Direct action against nuclear weapons at AWE Burghfield

How did I come to be lying there at 6am on the cold hard concrete outside a factory in Berkshire making weapons of mass destruction, my left hand superglued to an 88 year old man called John, my right hand protected within a lock-on tube linked to a chain of four others lying down next to me?

Sam Donaldson lies on the road outside Atomic Weapons Establishment, Burghfield, connected to other protesters
Sam Donaldson 'locked on' with Friends outside the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Burghfield. Photo: Ali Donaldson

I guess it was the result of a long, slow, process. The more I have been spending time with Christian-Anarchists, getting exposed to the writings of Dorothy Day and Dan Berrigan and others, and going deeper into my Quaker path, I have felt a growing challenge to embrace resistance to 'the powers that be' as an integral part of my spiritual journey. So, when my friend Hannah invited me to be a part of a Quaker non-violent blockade of the Burghfield weapons factory on the No Faith in Trident day (27 June 16), part of the month-long protest called for by Trident Ploughshares, I said "yes".

Standing in a rich peace testimony

The whole thing has been a huge learning curve for me, lots of new experiences, from learning how to build lock-on tubes to getting arrested and now facing trial. At times its been quite unnerving, like going into the cell. At times its been very funny, like unlocking and walking past the police to go and pee. But overall, its been a growing, enriching experience for me and really great to do this as part of a Quaker team, knowing that this small action stands in a rich peace testimony going back hundreds of years.

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