Scotland has spoken on Trident

The people of Scotland have long opposed UK nuclear weapons. But now we are in a new situation. On 7th May 56 of the candidates we voted into Scottish seats in Parliament are members of a party whose absolute opposition to Trident was central to the campaign.

BnB-crowd (1) Our Scottish Parliament has already said it rejects Trident; and now almost every MP from a Scottish constituency (in a parliament with control over defence matters) is totally against it. Yet in spite of this, the new UK government is still planning to compel Scotland to continue to host a weapon system, any use of which would inevitably result in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of civilians, including children, devastate the environment and cause widespread famine and death while the fallout would cause untold numbers of deaths and birth defects to future generations.

To squander £100 Billion on replacing these hideous weapons while cutting spending on services to the poorest and most vulnerable people is not acceptable. It’s clear – the people of Scotland want the UK’s nuclear weapons to be scrapped. Scotland’s voice on this matter must be heard.

We do not think it is likely that the new London government will be easily deflected from its insane determination to renew Trident. But it can be done. We must apply every peaceful means to ensure a complete change to a sane approach to human security.

 

Bairns not Bombs Blockade Roundup

Yesterday’s blockade of the UK’s nuclear weapons base at Faslane in Scotland was a huge success with the gates blocked from 7 am until 1.30 pm and many workers, who had been queued up in buses in nearby Helensburgh, sent home after refusing to be ferried in to work via Greenock and the Gareloch.

In keeping with the “BairnsNotBombs” theme several families and children took part in the blockade, with two families prepared to be arrested together. Ester Sisoroky and five of her six children locked themselves together in a determined opposition to the ongoing deployment of Trident. Continue reading

Young Fathers Back Bairns Not Bombs Blockade

On the eve of the Scrap Trident Bairns Not Bombs Blockade of the Faslane nuclear weapons base in Scotland Mercury Prize winning hiphop band Young Fathers backed the blockade saying “If there’s a nuclear war we’re all fucked.”

Young FathersHumans already have the ability to destroy the world. We can only blow it up the once. If there’s a nuclear war we’re all fucked.Fuck the Generals. Fuck the arms industry. We’ve got to start somewhere – no nukesLove Young Fathers.”  Continue reading

Bairns Not Bombs Glasgow Demo a Huge Success

On Saturday 4 April some four to five thousand people marched through the streets of Glasgow and filled George Square calling on the UK government to abandon its plans to replace Trident nuclear weapons. George Square was filled with people holding a thousand placards that proclaimed “Scrap Trident” and “Bairns Not Bombs” as well as homemade banners and placards.

The march was led round Glasgow City Centre by the She-Boom Samba Band and the beautiful “Bairns Not Bombs” banner carried by, amongst others, Green MSPs Patick Harvie and John Wilson.

Karine Polwart

Karine Polwart

On returning to the Square Arthur West Chair of Scottish CND welcomed the thousands who were gathered and singer Karine Polwart kicked things off with her beautiful song “Better Things” saying that apart from all the political, ethical and practical arguments against Trident it shows a dreadful lack of imagination.

Patrick Harvie

Patrick Harvie

Patrick Harvie MSP, the first speaker couldn’t resist taking a selfie with the huge crowd at his back. The Scottish Greens Co-convenor who has been described by the Daily Mail as the “voice of the irresponsible left led anti Christian anti-family gay whales against the bomb coalition” said he was proud to be appearing with the “most dangerous woman in Britain”. He added “If you have never been to Faslane where this evil systme of mass destruction is based , if you have never come to join us on a blockade, take this moment to decide you’re going to join the blockade on the 13th..I’ll be there. I hope many of you will too.”

Nuala Watt

Nuala Watt

Welcoming people from across the political spectrum Jenny Gunn from the Scottish Socialist Party introduced Nuala Watt, founder of Human Beings on Benefit. Standing with her walker decorated with “Bairns Not Bombs” and “Scrap Trident” slogans Nuala spoke about a different kind of Defense than that usually talked about in debates around Trident, the Welfare State. Her organisation provides support for people dealing with the psychological consequences of cuts to their Benefits. “Working capability assessment” she said “forces people to focus on what they can not do when all their life they tried to do the opposite.”

