Resistance to nuclear power, nuclear weapons and the irradiation of the planet.
Around 1000 people converged on Hinkley Point in west Somerset on the weekend of 10th-11th March 2012 to mark one year since the earthquake, tsunami and start of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, and to demand that the UK abandon its plans for new nuclear power stations at Hinkley and up to seven other sites in England and Wales. The weekend involved a rally and 'surround the power station' action, followed by a 24-hour blockade of the entrance to the existing power station. People came from all over England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Taiwan; and, notably, a number of individuals from Japan took part, including a pair of Fukushima evacuees and a Buddhist monk and nun. Speakers included Green party leader Caroline Lucas MP; environmentalist Jonathon Porritt; Kate Hudson, General Secretary of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Steve Mitchell from the French Nuclear Phase-Out Network; and local anti-nuclear activist Nikki Clark; with musical entertainment from Somerset-based activist folk band Seize the Day, and words of encouragement from the band's lead singer, Theo Simon, who had helped occupy the recently-evicted Langborough Barn.
Theo led demonstrators on a tour of the land EDF plans to begin clearing and excavating later this month. Allegedly inaccurate signs marking sections of the land as part of the Hinkley B nuclear licensed site were removed, with other signs being defaced, and double harris fencing around the recently-evicted Langborough Barn being torn down. Security for EDF tried to evict people parked and camping overnight in the designated car park, before eventually retreating after heated words with some of the organisers. Around 100 people stayed on for the blockade, with over 60 still in place by 9am on Sunday, and others joining later in the morning.
Shortly after 1pm on Sunday, the Buddhist monk and nun led a procession to the beach to float lanterns in memory of the many thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami, and present and future victims of fall-out from the triple meltdown at Fukushima. The blockade ended with a closing circle at 3pm. One man was arrested late on Sunday afternoon, after most people had left, for allegedly stealing a sign. This was the only known arrest over the course of the weekend, with police adopting a largely 'hands off' approach to the weekend's demonstrations.
Previous Hinkley Feature: Hinkley Blockaded: No More Nuclear Power! | On the Newswire: Fukushima 1 year on: Hinkley Point to be surrounded and blockaded | Successful anti-nuclear rally at Hinkley Point on Fukushima anniversary | Anti-nuclear activists claim double record at Hinkley Point demo | Hinkley Barnstormers need you!! | Hinkley C ~ Site Occupation | EDF Energy seeks high court injunction against protestors | Anti-nuclear protesters occupy Hinkley Point | Hinkley Point Barnstormers - Occupiers aim to stop EDF land trash | Farmhouse squatted to defend land from EDF Energy's bulldozers | Directions to the new camp at Hinkley Point power station | Troubled Over Bridgwater | Concerned Locals take to the Trees at Hinkley Point | Nuclear energy fat cats EDF Energy targeted for fuel poverty days of action | Fukushima: The Big Lie | Don't buy the lie: Say No to nuclear energy before it's too late
Audio: Ecoshock: Fukushima Disaster - One Year Later | From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Energy: The U.S., The Marshall Islands, and Japan
Occupation Videos (YouTube): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Photos (Picasaweb): 1 | 2 | 3 | SchNEWS: Barn Stormed | Barn Storming | A Bridgwater Too Far
Bristol IMC Articles: Barnstormers Released | Reclaim Hinkley Protestors Arrested | Reclaim Hinkley Eviction | Hinkley Barnstormers Eviction Imminent ! Help Needed ! | Hinkley barnstormers call for support | Hinkley Barn Squatters Imminent Eviction ! | Boycott EDF/Stop the development of HinkleyC nuclear power station | Hinkley Barnstormers need you!! | EDF puts the stain into sustainability | Nuclear Energy Company EDF seeks high court injunction against protesters | Hinkley Point Barn Occupied | Support the Anti-nuclear folk at Langborough Farm! | Activists needed to defend squatted farmhouse near nuclear power plant | Directions to the new camp at Hinkley Point power station | Hinkley Occupied Again | Hinkley Tree Protesters Evicted | Warm Socks v Hot Nukes-Tree Action Update | Concerned Locals take to the Trees at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater, Somerset
Cases against people who refused to complete the 2011 census in England and Wales are starting to come before the courts. Judith Sambrook, who declined to fill in her form in protest at the government's contract with WMD manufacturer Lockheed Martin to process census data, had a preliminary hearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Remembrance Day 11/11/11 with her case now adjourned to 8 December (tbc). Over 20 supporters attended the court in solidarity with Judith to demonstrate against Lockheed Martin and the wars it fuels, holding a vigil at the war memorial afterwards. Other known cases are in Liverpool on 8 December, Reading on 13 December and Birmingham on 5 January. There are bound to be more in the coming weeks and months.
