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Activists occupy Plymouth Island in nuclear weapons protest



Twelve Trident Ploughshares activists landed on Drakes Island in the River Tamar last week, close to Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, which is used to refit Trident, the UK's illegal nuclear weapons system.

The occupation of Drakes Island took place at the same time as the NPT Review Conference in New York, where the UK delegation is coming under increasing diplomatic pressure to honour disarmament commitments made in 2000.  The Island occupation highlights the hypocrisy of the UK's  position on
nuclear weapons.

At the last NPT Review Conference in 2000, the UK, as a nuclear weapons state, made a series of commitments, including, "An unequivocal undertaking [by the nuclear-weapon states] to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all states parties are committed under Article VI."

Despite commitments to disarm, and a recent unsolicited attack on Iraq who it accused of trying to develop nuclear weapons, the UK government is currently upgrading its nuclear weapons factory, AWE  at Aldermaston with development of facilities for the manufacture of the next generation of nuclear weapons already underway.

The Island occupation was the start of two weeks of protest in Plymouth by local people who are joined by national and international nuclear weapons protesters committed to seeing Plymouth and the UK free of nuclear weapons.

A carnival and blockade will be held outside Devonport Dockyard on Friday 20th May and a camp site is organised in Plymouth for protesters from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd May.
 

May 2005

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