Glasgow Demo George Square, Sat 4 April Assemble 10.30am, March 11am, Rally 12 noon.
Speakers: Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland;Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-Convenor, Scottish Greens; Katy Clark MP (Labour); Cat Boyd, Radical Independence Campaign; Sasha Callaghan, Disability History Scotland; Nuala Watt, Human Beings on Benefits; Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, STUC; and singers Karine Polwart and Penny Stone.
Big Blockade Faslane Naval Base, Monday 13 April, 7am.
BlockadeTraining Workshops in Glasgow 21 March and 12 April. Details & sign up here. Register for Accommodation in Glasgow Sun April 12th here. Book your place on a bus to Faslane here.
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!
#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!
Women for Independence National Board member Carolyn Leckie, speaking at the Radical Independence Conference in Dundee, says why she’s against Trident nuclear weapons. A former SSP MSP Carolyn was sentenced to 7 days in jail for 2005 for blockading Faslane where Trident nuclear weapons are based.
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.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, along with Scottish Greens Co-Convener Patrick Harvie MSP, will head a strong platform at the George Square, Glasgow rally on 4th April, in a mass demonstration against Britain’s weapons of mass destruction.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie MSP
The demonstration, which includes a march round the city centre, takes place as the Trident question continues to play a central role in May’s General Election, and is stage one 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.
Also on the platform will be Labour MP Katy Clark, Cat Boyd from the Radical Independence Campaign, Sasha Callaghan from Disability History Scotland , Nuala Watt, founder of Human Beings on Benefits, Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, STUC, and singers Karine Polwart and Penny Stone.
A Scrap Trident Coalition spokesperson said:
“The eyes of the world are on us. Britain is part of that intransigent and increasingly isolated minority of the world’s nations that possess and deploy nuclear weapons. Right now we have a unique opportunity to lead the way to global disarmament. The understanding that Trident makes no fiscal or strategic sense is ever more widespread, and as we face up to the horrors of its purpose, we are pushing at a door that is beginning to creak open.
Anne Henderson, STUC
And Trident is not in fact a single issue. As well as being a horrific reality it is a key symbol of the things we want to change in Scotland, the UK and the world. It sums up the UK’s outdated approach to relations with the rest of the world, an approach that puts threats before peaceful co-operation. In the context of savage cuts to services it is a sacred cow. It stands for hatred rather than social justice, for environmental devastation rather than care for the planet.
We are urging everyone who shares this view to join us on the 4th April. Anti-Trident parties and candidates need the strong and visible support of us all.”
Lots of politicians and candidates for office say that they are against nuclear weapons but that the only way forward is to work together with all the states that have them for a shared agreement to give them up. This is called multilateral disarmament. These folk also argue that because there is a danger that new countries will get nukes a shared agreement to get rid of them is a long way off.
photo credit: cndcymru.org
They claim that it does not make sense for one country to unilaterally abolish its nukes. Yet there are many successful states world-wide which don’t possess nukes and don’t seek to shelter under the threat of another country’s nuclear weapons. Their claim is also like saying that it does not make sense for one country to drive out organised crime – it has to be a world-wide response. There is a half-truth in that. To persist with the organised crime analogy, it would need a world-wide response to unravel it all. But, it is unthinkable that any state with the will and the power to chase organised crime from its borders would refrain from doing so, simply because it wasn’t happening elsewhere. Such a unilateral act would also encourage others to copy and make global collaboration on the issue more likely.
And of course complete multilateral disarmament and the banning of nukes outright and forever is what we want. There are worldwide organisations, such as ICAN, working hard and persistently for precisely that. Yet most of the people who make multilateral disarmament their reason for the UK to keep its nukes put nothing into these global networks. They seem content to defend the position of the few countries in the world that have nukes rather than line up with the great number of countries who want to see the back of them.
Some may have thought deeply about the matter and come to their honest conclusion that multilateral disarmament is the only way. Yet for most it is a lazy way of dismissing the horrifying fact that on a 24/7 basis this country is threatening mass murder. In both cases they need to be asked two simple questions. What precisely are you doing about multilateral disarmament? Would you be personally willing to press the button to fire one of the UK’s Trident missiles?
This Saturday is Valentines Day and the Scrap Trident Coalition will be out on the streets saying Love Bairns Not Bombs.
Bairns is Scottish for children and we aren’t just thinking about our bairns, but bairns the world over and the bairns yet to be born. Nuclear weapons are so powerful and the devastation they could visit upon our beautiful planet and its inhabitants is unimaginable. Come and join us in leafleting about the Bairns Not Bombs mass demonstration and big blockade in April and spread a little love…
Stalls we know of so far:
Edinburgh, Wellington Statue, East End of Princes St from 12 noon.
Leith. We love Bairns not bombs, Independence for Scotland,
Yes Leith & Edinburgh North stall Elm Row Edinburgh 12.00 – 2.00pm.
Peebles, High Street 10.30 am.
Vote with Your Heart Ballot. Donald Dewar statue and Buchanan St 12 noon – 2 pm.
Scottish CND Scrap Trident stall outside Waterstone’s Book Store in Sauchiehall St from 2 – 3:30pm.
Stop the War Scrap Trident stall Buchanan St St.12noon – 2pm.
Ayr, Street Stall at Bridgegate House Irvine at 10 am to 11 am.
Street Stall will be followed by Door toDoor leafleting from 11am to 12 noon.
Activities organised by Ayrshire CND -all welcome. Contact Arthur West, Ayrshire CND on07826127759for more info
Next week, the Scottish Labour party will choose a new leader: Jim Murphy, Sarah Boyack or Neil Findlay. The three candidates took part in an online hustings for Guardian readers today.
A reader asked this question: “As Scottish Labour policy is against Trident, will you as leader of Scottish Labour advocate the democratic will of Scottish Labour members on this issue, or will you insist on pushing the UK party policy on the Scottish party?”
Their answers were as follows: Sarah Boyack
“I’ve made my views clear – I don’t support the renewal of Trident. I’m proud of the work of the last Labour government to negotiate a reduction in nuclear warheads across the globe. Spending billions on acquiring a new weapons system would be going in the wrong direction.
We need to play our part by investing in our own UK defence and peacekeeping capabilities, supporting conflict resolution and using economic sanctions where appropriate.”
“I’m against the UK having nuclear weapons – I want the Scottish Labour party to be campaigning for the UK to cancel Trident.”
“I want a world free of nuclear weapons. There are two entirely legitimate views on what is the best way to achieve that – multilateralism or unilateralism. I’m not a unilateralist and want the UK to be part of negotiations to make the world nuclear-free.
I know that that is tougher at the moment when the likes of North Korea are trying to acquire nuclear weapons. But I don’t believe in unilaterally stopping being a nuclear power. I’m pretty proud of all the work the previous Labour government did to reduce our warhead numbers.”
So there you have it. If you’re a Labour party member who is against renewing Trident in 2016, or a union member who has a vote in the leadership contest, it’s clear, despite the obfuscating political flannel, that a vote for Jim Murphy is a vote for the continuation of nuclear weapons in Scotland.
Labour party members in Scotland who insisted they were just as opposed to nuclear weapons as we were during the indyref campaign now have a chance to do the right thing. The question is – will they?