Recent articles on the newswires: Birmingham court hearing 5 January | Reading court hearing 13 December | Liverpool court hearing 8 December | Judith Sambrook next court hearing tbc | Photos and reports from Wrexham 11/11/11 court hearing [ 1 | 2 ] | Local group in solidarity with census refuser | Occupy London in solidarity | Flyer for download | Support Conscientious Census Objector | Solidarity from Canada | Demo and Vigil at Census Court Case
Previous articles on the newswires: Guantanamo/Abu Ghraib Interrogation Firms and the Census | Supplementary Census Questions | Don't Co-operate (Scotland) | Boycott Census (Ireland) | For the non-religious | Discussion on Census Data Security | Census e-action day | Count Me Out: info | Count Me Out: Disarm the Census | London Demo Report | Dodgy Census Stats | Why I will be breaking the law | Lockheed Martin and the Census | UK Census 2011 | CACI Torturers in Scots Census Rehearsal
Elsewhere: Count Me Out | No Census Taking Part | Ethical Census (Scotland) | SACC on the Scottish Census | CACI gets immunity from US law | Canadian Resistance to Lockheed Martin's involvement in Census | The Register: Lockheed Martin suffers network 'intrusion' | How to complete your census without Lockheed Martin profiting | Guardian: Boycott Census | No2ID on the Census | London Guantanamo Campaign on the Census | Red Pepper: Why to Refuse the Census | CorpWatch on Lockheed Martin Interrogators | Guardian on torture link | Ekklesia on the Census | Book review: Prophets of War (on Lockheed Martin) | Lockheed Martin announces census contract | CACI announces Scottish census contract
More than 300 people, mostly from the south-west but with representation from across the country and as far afield as Belgium and Germany, successfully sealed off the main entrance to Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset on the morning of Monday 3 October in opposition to EDF Energy's plans to build two new mega-reactors on the site. Over 200 of those taking part also spent the weekend at a temporary protest camp set at nearby Nether Stowey.
Blockaders were joined at the EDF gates by a theatrical troupe who enacted a nuclear disaster scenario, while Seize the Day provided a musical backdrop to the event. 206 helium balloons were released to represent the number of days since the Fukushima meltdown. The balloons will be tracked, to show which areas of the West Country would be worst affected by a nuclear disaster at Hinkley (and hopefully to prevent wildlife from suffering the harm which can be caused by deflated balloons).
The blockade remained in place for a total of nine hours, with participants reporting a 'great festival feel... Dancing, singing and chanting.'. There was one arrest, of a protester found in possession of a craft knife while walking along a footpath. He was later released without charge.
Recent newswire articles on Hinkley: Solidarity banner drop | Blockaders begin mass protest | Radio interview with Ornella Saibene | Anti-nuclear march through Bridgwater | Hinkley Pre-blockade press release | Announcement by Stop New Nuclear |
"The time to act is now. We only have this summer to build a massive public backlash against the new nuclear programme. By the Autumn, the government will have given the green light to at least ten new reactors and it will be a lot harder to fight the momentum." Kick Nuclear campaigns against the UK's addiction to nuclear energy.
Mass Blockade at Hinkley
Join the mass blockade outside Hinkley Power Station, near Bridgwater, Somerset on Monday 3 October.
Latest: Faslane Peace Camp Renaissance Weekend: 13-15 May. Tel: 07511 793227 for more info.
On the morning of 10 May 2011, activists from Faslane Peace Camp and Trident Ploughshares successfully blockaded both North and South gates of the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, home of the four Vanguard nuclear submarines which carry Britain's Trident Nuclear Weapon. The lock-ons lasted well over two hours.
The terrifying situation in Japan has rekindled the debate over nuclear power around the world. While in the US, Obama has reaffirmed his support for nuclear power to protect the massive investment his administration has made in the industry, over in Germany and Switzerland the governments have jammed the brakes on plans to build and replace nuclear plants. In the UK, David Cameron has already declared his intention to push on with plans to expand the UKs nuclear capacity, with up to eleven new power stations.
Government and the nuclear industry have been close since the Blair government announced plans to build a new generation of nuclear power plants in 2006. In 2007, those plans were ruled “unlawful” by the High Court, who labelled the public consultation “misleading, seriously flawed, manifestly inadequate and procedurally unfair”. And yet despite the change in government we’re still firmly set on the nuclear path.[Continued]
The press release for the event didn't mention the arms industry related work that takes place there but simply stated that, "The Nuclear AMRC is a new collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester, with the backing of the Government and leading companies involved in building the new generation of civil nuclear power stations."
The day before, Stuart Parkinson, executive director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, speaking at the Sheffield CND AGM exposed the often used argument about job creation for facilities of this nature — only 3,000 are employed in the defence sector in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and the money invested could generate far more jobs in sustainable industries.
Newswire: Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Protest | Protest at the Queen's visit to the Rotherham Death Park | Royal Visit to Death Park! 18th Nov. 2010 | Nuclear Dawn at Rotherhams Advanced Manufacturing Park | Stuart Parkinson: Arms Conversion for a Low Carbon Economy
Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth was blockaded on the morning of 1 November in an action called by the Plymouth-based Trident Ploughshares (TP) group, The Tamarians. Devonport Dockyard refits, maintains and upgrades the submarines which carry Britain's Trident nuclear weapon system, which has been declared illegal under international law. The yard is also increasingly becoming the dumping ground for old and out of service nuclear submarines, posing a further radioactive contamination hazard to the quarter of a million people who live nearby. The aim of the blockade was to close all gates to the shipyard from 6am. Fourteen people were arrested during the action.
Other reports and photos: Photos from Blockade | Demo at Charles Cross Police Station | Anti-Trident Protest in Pictures | More pics from Monday's action | Pics from Swiss contingent | Links to press coverage | Dan's pics