Cat no. 207915

Nuclear Disarmament: Sit-down Demonstration at Wethersfield

Running time10:58 Black & White Sound 1961 Wethersfield, Essex

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Anglia Television report on demonstrations at an air force base in Essex.

Genre:

NewsPoliticsTelevision

Hundreds of demonstrators converge on the Essex village of Wethersfield in an attempt to blockade the nearby United States Air Force base. The demonstration is an action coordinated by a splinter group of of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - the Committee of 100 - who advocate the use of non-violent civil disobedience.

An Anglia Television correspondent conducts interviews with some of the organisers, including Terry Chandler, Pat Arrowsmith and the Committee's secretary Michael Randle. When it becomes clear that the base has recently been surrounded by barbed-wire fencing, plans to walk onto the airstrip are replaced with a sit-down blockade to interrupt access to the base. Randolph Churchill discusses the futility of the action as a sit-down protest begins, with police using force to remove demonstrators and keep part of the road open.

Also included is a series of outtakes from the report, comprising views at Braintree railway station, demonstrators in the village, interview outtakes, the march, police cordons and more views of the sit-down protest.

Background Information:

Terry Chandler was one of six organisers arrested during the protest - dubbed the 'Wethersfield Six' - each of whom was charged with conspiracy and incitement under the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Featured People:

Michael Randle, Committee of 100 secretary; Pat Arrowsmith, organiser; Terry Chandler, organiser; Randolph Churchill

Featured Organisations:

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Committee of 100; Essex Constabulary (now Essex Police); United States Air Force

Featured Events:

Committee of 100 demonstration, RAF Wethersfield, 1961

Anglia Television

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