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'Largest Blockade in Years' Leads to Arrests at UK Nuclear Facility
Police made 10 arrests at a peace protest when hundreds of demonstrators blocked entrances to a nuclear weapons site.
Organisers of the protest said up to 800 people travelled from across the UK to take part in the blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston, Berkshire, where warheads for Trident submarines are made.
Thames Valley Police, who said the figure was 400, made 10 arrests, five for obstructing the highway and five for entering the site.
Demonstrators, including those from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), arrived at 7am and blocked the seven gates at the site either by sitting down in front of them or locking themselves together.
Two Nobel Peace Prize recipients - Jody Williams, who led a campaign to ban land mines, and Mairead Maguire, who fronted a drive to end violence in Northern Ireland - were among those taking part.
CND chairwoman Kate Hudson said: "People have come from all over the UK and we also have a big international contingent - it's the biggest blockade for many years.
"It's a reflection of the fact that the majority of the population is against the British possession of nuclear weapons.
"The Government wants to be a leading player in nuclear disarmament, but they can't say that and press ahead with the Trident replacement."
Brian Larkin, from Trident Ploughshares which helped organise the protest and who travelled from Helensburgh in Scotland, said: "This is the biggest blockade of Aldermaston in years and comes at a time when even major political parties are questioning the logic of spending up to £97 billion on useless weapons. It demonstrates the depth and breadth of determined civil society opposition to Trident and its planned replacement.
"Although the Government now seems to have delayed the next phase of Trident replacement until after the general election, the ongoing construction of facilities at the AWE for the design, development and manufacture of new nuclear warheads is illegal and immoral and will only lead to further proliferation of nuclear weapons."