Roger Oldfield | 28.01.2003 10:00
Activists close Rolls Royce Derby (Trident manufacturer)
Today (Jan 28th), activists from Trident Ploughshares, the direct action campaign to peacefully disarm the British Trident nuclear weapons system, closed the Raynesway site at Rolls Royce Derby. Eight activists blocked entrances, some of them by locking themselves to the entrance gates with a variety of chains, padlocks and thumb locks, closing the factory just as employees were arriving for work. The management told some workers to go home and return at lunchtime.
The plant produces nuclear fuel components for the Trident submarines, which are powered by nuclear reactors. One of the 4 submarines, HMS Vanguard, is currently in Devonport docks, Plymouth, undergoing a re-fit, and new fuel plates will be transported by road from Derby to Plymouth as part of this process.
The group attached a banner to the gates, proclaiming "Rolls Royce: the driving force behind Britain’s nuclear weapons", and gave out leaflets to employees arriving at the site, explaining their presence.
A spokesperson said, "by closing the factory, we are delaying the production and transportation of the fuel components which are essential to the powering of the submarines carrying Britain’s nuclear weapons. We are also highlighting the hypocrisy of the Government, which is expounding the dangers of these weapons and at the same time threatening the world with its own weapons of mass destruction."
The 8 activists include:
Paul Milling from Birmingham
Rachael Milling from Birmingham
Marlene Yeo from Loughborough
Nigel from Stafford
Alison Crane from Stafford
Jenn Pardue from Stone in Staffordshire
Joan Meredith from Malpas, Cheshire
Notes for journalists
Trident Ploughshares was established in 1998 to challenge the UK's illegal and immoral possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons. Trident Ploughshares activists pledge to dismantle the UK’s nuclear arsenal in a peaceful, non-violent, open and accountable manner. To the end of November 2002 there have been 1,790 arrests, 380 trials, 1,680 days spent in prison and £53,990 of fines and compensation orders.
The UK's Trident nuclear weapons system is based on 4 submarines which carry between 12 and 16 missiles, each of which can deliver a number of 100 kiloton warheads to individual targets - mass destruction on an unimaginable level.
For up to date information from Derby telephone Alison Crane 0796 003 0038
For further details of today's action telephone Roger Oldfield 01785 664328
For background information on the national Trident Ploughshares campaign telephone David Mackenzie 0845 4588366 or 0787 659 3016