Anti-nuclear activists due in court

Eight activists from the Trident Ploughshares group are due in court in Reading on 23-24 April. This follows an action at Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield, which resulted in the entrances being blocked and those participating being arrested.

AWE Burghfield is the Berkshire facility where the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads are manufactured and return for regular maintenance. Their journey takes them from Coulport on the Clyde across the country.

The activists’ intentions were to prevent work on nuclear weapons, whose use would be illegal ‘in virtually all conceivable circumstances’, and to highlight in the public mind the contining danger these weapons pose and the refusal of the UK Government to engage with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The action started at 0630 and the first activists were cut out of their lock-on tubes and arrested at around lunchtime, whilst the last one was removed only at 5:00pm.  Nine people were arrested.  One person accepted a caution, and the other eight were charged with wilfully obstructing the a public highway without lawful excuse.  All eight pleaded not guilty in January,  and will return to court next month to argue that there was no intention to obstruct a highway, and that their action was ‘a reasonable and proportionate exercise of their right to protest’ (Article 10/11 European Convention on Human Rights).

The names of those involved are listed below. Please pray for them as their trial date approaches.

Marie Walsh
Brian Jones
Jan Jones
Awel Irene
Jed Picksley
Cat McNeil
Julia Mercer
Chris Bluemel