digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

The Aldermaston marches were anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations in the 1950s and 1960s, taking place on Easter weekend between the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire, England, and London, over a distance of fifty-two miles, or roughly 83 km. At their height in the early 1960s they attracted tens of thousands of people and were the highlight of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) calendar.

The first major Aldermaston march at Easter (4–7 April), 1958, was organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and supported by the recently formed CND. Several thousand people marched for four days from Trafalgar Square, London, to the Atomic Weapons Establishment to demonstrate their opposition to nuclear weapons.[1][2] Hugh Brock, one of the organisers, records that he was one of thirty-five people to have marched to Aldermaston six years before in 1952 as part of Operation Gandhi.[3]

From 1959 an annual Easter march from Aldermaston to London[4] was organised by CND. By reversing the direction form the march they distinguished their campaign, directed at the seat of power, from the DAC's direct action campaign, directed at local nuclear bases.

On the 1963 Aldermaston march, a group calling itself Spies for Peace distributed leaflets as the march passed a secret government establishment, RSG 6. A large group, led by Peter Cadogan (an activist in the direct-action Committee of 100), left the march, against the wishes of the CND leadership, to demonstrate at RSG 6. Later, when the march reached London, there were disorderly demonstrations in which anarchists were prominent.

At Easter 1964 there was only a one-day march in London, partly because of the events of 1963 and partly because the logistics of the march, which, grown beyond all expectation, had exhausted the organisers.[5] In 1965 there was a two-day march from High Wycombe. In 1972 and 2004 there were revivals of the Aldermaston march in the original direction.[6][7]

Participants[edit]

The Aldermaston March Committee for the first march comprised Hugh Brock, Pat Arrowsmith and Michael Randle from DAC plus Frank Allaun MP and Walter Wolfgang from the Labour H-Bomb Campaign. The committee was assisted by nonviolent theorist Gene Sharp though he never became a member of the committee itself.[citation needed]

Songs[edit]

Music was a significant part of the march, at first symbolising the difference in attitude between the CND leaders, who wanted to march in silence, and the youth on the march, who wanted to sing and play guitars. John Brunner's song, The H-bomb's Thunder became the unofficial anthem of CND.[10] Songs associated with CND and the Aldermaston march were released on an EP record, Songs from Aldermaston (1960)[11] and an LP album, Songs Against the Bomb (Topic 12001) released at about the same time. It contained: "Brother Won't you Join the Line?" (McColl and Keir, 1958); "The Crooked Cross" (McColl and Seeger, 1960); "Strontium 90" (Dallas, 1959); "Hey, Little Man" (Dallas, 1959); "Doomsday Blues" (Dallas, 1958); "The Ballad of the Five Fingers" (McColl, 1959); "There are Better Things to Do" (Seeger, 1958); "The H-Bomb's Thunder" (Brunner, 1958); "Song of Hiroshima" (Kinoshita); "Hoist the Window" (trad. arr. Hasted, 1952); "That Bomb Has Got to Go" (McColl and Seeeger, 1959); "The Dove" (trad. arr. Rosselson); and "The Family of Man" (Dallas, 1957). A new arrangement of H-bomb's Thunder was issued on a CD, Songs To Change The World (Peaksoft PEA012) in 2011.

Ewan MacColl's English text of Song of Hiroshima was sung on the Aldermaston Marches by the London Youth Choir.[12] An unofficial peace version of the National Anthem of the United Kingdom was written in 1958 by Henry Young for the first Aldermaston March and is taken from Young's collection of poems From Talk to Action: The fight for peace.

The marches inspired work from a number of other musicians, notably Matt McGinn's "On the Road to Aldermaston".

References[edit]

  1. ^ A brief history of CND
  2. ^ "Early defections in march to Aldermaston". Guardian Unlimited. 5 April 1958. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  3. ^ Brock, Hugh, "Marching to Aldermaston – ten years ago!", Sanity, Good Friday, 1962
  4. ^ "1960: Thousands protest against H-bomb". BBC News. 18 April 1960. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  5. ^ John Minnion and Philip Bolsover (eds.) The CND Story, Alison and Busby, 1983, ISBN 0-85031-487-9
  6. ^ "1972: CND begins march to Aldermaston". BBC News. 31 March 1972. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Marchers protest at nuclear base". BBC News. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  8. ^ French, Philip (5 December 2004) "O difficult man!" Guardian.co.uk (Retrieved: 22 February 2010)
  9. ^ "Eric "The Greedy One" Idle". Pythonland. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007. 
  10. ^ Colin Irwin, "Power to the People", Observer Music Magazine, October 2008
  11. ^ Songs From Aldermaston
  12. ^ "Ewan MacColl: 1915–1989, A Political Journey". Working Class Movement Library. Retrieved 12 April 2007. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldermaston_Marches — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
23 videos foundNext > 

German Easter marchers slam wars

In more than 30 cities, allover Germany, thousands of people took part in the traditional anti-war Aldermaston marches, also known as Easter marches as they ...

CND songs: Ding Dong Dollar and Ye Cannae Shove Yer Granny.mp4

To the tune of She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain. Very popular on the marches, especially up in Faslane and the Holy Loch where Polaris submarines were bas...

TSAR Bomba 1961, Largest Blast Ever, Leads To Global Mind Control, Warfare Controlled,

In 1961 the alledged Tsar Bomba exploded near the North Pole in Russia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba I say alleged because the explosion might hav...

CND songs: A Mighty Song of Peace.mp4

A popular song on Aldermaston Marches.

CND songs: Go Limp (Daughter Dear Daughter).mp4

A humorous, but now very politically incorrect, song about the dangers of going on Aldermaston Marches and sleeping overnite with people of the opposite sex ...

Aldermaston 50 years on

50 years after the first March to Aldermaston, which formed the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the nuclear weapons factory is still up and running...

CND songs: The Hammer Song.mp4

We were singing it on the Aldermaston Marches long before Trini Lopez recorded it - perhaps he stole it from us? He renamed it 'If I Had A Hammer'.

Aldermaston 1959- UK

An important moment of expression in the nuclear disarmament movement set on record; in particular the vast crowds in Trafalgar Square at the March's climax.

8mm TO DVD - CND PEACE MARCH IN LONDON

The CND symbol, shown here at the beginning of the video was created by the British designer Gerald Holtom. He believed that the anti-nuclear movement needed...

CND songs: Come Away, Melinda.mp4

Never sung this on the marches myself, but it's a beautiful song in the Aldermaston and peace songbooks. I wasn't sure of the tune, but this seems to work OK.

23 videos foundNext > 

3 news items

Press TV

Press TV
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:15:00 -0700

The annual traditional rallies known as the “Easter (or Aldermaston) marches” were held in more than 30 cities across Germany on Saturday. Shouting slogans such as, "We are against war", the protesters in the capital, Berlin, also slammed NATO's troop ...
 
Press TV
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:22:30 -0700

The ralliers slammed NATO's troop deployments in Europe. In more than 30 cities, allover Germany, thousands of people took part in the traditional anti-war Aldermaston marches, also known as Easter marches as they take place during the Easter Holidays.
 
Wildlife News
Sun, 06 Apr 2014 00:08:16 -0700

Those of us who have been going on endless marches up and down the country, (the next one is in Gloucester on the 19th by the way), figured we need something really BIG, like the Aldermaston marches, to get the real story into this biased UK media, and ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Aldermaston Marches

You can talk about Aldermaston Marches with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!