Ray Leach Memorial Action

In late September, a group of activists from the One World Centre, CND and Earth First! got together to do what they felt Ray Leach would have wanted: carry on the anti-nuclear campaigning work, to which he was committed. As reported in the Networking Newsletter, Ray passed away in the summer after a full life campaigning against nuclear weapons.

The groups decided to target Siemens, as part of an ongoing campaign by local Earth First and CND groups, due to the company's involvement in the nuclear industry in Europe. Having previously disrupted work in their Oldham factory, we felt Ray would approve of us paying a visit to their swanky offices on Princess Parkway, Manchester. Our aim was to get Siemens to explain how they could have an environ-mental policy and eco-friendly corporate mission statement, but still make dodgy nuclear reactors in Eastern Europe and promote nuclear power elsewhere, so putting the environment and people at risk everywhere.

A group of nine walked into the building and, without being questioned by any staff, went straight into offices and distributed leaflets to employees, most of whom were entirely unaware of their employer's connections with the nuclear industry. When we refused security's request to leave, the police were called. However, our demand - to speak with a manager, who could then put us through to head of communications in Britain - was entirely reasonable, and the police decided to deal with us accordingly. Eventually, after two hours, a manager did appear to talk to us (is this how long decisions take normally in a multi-national firm?!), and put us through by telephone directly to the Head of Commun-ications in Bracknell. He agreed to come to Manchester to explain their position and hear our concerns, and to get a statement from Siemens in Germany who are responsible for the nuclear business. In return, we agreed to leave peaceably. A successful direct action, and we think Ray would have been more than happy!

A meeting with Siemens was held in December. Find out what was said.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (0161 834 8301, email: gmdcnd@gn.apc.org)