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Friday, December 19 2014 @ 04:09 AM CST

How anarchists exposed secret nuclear bunkers

Anarchist Movement

The early years of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK were marked by a series of annual Easter marches which came to a head 50 years ago when activists leaked the location of a secret, exclusive government shelter.

How anarchists exposed secret nuclear bunkers

By Melissa Hogenboom
April 15, 2013
BBC History

Following the devastation caused by the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, campaigns to oppose nuclear weapons grew in popularity. When the UK began testing "the bomb" it led to the birth of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

CND asserted that nuclear weapon tests could accidentally launch the world into war. They believed then, as now, in unilateral disarmament.

Annual four-day marches were held from 1958 until 1963, between Aldermaston (where nuclear weapons were made) and London - a 52-mile stretch.

One protester who was involved every time was peace activist Pat Arrowsmith, who still campaigns today. The 83-year-old has been arrested more times than she can count, and has been in prison 11 times.

There was a sense of hope and optimism in the air, with lots of singing, says Arrowsmith. "Everyone was very determined. There was a real fear the bomb would get used."

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