Next up was Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said this was “without a doubt the biggest anti Trident gathering in George Square ever.” “We have a chance in this election” she continued ” to change the priorites of the out of touch Westminster system in the interest of ordinary people across the UK, to say to  that out of touch system that its priorites are not our priorities and instead rewrite those priorities. I want to see the scarce resources of our country invested in the future of our children, in health, education and protecting the most vulnerable in our society. I don’t want a single penny, let alone £100 Billion invested in nuclear weapons of mass destruction.”

Nicola with some of the Bairns at the demo

Nicola with some of the Bairns at the demo

Nicola Sturgeon continued “People ask me all the time, in the event of a hung Parliament, if we are in discussions with labour about a working arrangement if Trident will be a Red Line. Let me answer in very simple terms. You better believe Trident will be a Red Line. So let us put this issue at the heart of the Westminster debate. If we send to Westminster MPs that are prepared to vote against Trident renewal then we can insure the debate in the next Parliament is not about renewal of Trident but about getting rid of it once and for all.  Do not vote for any candidate that will vote for renewal of Trident. Let us make sure we send an alliance of anti-Trident candiadates to Westminster to say No to Trident once and for all.”

Katy Clark MP

Katy Clark MP

Labour MP Katy Clark who has voted against Trident consistently for ten years in Parliament said that Trident, with its terrible destructive potential is no use against the threats of terrorism, hunger and climate change we face today. “All of the arguments we put forward for keeping Trident can be used by others and the more countries that have them the greater the chance of their being used. I want the money to be spent on welfare and arms diversification. So let’s build anlliances to rid the UK, Europe and the worldl of nuclear weapons.”

Anne Henderson of the STUC recalled that the Sctotish Trade Union Council had opposed nuclear weapons since they were first introduced by the Tory government in 1961 and that the STUC had worked together in 2007 to produce a report that challenged some of the statistics on the number of Trident related jobs at Faslane and that its work on diversification was important for those families who will be affected if we get rid of Trident.

Calling Trident “that neo-liberal sex toy” Disability Rights campaigner Sasha Callahan said we “always have money for war, weapons and for the bankers but nothing for us, the disabled and ordinary people of Scotland.. If we have money for war we have money for the welfare state, social security, fairness, equality, justice, everything we’ve dreamed of. We live in a rich country where children are going to bed hungry, people are begging on the streets. We stand for freedom, justice, peace and a new solidarity.”

Cat Boyd

Cat Boyd

The final speaker, Cat Boyd from the Radical Independence Campaign said there was a tradition of standing for what’s right in George Square. It was the place where Nelson Mandela was given the keys to the city and where we stood against Bush and Blair.” “Now we are drawing a line in the streets against Trident.” “If you go from here to Faslane you will pass through Clydebank where the Job Centre is overcrowded and people are queueing at Food Banks.” “Trident” she said “is a symbol of Britain’s failure. Successive governments have cared more about providing space for nuclear weapons than shelter for people.” “We are told that Trident is necessary for our security. What we need to be protected from is the Westminster government. What will keep us safe is a decent social settlement that doesn’t discriminate or stigmatize.”

“Britain has been a bad global citizen, from empire to illegal wars to backing dictatorships like in Chile, to backing apartheid states. Trident is a symbol of the governement’s commitment to spending on war over welfare, bombs over bairns. RIC will fight until Trident is decommisssioned, until it is a relic like the political system it represents.~”

A solidarity demo was held in Penzance and a message of solidarity from CND Cymru was also read out.

Welsh-Dragon-breaking-Trident-cropped resized “An overwhelming majority of people in Wales are opposed to nuclear weapons. Wales is suffering as badly as anywhere under austerity – we can see what is going on. Many candidates in Wales are standing in the coming Westminster Election under the banner of ‘No to Trident!’; ‘No to Trident Replacement!’. “If using a nuclear weapon is described as ‘MAD’ (Mutually Assured Destruction), then buying new ones at a time of crushing austerity will come with a demand that language specialists devise a new word to describe an insanity that is beyond imagination. We know that people in Scotland and Wales don’t want Trident – and if people in England want it, they can start dredging the Thames!

