Seven people have been arrested during an action which blocked two gates at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston this morning
The protest at Aldermaston was part of an ongoing campaign against the £5.3 billion development at Aldermaston which will not only provide information for the British nuclear programme but also for the US programme under the sharing of information under the Mutual Defence Agreement. The facilities include a new laser system which will help scientists create conditions similar to that inside a nuclear bomb to allow more accurate modelling. This allows Britain and the US to circumvent the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which bans the actual testing of nuclear weapons.
The roads leading to main contractor access gate on the A340 was closed for two hours as the police attempted to cut out two sets of blockaders.
Construction traffic - due to work on the site of the new laser - was turned away, and traffic tailed back for over three miles.
Women from the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp locked on to a concrete-filled wheelie-bin just outside the entrance to the base, baffling police teams for almost an hour and a half, while further down the road another team from east Anglia, Wiltshire and Essex - with D-locks and tubes - kept the traffic at bay for more than an hour.
Other protesters made their presence felt as workers finally made their way through the traffic chaos to the other main entrance at Tadley Gate.
There were seven arrests. Six people were charged with obstructing the highway and are due to appear at West Berks Mags (Newbury) on 22 December for a plea hearing. All have bail conditions not to go within 100m of AWE.
The blockade - in response to the publication of the government's White Paper on the replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system - was called by Block the Builders, who aim to disrupt the construction of new facilities designed to test , test and build a new generation of nuclear weapons, and which are being built in advance of any parliamentary or public discussion.
Meanwhile at Faslane - where Trident's warheads made at Aldermaston are deployed on nuclear submarine,blockades by Trident Ploughshares and the Faslane Peace Camp - resulted in 20 arrests and another massive disruption of traffic on its way to the nuclear submarine base.
Block the Builders will be back at Aldermaston in the new year.
For further details of the new developments at Aldermaston and action you can take, see http://www.aldermaston.net