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Stop the war coalition support Aldermaston Easter March

Monday 12th April 2004

Discussion & Information Workshops some women only) • Children's activities • Stalls • Tea round camp fires • Walk round the base • Decorate & Cacophony at the wire • Coaches from major towns campaign for nuclear disarmament • Thousands of people, including campaigners, politicians and celebrities, are coming together to say no to a new generation of nuclear weapons.
A huge rally in Trafalgar Square, organised by CND, will begin an historic weekend of action to stop the next generation of nuclear weapons being developed in the UK. Speakers at the rally will be calling on the British government to stop the expansion of Aldermaston and end the nuclear hypocrisy. The rally will begin a four day march to Aldermaston which will be drawing attention to planned developments at Aldermastons Atomic Weapons Establishment, the UKs nuclear weapons factory which will enable research into new nuclear weapons.

The rally will begin at 11am on Friday 9th April in Trafalgar Square and the march will leave the square at 1pm where they will march to Hyde Park and the official marchers will begin the march to Aldermaston

Speakers include: Tony Benn, Bruce Kent, Jenny Jones Deputy Mayor of London, Ernest Rodker - Vanunu Campaign, Roger Lloyd Pack, Jill Evans MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Mark Seddon, Editor of Tribune, Pat Arrowsmith, Organiser of first Aldermaston March, Kate Hudson CND, Anas Altikriti - President of Muslim Association of Britain, Lindsey German - Stop the War Coalition, Kierra Box - Hands Up For Peace, Susannah York, Corin Redgrave, Nick Holtam Vicar of St Martins in the Fields, Jeremy Hardy, Adrian Mitchell, and performance by Theatre of War (anti-nuclear activists and makers of the Bush statue)

Supporters include: Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, TGWU, FBU, RMT, CWU, Green Party, Pax Christi, Movement for the Abolition of War, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Red Pepper, Campaign to Free Vanunu and for a Nuclear-Free Middle East, Abolition 2000, Action for UN Renewal, Christian CND, Labour CND, WILPF, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and Musicians Against Nuclear Arms.

Aldermaston2004 is being jointly organised by CND, the Aldermaston Womens Peace Camp(aign) 07969 739812, and Slough4Peace: 0788 0941849

Kate Hudson, chair of CND said: Planned developments at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston to research and test the next generation of nuclear weapons highlight Britains nuclear hypocrisy. The British government appears to be pursuing an aggressive policy of illegal pre-emptive war in which they are prepared to use nuclear weapons. They are claiming they are doing so to rid the world of WMD yet they are simultaneously planning to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons to use in further pre-emptive wars. The development of a new generation of UK nuclear weapons risks escalating the drive for other countries to develop their own WMD rather than encouraging them to disarm deadly weapons. To comply with the articles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and follow the 13 agreed steps to nuclear disarmament the government must abandon pre-emptive war as an alternative policy for disarmament, stop research and design work on a new generation of nuclear weapons at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment and make an unequivocal statement that it will not replace the Trident nuclear weapons system when its current service life runs out.

Tony Benn said, CND was the first campaign against Weapons of Mass Destruction and Britain should now get rid of its own nuclear weapons, close the American bases and develop a special relationship with United Nations.

Roger Lloyd Pack said, I marched to Aldermaston forty years ago to say no to nuclear weapons. I will be joined by a new generation this Easter and we will be saying no to a new generation of nukes. Our government is prepared to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states and in illegal pre-emptive wars. I am fearful at the prospect of investment in a new weapons programme which only increases the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used. We must make sure people know what is happening and say no to new Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Planned development at AWE,
the UKs nuclear weapons factory, include new state of the art facilities which will enable research into new weapons, and avoid the need for underground testing, banned under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to which the UK is a signatory. The recruitment of over 80 new scientists is also planned.
The AWE Strategy Development Plan outlines a new high-powered laser, hydrodynamics facility, supercomputer and associated laboratories. These enable research on nuclear weapons to continue without underground tests which are banned under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (signed and ratified by the UK Government). AWE is also offering scientists the opportunity for close co-operation with scientists working on the US nuclear weapons programme. However AWE has recently removed the Strategy Plan from its website. To date, there has been no parliamentary discussion about the developments. The 2003 Defence White Paper flagged up a possible announcement about a successor to Trident warheads following the next election. The Governments position is that the developments are needed in casea decision is taken.

For further information on developments at Aldermaston please contact Ruth Tanner CND -
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament • direct line 020 7700 2350 • switchboard 020 7700 2393 • mobile 07968 420859 • fax 020 7700 2357 • pressoffice@cnduk.org www.cnduk.org

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