LESSON PLAN 1 - SCND as a Pressure Group
Background: Teacher's Notes
CND is a pressure group whose aim is to rid the world of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Scottish CND provides opportunities to support this opposition in Scotland, where Britain's only nuclear weapons are based. CND also campaigns against the proliferation of nuclear power stations, the use of depleted uranium in warheads and on other issues related to destructive or potentially hazardous uses of nuclear material.
Both CND and SCND work at local and at national level. Local groups may campaign on locally specific as well as wider issues. For instance, the Stirling group of SCND has campaigned against the routing of nuclear convoys from Coulport through the town. Methods used to bring pressure to bear on the Government and to raise awareness of the issues include: writing to MPs and MSPs; lobbying Parliament; peaceful demonstrations (which may, however, include resisting arrest and actions construed as damaging MOD property, such as chaining oneself to railings), mass rallies, public meetings, publication of literature, posters and videos, visits to schools, interviews with journalists, alerting the press to demonstrations.
Please refer to our website, www.banthebomb.org for further information.
1. Points suggesting lack of effectiveness
1.1 There are thousands of nuclear weapons in the world
1.2 The US plans smaller, 'more usable' weapons
1.3 Britain refuses to give up its weapons until other countries get rid of theirs
1.4 The five permanent members of the UN Security Council have nuclear weapons
1.5 India and Pakistan have built nuclear weapons
1.6 The British Government is considering replacing Trident with further nuclear weapons
2. Points suggesting effectiveness
2.1 The CND symbol is recognised everywhere
2.2 CND has effectively exploited the media
2.3 Many people in science, the arts and politics have been and are members and supporters of CND (notably the philosopher, Bertrand Russell)
2.4 There is a large measure of agreement among the international community that nuclear weapons should never be used
2.5 The testing of nuclear weapons has been abandoned by the chief nuclear powers
2.6 There has been no use of nuclear weapons in war since 1945
In groups, discuss the following points:
How aware were you before today of CND's activities?
Were you aware that there is a Scottish CND office?
If you were aware of either of these things, what was it that made you aware?
What messages are the posters trying to convey?
Which of the posters do you think most effective in making Scottish CND's point? Why?
[If leaflets are used]: which is more effective - posters or leaflets? Why?
Do you think that demonstrations are a good way to bring pressure to bear on the Government?
What other methods might be used to do this?
Do you think demonstrations are a good way to bring SCND's aims to the notice of the general public?
What other methods might be used to do this?
Do you think that illegal actions by some CND supporters such as damaging warplanes, entering the nuclear submarine base by swimming the Gareloch, resisting arrest, are justifiable given their aims? Are some more justifiable than others?
Imagine that a nuclear installation (teacher could give guidance on what kind - civil or military - ) is to be built near your home town. Half the discussion groups (allocated at random by the teacher) are to lobby for the installation, half against. Both groups should set out in detail their arguments and the methods they will use to get these arguments across to the general public and to their local MP and MSP.
QUESTIONS FOR ESSAYS
1. If Britain gave up the bomb would it make any difference? Would the world be safer? Would Britain be safer?
2. Many people think that nuclear disarmament is not an important issue. Do you agree? Why?
3. Is CND an effective pressure group? (This is a different question from whether you agree with its aims)
4. What do you think is the strongest argument for/against the retention of nuclear weapons?
5. Is civil disobedience ever justified?
LESSON PLAN 2 - SCND Campaigning
set (available from SCND)
Scottish CND was formed shortly after CND in 1958. SCND works with, but is separate from CND. Members are encouraged to be 'active', participating in the campaign in some way to keep disarmament a key issue in the public mind. Volunteer work includes: demonstrating, letter writing, web design, leafleting, holding stalls, lobbying, working with other peace organisations and a variety of public education activities. Members can work individually or within local groups. Almost all SCND's income is from members' subscriptions, legacies and through special appeals.
Scottish CND is a pressure group with specific aims, the priority being to get rid of nuclear weapons. Do you know of any other pressure groups and their aims?
Members of SCND use different ways to try to get their opinions known to others. Make a list of ways a pressure group communicates to the public:
In groups of two or three, discuss how effective the ways on your lists are.
In your group decide on an issue that concerns you (it can be nuclear weapons if you want) and plan how you would campaign.
Pages last updated 3 December 2004
|back to top|