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Aldermasten 2004 March

The Aldermasten march has been going on since 1958. It is a powerful symbol in the struggle against the terrible nuclear weapons of mass destruction developed and kept by our government. This year, the base is being developed further, with new buildings planned for use in developing more and new versions of these weapons

Many members of KPC/CND went along to the starting point of the 2004 Aldermasten march at Trafalgar Square in London, most marched at least part of the first day.

Four of our members completed all 52 miles over 4 days.

This is not a complete account of the entire experience, but rather, a collection of moments shared with you, the reader.

You can click on the images to open a high resolution version in a new window, to return to this page, just close the window with the high resolution image.

All pictures ©2004 Tom Sloman. Copying, reproduction or use with permission only.

Trafalgar Square, Day 1. We are early, so not many signs of life yet.

Holding up the banner at Trafalgar Square, an essential task that if not performed... well... it wouldn't actually make any difference at all...

A rather spectacular view of Trafalgar Square as the crowds start to arrive

Getting ready for the start of the march. Still good spirits here, and even the fairly long delay in getting going did not dampen them

We're away...

Hyde Park. The march stopped here briefly, some people left, having completed the main London part of the march. Waited a while for the police to close off some roads to get going again

I have no idea where we are now, i am just following the people in front...

Rest stop on Ealing Common... Mango juice and a vegan cereal bar... such luxury...

This is the second day, gone is the large banner in favour of the small, easy to carry banner. This was a rather long rest stop, due to the fact, we found out later, that at the handover from the Metropolitan Police to Thames Valley Police (TVP). They immediately issued a Section 12 (i think) warning and told the organisers that everyone would be arrested if we marched along the roads. Well done to TVP for respect of our human rights and not abusing oppressive laws in ways that are against the spirit of freedom (NOT!!!!!)

Here's someone you don't expect to see hanging out with a bunch of crusty hippies... Buddha bless you too mate...

You think you're tired now? Ankles hurting? heh... We are only about one third of the way there so far... Two KPC/CND members who completed the entire march here, the one on the left was five months pregnant!!!

Are you sure this is a short cut??? We are in the middle of nowhere... i just hope the bloke at the front knows where he is going...

KPC/CND making it's presence felt in some place i forget... oops... i am sure it was a lovely place...

There's a slight possibility that some KPC/CND members were feeling a little bit tired at this point...

Bang a gong!!! If you didn't know, not all Buddhists meditate, some chant and some bang things. It actually helped me to hear the constant rhythm during the more boring parts of the march

What's this i see??? Is that Kate Hudson, chairperson of the whole of CND UK helping with the lowly KPC/CND banner?

An example of TVP in their even handed and unbiased approach to policing. We are a legitimate, non-violent anti-nuclear protest, it was very well publicised and has been going for many decades. Our common goal is the abolition of terrible weapons of mass destruction kept by our government. TVP continually tried to make us feel like criminals, recording our every move with video and still cameras, issuing official warnings and threatening to arrest everyone and stop the march.

Here you can see two TVP officers standing dangerously in the middle of the road to photograph us and record us on video. This is after we had been warned multiple times by them that it was "too dangerous" for us to be in the road and we would all be arrested if we continued to march along the roads

Early morning, day 4. TVP making their presence felt, although they kept away from us and the cameras didn't come out until a bit later

Some of our members that couldn't manage the whole march came back on day 4 with the big banner, so we had both out on the last day

Just when you thought "big brother" had got bored of you, there they are with their cameras again. I really cannot think why they needed to film us. What did they expect we would do??? of course, there is always the possibility that their only intention was intimidation... you think we live in a free country? Is it still free if we are threatened, bullied and intimidated if we dare to ever question our "betters"?

Just a few seconds after i took this picture, i walked backwards into a lamppost and almost knocked myself out. Needless to say, i felt like a complete idiot...

Are we there yet?

No, really... Are we there yet???

Another rest stop. Almost there now. TVP still hard at work protecting the public interestby constantly filming us, making us feel threatened, letting us know we are not welcome, etc... funny really... Absolutely EVERYONE i spoke to along the way was 100% in favour of our march, many said they would have joined in if they could have gotten time of work, etc

Everywhere we went, people would cheer us, wave out their windows, welcome us, put our banners up in their windows...

I am still having trouble seeing what this "menace" that had TVP so worried and afraid for public safety was

The two old men seen here were trusted with the responsibility of looking after the big banner. A few seconds after this picture was taken the entire thing fell apart, hitting about five people. Still, old people do still have their uses...

Here we are just arriving at the edge of the base. We still had a few miles to go, walking around the outside of the base to the main gates. Seen also are TVP again, filming us, just in case the massive amount of filming they had already done wasn't enough

Excuse me, are you all standard there to protect the giant NUCLEAR WEAPONS base from our legitimate, peaceful protest... Did you not notice that most of us are barely still able to walk at this point???

Yep, definitely another carefully measured and unbiased response from TVP. Well done you guys, good job on protecting another state interest against those pesky people that don't swallow the lies and want to take away your big, shiny (phallic) nuclear weapons

We REALLY are almost there now...

Not to be outdone by TVP, the Ministry of DefencePolice (MDP) have arranged a little welcoming party of their own for us. Did you spot that their camera is bigger than the TVP camera? i hope they weren't jealous...

I have to say though, the MDP were, to me, a lot more respectful of our rights, they seemed to understand that we had a right to protest as long as we respected that they had a responsibility to do a job. They were far less rude than the TVP officers also

The end of the march (finally). There are some speeches going on, but i can't hear a word. Little bit of a party atmosphere, lots of happy faces, glad to have finished marching.

As far as i know, it was entirely peaceful, no problems at all.

The state can rest easy again now, secure in the knowledge that their weapons of mass destruction are safe once more from the terror of peaceful demonstrators... or are they???

Surely they know by now... As long as this country has these terrible weapons, people will speak out against them, march against them, campaign against them... they must know... We'll be back...

Oh yeah, i can't possibly go without saying goodbye to the monk... Cheers mate... Sayonara