Veteran protesters in nuclear blockade

Southend Standard: Two women in nuclear blockade also tried to hinder Dale Farm eviction Two women in nuclear blockade also tried to hinder Dale Farm eviction

TWO veteran protesters who tried to stop evictions at the Dale Farm and Hovefields traveller sites took part in a blockade on a nuclear weapons plant.

Ann Kobayashi, 73, from Hazlemere Road, Wickford, and Zelda Jeffers, from Brooke House, Basildon, joined members of Action AWE to stop vehicles entering the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield, near Reading in Berkshire, in protest at the facility.

The demo saw work at the site grind to a halt after two cars and a trailer were used to block the three entrances.

Mrs Kobayashi said: “It was a non-violent protest and the police were good to us in that respect.

“Some of the campaigners were cemented on to a car which was blocking the access and they had to close the plant to vehicles.

The plant could not operate as a result.

“We were just there to provide support. Some staff walked in and we just tried to explain to them how dangerous a nuclear weapons factory is and that they could transfer their skills to a peaceful non-violent cause like the decommissioning of nuclear weapons.”

Two other people were arrested on suspicion of blocking a public highway.

Last September, Mrs Kobayashi was arrested on suspicion of blocking a road during a protest at the same site.

Mrs Kobayashi and Mrs Jeffers were dragged away by police during tense evictions at Hovefields and Dale Farm, but the sites were eventually cleared. In March 2008 Mrs Jeffers was jailed for 14 days for pouring red paint in the path of delegates attending an arms fair.

There have been several protests at Burghfield over the last two years, but they have generally blocked only one entrance.

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