Penny Stone

Penny Stone

Peace campaigner and singer Penny Stone brought everyone together and brought the rally to a close leading us all in singing the civil rights anthem “We shall overcome”. It seems at this time that we might just do that. But we must keep up the struggle to make sure. The next stage of the Scrap Trident Coalition activities will take place at Faslane with a Big Blockade of the nuclear weapons base on 13 April. JOIN and SHARE the event on Facebook. For full details and a Briefing visit the website.

2013 scrap trident blockade

Dutch MP Krista van Velzen on the 2013 scrap trident blockade

Everyone thinking of coming along is invited to come to the nonviolent direct action training on Sunday 12 April in Glasgow. Register for accomodation and the training here. All are welcome to come along and support the blockaded. You can also book a place on a bus from Glasgow, Edinburgh or the Borders here.

 

Wales Message to Scotland – Let’s Vote Trident Out!

The run up to the Westminster Election will see a flourish of CND Cymru and other campaigning events demanding British nuclear disarmament. Electors will be encouraged to vote for candidates who would support the abolition of the Trident Nuclear Weapons System and oppose any plans for any replacement.

CND Cymru members and supporters will be taking part in events at home on the streets of Cardiff, at a Vote Trident Out Party in Westminster, London and as part of a blockade of the gates of the nuclear base at Faslane, Scotland.

CND Cymru’s message to the Bairns Not Bombs Rally in Glasgow on Saturday:
”Greetings to our brothers and sisters in Scotland!
You are not alone!

An overwhelming majority of people in Wales are opposed to nuclear weapons.
Wales is suffering as badly as anywhere under austerity – we can see what is going on. Many candidates in Wales are standing in the coming Westminster Election under the banner of ‘No to Trident!’; ‘No to Trident Replacement!’.
If using a nuclear weapon is described as ‘MAD’ (Mutually Assured Destruction), then buying

new ones at a time of crushing austerity will come with a demand that language specialists devise a new word to describe an insanity that is beyond imagination.
We know that people in Scotland and Wales don’t want Trident – and if people in England want it, they can start dredging the Thames!

We in Wales call on everyone everywhere to Vote Trident Out, and to make sure that our representatives in London after May 7th are standing on the nuclear disarmament side of any ‘red lines’.

Trident : Not in Scotland, Not in Wales, Not Anywhere!

Angie Zelter with Ulla Roder and Ellen Moxley celebrating their victory in Trident court case

Angie Zelter of Knighton, who will be part of a Scrap Trident Bairns Not Bombs Big Blockade at Faslane Nuclear Weapons Base, Scotland on 13th April, commented:

‘Scotland has seen decades of civil resistance against nuclear weapons at Faslane and Coulport and it needs to be sustained. Therefore I will be joining friends and colleagues to support the 13th April Blockade at Faslane. Trident must never be replaced. Thousands of us are needed to stop ‘business as usual’ and to support the Scottish Government in its demands to England to dismantle these weapons of terror and start the disarmament process that was promised us all so long ago. Do not give up hope, people power can win out if sustained for long enough by more of us’.

 Jill Gough National Secretary of CND Cymru said today:

Jill Gough, CND Cymru National Secretary

” Nuclear weapons should not be a party political issue, they are a moral, an environmental and an economic issue. Nuclear weapons and theories of deterrence and ‘mutually assured destruction’ have never made any sense. Nuclear proliferation, especially at this point of history, risks an unprecedented global catastrophe. The people of Wales are not voting to bring back a Cold War. “

28 MSPs Sign Motion Supporting Bairns Not Bombs Demo & Blockade

Bill Kidd MSP with Scrap Trident campaigner Janet Fenton outside SNP Conference

Bill Kidd MSP with Scrap Trident campaigner Janet Fenton outside SNP Conference

28 MSPs from at least 3 parties have signed a motion supporting the Bairns Not Bombs demonstration Saturday in Glasgow and the Big Blockade of Faslane on 13th April.

Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament Co-Conveners, Bill Kidd MSP and Patrick Harvie MSP said,

“We jointly wish the Scrap Trident Coalition very great success with these two terrific initiatives which will bring the public campaign against Trident to the streets of Glasgow and to the gates of Faslane. Nuclear weapons are opposed by the great majority of the people of Scotland and by politicians, trades unions, churches and voluntary organisations; these are weapons which are against humanity and have no place in a civilised society.”

