• Short Summary

    DECEMBER 9: THE DAY THAT BRITAIN'S ANTI-NUCLEAR "COMMITTEE OF 100" WENT AHEAD WITH PLANS FOR MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE OUTSIDE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BASES AT WETHERSFIELD AND BRIZE NORTON, AND THE USAF HEADQUARTERS AT RUISLIP, DESPITE THE ARREST OF FIVE OF ITS MEMBERS ON CHARGES ON CONSPIRACY.

  • Description

    DECEMBER 9: THE DAY THAT BRITAIN'S ANTI-NUCLEAR "COMMITTEE OF 100" WENT AHEAD WITH PLANS FOR MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE OUTSIDE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BASES AT WETHERSFIELD AND BRIZE NORTON, AND THE USAF HEADQUARTERS AT RUISLIP, DESPITE THE ARREST OF FIVE OF ITS MEMBERS ON CHARGES ON CONSPIRACY. UNDER THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT AND A SHARP WARNING BY THE GOVERNMENT TO KEEP AWAY.

    FOURTEEN MARSHALLS, LEADING A MARCH OF 700 ANTI-NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNERS TO THE USAF BASE AT BRIZE NORTON IN OXFORDSHIRE, WERE ARRESTED IN NEARBY WITNEY. THEY SAT DOWN TO MAKE ARREST MORE DIFFICULT SO POLICE CARRIED THEM INTO THE LOCAL POLICE STATION - SOME OF THEM ON STRETCHERS. ONE OF THE ARRESTED WAS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OXFORD 'COMMITTEE OF 100' WHO TOLD POLICE THAT IT WAS THEIR INTENTION TO ENTER THE AIR BASE AND SIT IN FRONT OF THE H-BOMBERS.

    ON ARRIVAL AT THE BASE SOME 250 OF THE MARCHERS SAT DOWN IN THE ROAD. THE AUTHORITIES, IN PREPARATION FOR THIS, HAD EXTENDED THE BARRIERS TO MAKE ALMOST A CUL-DE-SAC OF THE ROAD. THEREFORE NO OBSTRUCTION OF TRAFFIC WAS POSSIBLE. THE ONLY PERSON ARRESTED BY THE POLICE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE DEMONSTRATION WAS A BYSTANDER WHO KICKED ONE OF THE DEMONSTRATORS SITTING ON THE DAMP ROAD. HE WAS LATER CHARGED WITH ASSAULT. WHEN THE PROTESTERS LEFT THE BASE LATER, A SMALL NUMBER LAY ON THE ROADWAY. SEVEN WERE ARRESTED AND CHARGED. THREE REFUSED BAIL.

    ORGANISERS OF THE RALLY WERE DISAPPOINTED WHEN ONLY 400 OF THE EXPECTED 3,000 DEMONSTRATORS ARRIVED AT WETHERSFIELD, THE USAF BASE IN ESSEX, TO CARRY OUT "BLOCKING AND A MASS WALK-ON". THE MARCHING COLUMNS WERE MET AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE AIRFIELD BY SIX RANKS OF POLICE. THEY PROMPTLY SAT DOWN ON THE WET TARMAC ROAD AS A HELICOPTER KEPT WATCH OVERHEAD.

    SQUADS OF AIRMEN HAD FORMED A HUMAN CHAIN ROUND THE SIX-MILE PERIMETER OF THE BASE. BETWEEN 2,000 AND 3,000 CIVIL AND MILITARY POLICE HAD BEEN ORGANISED IN ITS DEFENCE. POLICE SAID 73 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED. AND LATER, A 'COMMITTEE OF 100' SPOKESMAN SAID THE 'SIT-DOWN' AT WETHERSFIELD HAD BEEN CALLED OFF.

    AT RUISLIP, MORE THAN 450 FROM THE TOTAL OF 1500 BAN-THE-BOMB DEMONSTRATORS WERE ARRESTED WHEN THEY STAGED A MASSIVE 'SIT-DOWN', BLOCKING THE ROAD OUTSIDE THE USAF HEADQUARTERS. A SOLID 'WALL OF POLICE LIFTED THEM UP AND TRANSFERRED THEM TO THE WET GRASS VERGES.

    BUT WHEN THEY JUMPED UP AND SAT IN THE ROAD AGAIN THE POLICE STARTED TO MAKE ARRESTS. THEY PICKED UP THE LIMP FIGURES, LOADED THEM INTO WAITING VANS, AND TOOK THEM TO A LOCAL ??? - SET UP AS A POLICE HEADQUARTERS - WHERE THEY WERE CHARGED BEFORE BEING TAKEN TO A SPECIAL COURT.

    OTHER ANTI-NUCLEAR DEMONSTRATORS TOOK PLACE AT BRISTOL CARDAFF, MANCHESTER AND YORK.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9FPRP9RECSJO8ZDNVNT2KV72W
    Media URN:
    VLVA9FPRP9RECSJO8ZDNVNT2KV72W
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    09/12/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:40:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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