Photos from London Wheel Stop Trident ride, 30 April

On Thursday 30 April – with one week to go before the election – we cycled to the offices of Serco, Jacobs UK, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, calling on them to lay down their work building nuclear weapons – these companies all profit from nuclear warhead production at Aldermaston and Burghfield AWE, near Reading. Their offices look like all other offices, but the work of these companies could cause nuclear war. We protested, sang songs, leafleted their workers and the public, and tried to show everyone where nuclear war begins (and ends!)

We finished by making the short journey from BAE’s offices to Parliament, where the final decision on Trident replacement will be made.

By the way – Campaign Against Arms Trade have a really nice Company’s map, where you can ‘Find the Arms Trade on your Doorstep!’ (i.e. find the offices of war profiteers). Find it here: https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping

We started at Mitcham Junction (near Croydon), where we were greeted by friends from Croydon Quakers (one bearing a CND umbrella!), then we get a little lost, before finding the tucked-away office of Serco (WMD makers), and delivering our message to them.

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Stop two! Outside Jacob’s Engineering’s offices in Tower Bridge. Leafleting, delivering our message, talking to passers-by (in a variety of languages!). We were really glad to be joined by friends from Ealing Save Our NHS, who we met first in our cycle ride from London to Burghfield atomic weapons factory in March.

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Then it was off to Lockheed Martin in Lower Regents Street, followed by BAE Systems just down the road at 6 Carlton Gardens. Sadly, BAE didn’t want to receive our letter, so we put it under the door!

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We finished up in Parliament Square, welcomed by the peace picket people, who you’ll see there for a few weeks yet.

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FILM: Watch our journey to disarmament, from London to Burghfield

In March 2015 we cycled from London to Burghfield, near Reading, where the government produces and maintains its totally useless and immoral ‘Trident’ nuclear weapons. We want to raise awareness about this outrageous prioritisation of public money and highlight how resources could be better spent.

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News release: Cycling protesters demand nuclear weapons be scrapped

Contact Hannah Brock on 07729 797637 or wheelstoptrident@gmail.com

News release: Cycling protesters demand nuclear weapons be scrapped

  • Wheel Stop Trident’ campaign hits London streets this afternoon
  • The cyclists are calling for next government to cut nuclear weapons, not public services

With one week to go before the election, cyclists from around London will join a protest-ride, taking in the offices of three companies which build Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system, before heading to a protest in Parliament Square.

The Parliament elected in May is due to make a decision in 2016 on whether to replace Trident, at a cost of up to £100bn. With massive opposition around the UK, this has become key election issue, and Wheel Stop Trident are inviting cyclists from across the city to join them in their journey from the offices of arms manufacturers Serco in Croydon, Jacobs Engineering at Tower Bridge and Lockheed Martin on Regent Street.

Owen Everett of Camberwell, who is taking part in the journey, said:

“Whether to replace Trident has been called the biggest spending decision of the whole of the next Parliament. Meanwhile, cuts to social services are the key issue of this election: we’re making the link between the two. Feeling safe comes from living in a fairer society, with a free National Health Service and support when you’re unemployed or disabled. It does not come through weapons that equal mutually assured destruction. We want to drive this message home to all parties: Scrap Trident in 2016.”

Emily Graham, from Islington, said:

“I’m taking part in Wheel Stop Trident because these weapons are illegal, immoral and wasteful. Any use of these weapons of mass destruction would slaughter many thousands of civilians. We’ve signed up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, so we’re obliged to decommission our nuclear weapons and not renew them. In 2016 we could set an example to all nuclear weapons states. To do otherwise would be unconscionable, as well as illegal.”

Although a decision has not yet been made on replacing Trident, the government has already spent hundreds of millions on new facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire. Recent revelations showed that these new developments are already over-budget and behind schedule.

END

Notes to editors

  1. Cyclists from the Wheel Stop Trident group will be joined by others, starting from Serco’s offices at 3.30pm, traveling via Jacob’s Engineering at Tower Bridge, and Lockheed Martin on Regents Street, ending up in Parliament Square at 7.00pm. See full schedule here: https://wheelstoptrident.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/join-us-on-thursday-30th-april-wheel-stop-trident-again/
  1. A decision on Trident replacement is due in 2016. Despite the fact that a decision has yet to be made, the government is spending around £1bn of taxpayers’ money every year on the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), where Trident nuclear warheads are developed. It was revealed on 8 March 2015 that key aspects of the work had been heavily delayed due to design, planning and budget problems. £4bn will have been spent on preparatory work for the ‘Successor’ submarines by 2016.
  1. Polls consistently show that the majority of the British public opposes Trident renewal. Please see: http://cnduk.org/campaigns/no-to-trident/opinion-polls (external site).
  1. To arrange an interview with the cyclists or for more information, media are welcome to contact Hannah Brock on 07729 797637 or wheelstoptrident@gmail.com  Photos are available on request.
  1. Follow their journey on Twitter @BrakeTrident and on the hashtag #WheelStopTrident. And for further information, see: http://www.wheelstoptrident.wordpress.com
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Ian: I’m taking part in Wheel Stop Trident because…

