Guerilla woolfare: against the madness of mutually assured destruction via 50.50

Rolling out a seven mile knitted pink peace scarf between the Atomic Weapons Establishment complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield on Nagasaki Day may sound crazy. It isn’t as insane as letting the UK government spend another £100 billion on building a new nuclear weapons system to replace Trident.

On 9th August – the 69th anniversary of the incineration of Nagasaki by a plutonium bomb code-named “Fat Man” – thousands of people will join the Wool against Weapons demonstration in Berkshire to link up a 7-mile pink knitted ‘peace scarf’ between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield.

It probably sounds crazy. Dreamed up  by Jaine and Angie around a campfire at the Reclaim Hinkley camp in October 2012, this mad idea has led to 18 months of exhilarating, inspiring, and creative action that has involved thousands of people from all over the world. Wool against Weapons has got people all over the world knitting for peace – and talking again about nuclear weapons, and why we all have a responsibility to contributing to banning and abolishing them. Men as well as women, long time peace activists as well as craftspeople and Women’s Institute knitters with a spectrum of political affiliations (or none).

The objective was simple: to put a much needed spotlight on the madness of nuclear weapons by linking the pink peace scarf between Aldermaston and Burghfield, the nuclear bomb facilities that design and produce warheads for Britain’s nuclear weapons system,Trident.

We decided that the peace scarf link up should be on August 9th, the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945.

This Saturday’s family-friendly demonstration, jointly organised by Wool against Weapons, Action AWE (Atomic Weapons Eradication), and CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), will bring thousands of people from all over Britain.  We will join up the sections of peace scarf and link eight  ‘milestones’ along the route. From East to West, these are: Rainbow Burghfield (CND South East); Red (faith groups); Orange (Oxford and North-West); Yellow (Wales and borders); Green (Greens and women’s peace groups); Blue (Scotland and Angel of the North); Purple (Reading Greenpeace, Berkshire, Hampshire); and Rainbow Aldermaston (Stroud, Bristol and South-West). It will be a fantastic day of guerrilla woolfare, possibly the world’s biggest ever woollen scarf. The link-up will be accompanied by music. We will ring bells when the peace scarf is fully joined, and then have some minutes of silence followed by bells, to honour the people killed by nuclear and other inhumane technologies of war.

After the protest the peace scarf will be separated and made into blankets that will be distributed wherever they are needed – to the homeless and hospices in this country and to refugee camps and warzones abroad, ensuring that nothing is wasted.

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