It was a 6.30am start for some members of Pax Christi on Monday as they joined others at the North Gate into AWE Burghfield this morning, to play their part in the all-day blockade of the atomic warhead factory. For more than 10 hours two entry gates to Burghfield were closed by protesters and the third was partially closed. Despite a huge police presence there were no arrests - a tribute to the nonviolent nature of the actions. AWE Burghfield is one of two factories involved in the loading of nuclear warheads.
Members of Pax Christi, FoR England, the Quakers and the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship came together to offer support and solidarity to the day through prayer and witness. Prayers, readings and songs were shared each hour and included testimonies from those whose lives have been damaged by nuclear testing; reflections from US peace campaigners currently serving prison sentences for their nuclear protests, and passages from scripture that urge people to put faith into action and to realise the vision of the prophets of a world where swords will be turned into ploughshares.
The gathering was international, with peace groups from France, Finland and Belgium taking part in the full blockade. The whole event was organised by Action AWE is a grassroots campaign of nonviolent actions dedicated to halting nuclear weapons production at the Atomic Weapons Establishment factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield.
Watch a film of the protest here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHQ8vDhFxXI&feature=youtu.be