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'Rolls Royce Derby Trident workers are war criminals' say Trident Ploughshares

tp | 28.10.2007 15:51 | Faslane | Anti-militarism

Protesters were stopped and searched by Derbyshire Police on Monday 22 October on their way to hand out anti-Trident leaflets at the Rolls Royce Raynesway plant in Derby.

Their vehicles were stopped by three police vehicles. Everyone was searched, as were the vehicles. Their names and addresses were taken and they were photographed before being coralled by police and told they would be arrested if they handed out leaflets at the gates of the Rolls Royce plant.

The leaflets were to warn Derby’s Rolls Royce workers that they were breaching international law by working on Trident’s nuclear reactor system and could be prosecuted under war crimes legislation for their part in manufacturing components for the Trident weapons system.

The police presence stopped protesters handing out the leaflets explaining the legal situation as workers arrived at the Raynesway site this morning. The planned action comes on the day of the Scottish National Party’s nuclear weapons summit in Scotland, to discuss the continued presence of nuclear weapons at the Trident submarine base at Faslane, and follows the findings of a legal opinion issued by top lawyers.

The reactor cores, made at the Derby plant, are a key part of the Trident submarine weapons system which was declared illegal in an opinion issued by Phillipe Sands QC, of Matrix chambers [1]

Trident Ploughshares spokesperson Peter Lux, speaking today at the Raynesway plant, said: “International law is very clear. The use and threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal. It is a war crime. Under the 1950 Nuremberg Principles, companies and their employees are directly accountable for any part they play in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Trident is our weapon of mass destruction. It also breaches the Non-proliferation Treaty and the Charter of the UN, as well as such accepted legal principles as proportionality and the definitions of self-defence.”

Pete added: “It’s not a pleasant thought that local people could be involved in war crimes, but the fact is that we are all responsible for our actions and the Trident weapons system breaks international law.”

[1] The full legal opinion from Phillipe Sands QC, Matrix Chambers, is available here:

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