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Nikki: Renewing Trident would breach international law

There are many reasons why Trident should be scrapped in 2016. Renewing the nuclear weapons system would cost £100 billion, which is a huge amount of money to spend at a time when our public services are facing huge cuts. The money could be much better spent on education, the NHS and also on renewable energy. However the fact of the matter is that renewing Trident is breaching the UK’s international legal obligations to disarm British nuclear weapons. Using Trident in any circumstance would also breach the international law of armed conflict (International Humanitarian Law) as the use of indiscriminate weapons are illegal. Nuclear weapons are wholly destructive and should be scrapped.

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Join us on Thursday 30th April: Wheel Stop Trident…again

And finally arrived at Burghfield where we delivered our message

Join our London cycling protest one week before the election

In 2016 the British government (whoever they might be) will decide whether to scrap the Trident nuclear weapons programme once and for all, or whether to waste £100 billion on the most dangerous weapons humankind has ever produced.

It’s not hard, is it?

Wheel Stop Trident had an awesome time putting the brakes on these nuclear weapons in March – we cycled from the offices of the Trident profiteers to the nuclear bomb factory where all that money is being wasted, via groups campaigning against the cuts.

But we aren’t stopping there! We want all political parties to hear our message loud and clear in time for the general election: fund welfare not warfare!

We think the resources being wasted on nuclear weapons would be better spent on public services and responding to real security threats, like climate change. If you agree, join us on 30 April for a spot of cycling.

We will cycle to the offices of Serco, Jacobs Engineering, and Lockheed Martin, calling on them to lay down their work building nuclear weapons – these companies all profit from nuclear warhead production at Aldermaston and Burghfield AWE, near Reading. Their offices look like all other offices, but the work of these companies could cause nuclear war. Join us to protest, leaflet their workers,and show everyone where nuclear war begins (and ends!) We’ll end by making the short journey from Lockheed Martin’s office to Parliament, where the final decision on Trident replacement will be made.

Join us for any or all of our journey, with a bike or on foot!

Thursday 30th April
  1. 2.30pm Meet at Mitcham Junction station to head to Serco‘s offices a few minutes down the road, then cycle to…
  2. 4.45pm Jacobs Engineering: Tower Bridge Court, 226 Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP, then cycle to…
  3. 6.15pm Lockheed Martin: 15 Lower Regent Street, SW1Y 4LR, then cycle to…
  4. 7.00pm Parliament Square
Follow our journey at #WheelStopTrident, check our blog (wheelstoptrident.wordpress.com), or contact wheelstoptrident [at] gmail [dot] com
Join the Facebook event here, and invite others to spread the word.
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From the Peace News blog: Wheel Stop Trident: an anti-Trident, anti-cuts, pro-public services, pro-renewables bike ride action

20 April 2015, by Owen Everett

I’m one of 14 young people from different parts of the UK, most with a Quaker background or who had worked for Quakers, who formed a group called Wheel Stop Trident in early 2015.

Our first significant action was a 75 mile bike ride from central London to Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield from 27-28 March 2015, to protest against the possible renewal of our useless and immoral Trident nuclear weapons system at a time when the more genuine, sustainable security of strong public services and renewable energy are facing massive cuts and obstacles respectively. Nine or us were cyclists (a tenth cyclist was prevented from joining us by illness), and the others helped with organising the route, doing social media work, and in one case carrying extra bedding to Reading for the second night. 

We started at the London offices of Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest arms company, which stands to profit a lot if Trident renewal goes ahead, and stopped off at: Ealing Save Our NHS, Grow Heathrow, Slough Quakers on the first day; and Reading Quakers, before reaching Burghfield, on the second day. Spirits were high throughout, despite three punctures on the first day through the same tyre (a new one was purchased on the second day!).

We made an excellent one and a half minute animated film to promote our action, and have made a short video of our first day, as well as a photo montage of our second day. You can watch/look at all of these on our blog homepage, at https://wheelstoptrident.wordpress.com/, which also shows our latest Tweets and Facebook posts.  A final, slicker film of the whole action is hopefully coming soon. We’ve had quite a significant impact on social media, with retweeters including Green Party politicians and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. We also got media coverage in The Morning Star (https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ada6-Cyclists-set-off-on-60-mile-protest-ride-against-nukes#.VSZLVfmjOSp), New Internationalist (http://newint.org/blog/2015/03/30/trident-campaign/), and Ekklesia (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21547).

Follow us on social media! We’ll continue to share relevant news and comment pieces, and we are looking to do another action very soon.

First published at the Peace News blog

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