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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Ash Wednesday peace vigil at Ministry of Defence
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¬†Seven people marked two Ministry of Defence buildings in Central London yesterday afternoon with ash and charcoal, using the words 'Trident = Death', 'Repent', Peace and 'Choose Life'. These acts of nonviolent civil disobedience and prayer were in protest against the British government's continued commitment to nuclear war preparations. The buildings were the Ministry of Defence headquarters and the Old War Office. Two people returned to the building at 5.00 pm and continued their marking until they were prevented by the police. Those who marked the buildings were : Sr Mary Lampard, 86, a Catholic Missionary Sister of Africa from Ealing; Dan Martin, 47, Catholic, married and father of four, from Wandsworth, south London; Scott Albrecht, 39, Roman Catholic chaplain, husband, and father of four from St Albans; Angela Broome, 66, an Anglican, pledged to resist nuclear armaments with Trident Ploushshares, from East London; David Partridge, 65, a former Anglican priest and father of three who works for International Interfaith Centre in Oxford; Joan Hughes, 73, a Catholic, retired chemist from north London and Trish King , 50, a Christian social worker from north London. Their actions took place within the setting of a Christian liturgy to mark Ash Wednesday - a day of fasting, prayer and repentance. Those taking part were acknowledging their own need to change and repent and were inviting the British government to change and move away from its nuclear defence policy. A hundred and twenty people took part in the liturgy which lasted for one hour. The organizers of the event: Pax Christi, Catholic Peace Action and Christian CND were encouraged by the high level of support and commitment to peace in the heart of the establishment in Whitehall. They said: " The British Government places the Trident nuclear weapons system at the heart of its defence policy. The running costs for this alone are £1.5 billion a year. In December the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty which has underpinned all nuclear arms control agreements for 30 years. The world could now face a new arms race. Nuclear terrorism is alive and well and our actions today challenge the legality and morality of such a policy."
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