The lorry carrying the warheads stopped in a lay-by so the driver could go to McDonald’s. So Russell, who’d been following the convoy, ran in after him and shouted: “Hey everybody, want to see what Britain’s weapons of mass destruction look like? They’re parked just outside!”
I’m in a café round the corner from the NI Oxford office, chuckling away at Nigel and Margaret’s story. They are die-hard anti-nuke activists, part of a network called Nukewatch which doggedly follows the bombs as they are transported up and down the country. They have documented brake failures, crashes and one hair-raising incident where a lorry carrying two warheads skidded on ice and rolled on to its side in Wiltshire. They show me photos of just how close a nuclear convoy comes to my house on a regular basis.
I had no idea. Before editing this issue of the magazine, I’d mainly thought about nuclear weapons in the abstract. The revelation that the Government is making new bombs all the time and driving them round the Oxford ring-road came as quite a shock.
If the powers-that-be had their way, we’d never know about any of this. The fact that we do is down to people like Nigel and Margaret, who sacrifice their time – and in some cases their liberty – to watch, track, bear witness and resist.
Jess Worth for the New Internationalist co-operative.