AWE Burghfield anti-Trident protesters arrested

Protestors are arrested at AWE Burghfield
Image caption Protesters chained themselves together at the site

Twenty-one protesters have been arrested after blockading a road leading to a site which builds warheads for nuclear submarines.

Anti-nuclear weapons protesters at Atomic Weapons Establishment's (AWE) Burghfield site oppose the renewal or replacement of Trident.

Burghfield and AWE Aldermaston provide the warheads for the submarine-launched missile system.

The activists were held on suspicion of obstruction of a public highway.

The UK's existing four ballistic missile submarines are to be renewed from the late-2020s.

The government's final decision on whether to renew or replace the missile system, the UK's nuclear deterrent, is due in 2016.

'Pose a danger'

Some of the protesters at AWE Burghfield have come from Finland, Spain, Scotland, Argentina and Japan to take part.

Police said there were about 20 tents as part of a camp near the West Berkshire site.

Image caption Protesters from around the world blocked the entrance to AWE Burghfield

Action AWE, which is co-ordinating the protest with Trident Ploughshares, said in a statement they were taking part in "non-violent direct action".

They said nuclear weapons were "immoral, illegal under international law, dangerous to maintain and pose a danger to peace on Earth".

Ch Insp Lindsey Finch, deputy local policing commander for Newbury, said: "We will continue to work with protesters to facilitate peaceful protest and ensure that any criminal activity is dealt with proportionately."

A spokeswoman for the weapons site said: "AWE on-site security, the Ministry of Defence Police and Thames Valley Police are currently in attendance and will remain for the duration of any protest action."

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