The Motion S4M-12877 entitled “Scrap Trident Coalition Actions” was lodged by Bill Kidd and reads as follows:

That the Parliament notes the Scrap Trident Coalition’s plans for a demonstration, Bairns Not Bombs, which is expected to march off from Glasgow’s George Square at 11.00 am on 4 April 2015 and will be followed by a rally at the square at noon; understands that there will be cross-party support, speakers and music and fun for all ages; believes that all who oppose the replacement of Trident, which it understands will cost up to £100 billion, are being encouraged to attend; notes that, on 13 April, a Bairns Not Bombs blockade is expected to take place 30 miles from Glasgow at the Faslane naval base, and understands that the Scrap Trident Coalition is encouraging all who can manage along to this to attend and show their opposition to the Trident replacement.”

A Scrap Trident spokesperson said:

“In the countdown to a general election that represents a unique opportunity to set the UK on the path to abolition of its nuclear arsenal, this endorsing motion and the presence of the First Minister at our rally on Saturday are a huge encouragement to all those who long for the day when we will no longer threaten others with annihilation.”

Thousands are expected to rally in George Square, Glasgow on Saturday, in a public demonstration that Scotland rejects Britain’s weapons of mass destruction, featuring First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Greens Co-Convenor Patrick Harvie MSP and Katy Clark MP.

The demonstration is stage 1 of the Scrap Trident Coalition’s three key events, to be followed by the Bairns Not Bombs Blockade of Faslane naval base on 13th April and the opportunity to Vote Trident Out in May.

The demonstration will assemble from 10.30 a.m. in George Square, marching off at 11 a.m. and returning for the rally at noon.

#BairnsNotBombs

 

Bairns Not Bombs 

What would you rather have than Trident?

What would you rather have than Trident?

When I first laid eyes on my children seconds after they were born I fell in love with them and I finally understood that when my parents tried to restrict or interfere in my life it was out of that same desire to protect me from all harm that I knew I would feel for my sons even when they were adults. Terrible things can be done to children but for most of us we want our children to be safe, healthy and happy and not only that, whether we have children of our own or not we have that urge to protect all children from harm even ones in far flung lands. When children are injured or lose their lives we mourn not just their loss but the unrealised potential of all that they will now never get to do. Bairns is the Scottish word for children and by adopting the Bairns Not Bombs slogan for the upcoming demonstration in Glasgow and blockade at Faslane we call upon that desire to never see our children or anyone else’s face the unimaginable horror of the detonation of even one more nuclear warhead. But it’s about more than that. It’s about all future generations and the vision of the world we know is possible and the potential of all those unborn children. There are many challenges facing us and none of them can possibly be met by the use of nuclear weapons and some of them can be at least partly helped by better use of the £100 billion that is earmarked for a new generation of Trident submarines.

So in George Square on April 4th and at the gates of Faslane on April 13th lets stand up (or possibly sit down!) for all the bairns yet to come and show that right here, right now in Scotland we reject weapons of mass murder and demand that we SCRAP TRIDENT!

Jane Tallents

Banner making session venue change!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA‪#‎ScrapTrident‬ #BairnsNotBombs banner making session tomorrow Sunday 29 March is at Anderson Kelvin Grove from 2 – 5pm, NOT at Quaker Meeting House as previously advertised. If you can’t make it to Glasgow why not take the time to make your own banner. This one was made from sparkly Merry Christmas letters rescued from a bin and reworked!

SNP Activist to Blockade Trident Base on 84th Birthday

SNP veteran activist Isabelle Smith says she will be joining the blockade of Faslane on the 13th April, her 84th birthday because with the political situation in Scotland now we have a once in a lifetime chance to “rid the world of these obscene nuclear weapons”.

It will be the first time Isabelle has taken part in an arrestable civil resistance action. But she is no stranger to fame. At the time of the independence referendum in September Isabelle was featured in numerous media reports globally, and especially in the United States where she was mentioned in the New York Times, the Boston Herald.

We need lots of people to join the blockade in order to shut down this obscene operation for the day. To find out more read the Blockade Briefing here.