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Sutherland Space Hub and the Military

As the controversial Space Hub on A’Mhòine edges closer to reality, fears deepen that it will soon become a launchpad for military and spy technologies.

The Sutherland Space Hub gained planning permission from the Highland Council last month, despite more than 400 objections from the public, after Scottish Ministers chose not to call in the application and subject it to more rigorous scrutiny. Now the project faces only the barriers of a Scottish Land Court application and formal business case approval before it can go ahead.

Sottish CND AGM, 21 Nov 2020, 10 am

Judging the Safety of Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station

It is extraordinary that Reactor 3 of Hunterston B nuclear power station is being declared as ‘safe’ enough to restart. It has been closed since March 2018 because of the fears raised by an estimated 377 cracks in its graphite core. It’s twin, Reactor 4, is now also closed for inspection to monitor cracking, last estimated as below the level of Reactor 3. Given that 3 was known to be worse, it is likely that it too will be allowed to restart. Forget the idea that the plant will close ‘early’ in 2022, both are on borrowed time - 14 years beyond their intended life of 30 years at construction. Scottish CND, Friends of the Earth and UN House Scotland has already called for their immediate closure.

75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan – events 7th to 9th August 2020

 

We aim to gather and share photos and ideally videos (in length between 20 and 60 seconds) of events on the 6th August for compiling and sharing out again, probably starting at the SCND meeting on the 9th August. So please send us yours to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scottish CND will host an online event at 7 p.m. on the 9th of August. The focus will be on what we must do now to make the witness of the Hibakusha count in the campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons. On Nagasaki Day it is time to move from remembering to action to ensure that nuclear weapons are abolished and eliminated. Join Bill Kidd MSP and SCND Chair Lynn Jamieson and be part of the way forward. Access by https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/815877733

Linking to internationals via ICAN. Please ensure that you sign the pledge at the special ICAN anniversary page, rise.icanw.org to honour the Hibakusha, and check out loads of ideas and resources there. In particular, the stories from survivors of the attacks and an ICAN anniversary exhibition which you can download for use in your own locality.

Check out local events here:

6th and 9th August 2020 - Good Days for Global Nuclear Disarmament

 

While the world reflected on the horror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki there has been huge encouragement for the cause of disarmament as four new UN states, Ireland, Nigeria, Niue and St. Kitts and Nevis, have ratified or acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Ireland has been a champion of nuclear disarmament since the 60s and was a key player in the adoption of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Along with Austria, it has provided unwavering creative and imaginative advocacy for  the TPNW throughout the last decade and its ratification of that Treaty has been long expected, as well as hugely significant. As a member of the EU it now stand in good counterbalance to the French attachment to weapons of mass destruction, as well as the occasional  mutterings about the EU having its own nuclear weapons. Today's step forward by Ireland is also a boost for those who are working for the end of the treacherous business of “nuclear-sharing”, whereby the air forces of Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are equipped with US nuclear weapons. Then there is the UK, a recalcitrant nuclear-armed state across the Irish Sea, and a little further north a Scottish government and people who reject nuclear weapons and support the TPNW - and who derive enormous encouragement from Ireland's assertive stance.

Ideas and Events on the 75th Anniversary of the Nuclear Attacks on Japan in 1945

There will be intensive social media activity from next week onwards from across the world. Scottish CND, Scrap Trident and others will be adding a Scottish voice. Please share and repost if you can!

Here's a nice way to spread awareness of the anniversary. Scottish artist Stewart Bremner has drawn a 75th Anniversary frame for use on Facebook. To get it on your Facebook profile, click on your profile, click on update, click on Add Frame, in search put in "SCND 75 Hiroshima Nagasaki". Add it to your Twitter profile picture by visiting: https://twibbon.com/Support/remember-hiroshima-nagasaki

We aim to gather and share photos and ideally videos (in length between 20 and 60 seconds) of events on the 6th August for compiling and sharing out again, probably starting at the SCND meeting on the 9th August. So please send us yours to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter.

It may be the 21st Century but racism still has a firm foothold in our institutions, in the policies and actions of the state, and in our own attitudes and reflexes.

This is another moment when its ugly nature is palpable, and it is a moment to take a side and stand with the oppressed. In the peace movement, we have always recognised that nuclear weapons are not a thing on their own, but are a particular expression of corrupt, patriarchal and racist power.

Their roots are in early 20th century fantasies of a Superweapon that could wipe out inferior races and establish white supremacy forever, a fantasy enacted at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, on the very clear basis that these were lives that did not matter.

None of the specious gloss of justification since has made an iota of difference to their hideous rationale. This is also a time for us in the anti-nuclear movement to hang our own heads and admit that we have often failed to take the stand and failed to spell out the connections.

It's time to wake up.

