Leaders of an international protest team hoping to penetrate the A-bomb testing area in the Sahara early next month, as a challenge to stop the explosion of France's first nuclear bomb, described their plan, October 1, at a press conference in Kingway Hall, London.
GV. Traffic in Kingsway PAN to dove-of-peace statue on church.
CU. ZOOM IN. To newspaper headline "Sahara and etc".
SV. Group around table looking at map.
CU. Pointer on map.
SV. Group Look at map on wall.
CU. Map PAN to members of group.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Leaders of an international protest team hoping to penetrate the A-bomb testing area in the Sahara early next month, as a challenge to stop the explosion of France's first nuclear bomb, described their plan, October 1, at a press conference in Kingway Hall, London.
The expedition, organized by the Direct Action Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, comprises five volunteers; a French woman, an Indian woman and three Britons. They will gather in Ghana, where it is hoped to rally more members.
From Ghana - a country strongly opposed to the proposed explosion - the expedition will drive into the Sahara testing area at El Hammoudia, 25 miles from Reggan. There, members will try to discourage technicians from conducting the test -- and are determined to remain in the area until the explosion.
Hammoudia, a desert settlement, is a totally uninhabited region in the middle of the French Sahara, some 1,709 miles from Monrovia. France, who will become the fourth member of the "Nuclear Club" by exploding her bomb, claims the desert site is so isolated, there is no danger of radio-active fall-out spreading.
The Direct Action Committee organised the London-Aldermaston march, and Swaffham rocket site demonstration. In an open letter to General de Gaulle, it expresses dismay at the "decision of your Government to join the Nuclear Club and become the fourth nation armed with weapons of mass annihilation. The expedition, it continues, "hopes, by running the risk of injury or death, to remind the world of the extreme evil and folly of testing nuclear weapons, and the danger of allowing ownership of such weapons to spread to yet another country".
Members of the team:
Esther Peters (27) of France - married. Has a 4 1/2-year-old son Hemlata Devi-Hakansson (40) of India - married. Has 2 children Francis Hoyland (29) of Britain. - Married. Has 2 sons.
Michael Randle (25) of Britain. Full-time worker for the D.A.C.
Rev. Michael Scott of Britain. Well known for his protests on behalf of South African coloured people.