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     Scottish CND      Magazine

Campaigning against Trident in the year ahead

John Ainslie

Almost 50 years ago, on 30th January 1948, the greatest advocate of non-violence of our age, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated. Gandhi recognised that Britain continued to rule over India only because the people felt that nothing could be done to change things. His own attempts to take a non-violent stand against the might of the British Empire may have appeared folly on their own, but they were a clear sign of what was possible. Gandhi said "the drop has the essence of the ocean". In our own campaign there is an underlying sea of support, it is possible for the people of Scotland to get rid of Trident.

Vanguard arrival

During the year ahead there will be particular opportunities to illustrate that we are taking a stand against nuclear weapons: From now until early next year the Defence Review will be going on. MPs will be able to make contributions to the review and should be encouraged to argue against Trident. Copies of a detailed submission from Scottish CND are available if you want more information.

On November 17th the MoD will hold a major exercise which will simulate a nuclear accident on a submarine at Faslane, with a reactor facing a meltdown which would put millions of people in the West of Scotland at risk. This is an excellent chance to let people know the dangers of the base. Early in 1998 HMS Vigilant, the third Trident submarine, which will become operational. If this happens we should be seen to be objecting and let people know what is going on.

Vengeance, the fourth Trident submarine, is likely to be rolled out of the shed in Barrow and later come up to Scotland for trials - this could be another focus for protest.

Following the success of the international protests on 9th August, some groups in Europe are beginning to discuss what should be done in summer 1998. It is possible that Faslane could be a focus for future activity.

The threat to the Peace Camp provides an impetus for campaigning, because of the importance of the Camp in the struggle against Trident, and because of the extent of public and media support for the Camp.

During conference there will be a workshop looking at the future of our campaign. Please come along with your thoughts.

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     Scottish CND      Magazine