SUPPORT:

Support US actions: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Coalition for Racial Equality and Rightshttps://www.crer.scot/

Ethnic Minority National Resilience Networkhttps://bemis.org.uk/emnrn/

Justice for Sheku Bayohhttps://www.change.org/p/police-scotland-investigate-the-death-of-sheku-bayoh-in-police-custody

Scots Show Solidarity with US Anti-Nuke Protesters

MSPs among those signing letter to judge.

Scots, including 11 MSPs, have registered their support and solidarity with seven US peace activists as they face the possibility of long prison sentences following a protest at a nuclear weapon submarine base in Georgia.

On April 4th, 2018, seven Catholic Plowshares activists - Carmen Trotta Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Steve Kelly, Martha Hennessy, Elizabeth (Liz) McAlister, Patrick O’Neill - entered King's Bay nuclear weapon submarine base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, USA, carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood. They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares”. They were convicted in October last year on charges of destruction and depredation of government property in excess of $1,000, trespassing, and conspiracy, and could be facing up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is expected on the 8th, 28th and 29th June.

The letter of support1 asks the sentencing judge to consider the risks to the seven of jail time in the middle of the COVID-19 emergency and points out that they pose no risk to the public. The signing MSPs2 are members of the parliament's Cross-Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament.

Janet Fenton, Vice-Chair of Scotish CND, said:

When the UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on that wonderful day in July 2017 I was privileged to be in the room in new York, sitting with the Plowshares nuns who, along with Liz McAllister had given me hospitality a few years earlier in a US Catholic worker house. Together we had distributed essential food to some of America’s poorest in the morning and helped immigrant children speak Engish in the afternoon, and in the evening we swapped action and arrest stories, Faslane and Y12, Coulport and King's Bay, but the long prison sentences and the stigma that is faced in the US for taking peaceful action requires a very deep and lifelong kind of courage. From Scotland, we can recognise the loving bravery of the seven and we are writing to Judge Wood in hopes of gaining some degree of humanity for them in a brutal and repressive prison system. But fully honouring the courage of the US peace activists requires an and to these weapons end any system that considers them to have utility.”

Contact: Janet Fenton 07795 594573 Lynn Jamieson 07974 631397

 

Alarm as US Considers Resumption of Nuclear Weapon Testing

Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners have reacted with alarm at the news that the US is considering a resumption of the live testing of nuclear weapons as a further sign of the roll-back of global nuclear arms control measures.

Live testing of nuclear weapons by the US ceased in 1992. There were tests by India and Pakistan until 1998. Since then the only live tests have been by North Korea, most recently in 2017. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was adopted by the UN in 1996 but has failed to acquire the necessary state ratifications (including that of the US) to enter into force. Since the cessation of live tests the US and the UK have relied on computer modelling. To date, computer modelling has been assumed to be adequate for testing the validity of the weapons, leading to the suggestion that the US announcement is a political move. The announcement adds to concern around the erosion of nuclear arms control measures. 

Lynn Jamieson, chair of Scottish CND said:

"It is chilling to see the hard-won restraints on nuclear weapons being deliberately struck down by the current US administration. Posturing about nuclear testing makes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty the latest treaty in line for provocative disregard. A new Cold War is too tame a description for their reckless conduct. As COVID-19 and climate change remind us, the world is an interconnected system - any nuclear exchange threatens all life on Earth. The risk of global disaster is so great and so continuous that the only sane response is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. There is a route-map for that - the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

Emma Cockburn, SCND's Campaign Worker said:

"While healthcare providers are being pushed to breaking point across the world and hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the pandemic, the nuclear states continue to pour billions into nuclear weapons, increasing global instability and blatantly ignoring the ongoing climate emergency. Our world is on fire and people are drowning and the last thing we should be considering is the threat of nuclear winter and even more poisoned land from testing. It is time we redirected our focus from military power to tackle these threats to humanity and put people and planet first." 

CONTACT: Lynn Jamieson - 0797 4631 397, Emma Cockburn - 0746 0856 568

Nuclear Convoy on Roads during Pandemic Emergency

Scottish CND has learned from Nukewatch UK that the MoD is today transporting nuclear weapons from the Aldermaston/Burghfield complex in Berkshire to the atomic weapon store facility at Coulport on Loch Long, in spite of the COVID-19 crisis.

The MoD routinely moves nuclear warheads (each with the destructive power of eight Hiroshima bombs) to and from Burghfield and Coulport for maintenance and refurbishment. The warheads are stored at Coulport and loaded there onto the US-leased missiles on the Trident submarines. In the road convoy, huge warhead carriers are supported by up to twenty other police and ancillary vehicles, with at least 50 personnel involved. This raises the additional concern about transferring COVID-19 risk to and from the Scottish bases, which are already known to have infection.