Outside court this morning
Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) have been camping outside the Atomic Weapons Establishment every month for the last 24 years, in opposition to the manufacture of UK's nuclear weapons. Following the original hearing on 1st February 2008, the court quashed a byelaw outlawing the attaching of banners to the perimeter fence. The MoD chose not to appeal. Today's judgement reverses the original ruling that the ban on camping was justified.
In a unanimous verdict, the Court of Appeal today rejected the Secretary of State for Defence's arguments saying, “Rights worth having are unruly things”. The byelaw prohibiting camping was quashed and the women's peace camp is no longer criminalised. This ruling has an impact beyond AWPC and the Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory. It strengthens the right to protest and legitimises camping as a form of protest.
Speaking outside the court after today's judgement, a representative from the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp said “We welcome today's outcome, which is not only a victory for the women's peace camp but an important judgement on the right to protest. Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp will continue to hold our lawful camp to protest against the government's unlawful nuclear weapons. As the judges said, 'rights worth having are unruly things'".
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