for its history of radical movements and pacifism. Over centuries many have worked for international understanding and peaceful resolution of conflict - while London-based governments have built up armaments and carried on with war-building business as usual. Nuclear weapons are no defence. They not only undermine the common wish for a safe society and future for our children and grandchildren, waste scarce resources, destabilise the world and increase international suspicion and insecurity, they are unusable without destroying all life on earth.
  • While many areas of Wales continue to be impoverished, succeeding Westminster governments have failed to seriously consider scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons system, not even as a way of saving resources for the people who need them. Such a move would straight away save over £2bn per year currently spent on its maintenance. The government is now planning to waste £100bn on building and running another obscene replacement nuclear weapons system.


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