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Scottish CND at Scottish Trade Union Conference

Scottish CND have been out and about at the annual Scottish Trade Union Congress in Aviemore .

The Congress took place between April 24 - April 26 .

cottish CND had an information stall at the congress and we are pleased to note that many delegates showed an interest in the leaflets and materials available on the stall.

Arthur West chair of Scottish CND highlighted the case against Trident renewal at a number of meetings and events which took place at the congress.

Congress delegates were also given information on the forthcoming United Nations Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty talks -during the final session of the Congress.

 

The UN start of banning nuclear weapons

By the last day of the first session of the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty discussions in New York, there was an exuberant excitement in the room at the enormous significance of what is under way. 

132 UN Member states participated in this meeting to agree the elements for a nuclear weapons ban treaty. This important treaty is a real step towards general and complete disarmament, leading to peace, security, and human rights.  It is not an end itself, but an major tool.

UK protest at the UN Ban Treaty discussions

Over 120 UN states have started this week the negotiations to develop a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, along the lines of the bans on chemical weapons and landmines.

The UK Government decided to use its access to the United Nation, not to enter the discussion, but to join the US ambassador in a protest outside the room.

Despite the desperate efforts of nuclear countries to boycott this process it is clear that there is a worldwide support for the treaty. You can watch the discussions live here (keep in mind the time zone difference). 

UK's statements had the following points:

UK set to Join US Protest Against Historic Nuke Ban Negotiations

Concern over marginalisation of Scottish support for UN Treaty

As negotiations on a new international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons start today at the UN in New York, supported by an overwhelming majority of member states, the UK is likely to join US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, today a media briefing critical of the treaty plan.

Neither the US nor the UK will participate in the negotiations which are backed by over 120 UN states and which aim to develop a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, along the lines of the bans on chemical weapons and landmines. The reality of the horrific consequences of nuclear weapons  has been fundamental to the worldwide civil society pressure which led 123 of the world's nations to vote last October for the negotiations to begin.

Hiroshima survivors to visit Scotland as UN nuke ban talks get underway

Two survivors of the US atomic bomb attack on the Japanese city of Hiroshima will visit Scotland as the critical UN negotiations for a nuclear ban treaty enter their third day.

Reiko Yamada and Midori Yamada will visit Scotland next week as part of the Hibakusha 2017 tour. The tour is timed to coincide with the start of the United Nations negotiations on putting a Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty in place. These important talks take place after a historic vote in favour of a treaty at the United Nations General Assembly by 123 countries at the end of last year.

These two women were direct witnesses to the horrific consequences of nuclear weapons and their visit to Scotland is very welcome.

Wed 29th of March

The survivors will meet Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and have a tour of the Scottish Parliament.

Thu 30th of March

They will travel to Faslane and Coulport to observe the nuclear bases and will visit Faslane Peace Camp. Members and supporters can join them at the Peace Camp at 3 pm for some tea at the cherry tree planted by a previous Hibakusha visitor thirty years ago.

A nuclear free independent Scotland

Statement on independence referendum 

Scottish CND welcomes the First Minister's move to hold a second independence referendum. Brexit is a clear example of the Prime Minister's disregard for the democratically expressed opinions of the Scottish people, as is the UK Government's decision to boycott negotiations for the United Nations treaty to

ban nuclear weapons. The conference is starting in two weeks in New York , and instead of participating, the UK. Government chooses to go ahead with the modernisation of nuclear weapons which are all based in Scotland against the will of our democratically elected representatives at both Holyrood and Westminster. We look forward to working for a free and independent Scotland and the end of UK nuclear weapons based here - or anywhere.

Background note on statement

At its AGM in 2012 Scottish CND agreed to support Scottish independence and further confirmed this position at the 2016 AGM. Scottish CND see this is as our best opportunity for nuclear disarmament as we have shown in our two reports - Trident - nowhere to go and Disarming Trident. Removing nuclear weapons in Scotland would be a major contribution to ensuring nuclear disarmament in the UK. We will continue to work on a cross party and no party basis with all who are committed to nuclear disarmament. We will also continue to work with Civic Society organisations and the Trade Union movement in pursuing our goal of Scottish, UK and global nuclear disarmament.

Defense Diversification meeting and debate at Holyrood 8th February 2017

On the 8th February a debate was held at Holyrood about report on Trident and Jobs recently published by the Jimmy Reid foundation 

The debate was followed by a well attending meeting in the parliament, which was attended by Tom Simpson, GMB member, ex arms industry worker and CND supporter.

Tom writes: 

Labour, Green and Scottish National MSPs joined together at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 8th February in support of the Jimmy Reid Foundation call for Trident non renewal and diversification. Many ordinary people were present in the Public gallery and discussed matters later in a committee room with elected representatives.

Wednesday Vigil at Faslane Gates - help needed due to bail conditions

Faslane Peace Camp, Scottish CND and other peace movement groups have maintained a weekly vigil at the main gate at Faslane from 4pm to 5 pm every Wednesday for a number of years.

The vigil involves people standing peacefully with placards and banners as workers leave the base on their way home.

Peace Camp residents usually attend the vigil. However we understand that 3 peace camp residents have recently been banned from attending the vigil due to a pending court case relating to some non violent direct action they have recently been involved in.

This situation leaves the weekly vigil  short handed  - so any Scottish CND members or supporters who can attend the weekly vigil even if only occasionally - would be most welcome.

Brian Quail found Not Guilty

Brian Quail, the pensioner who holds up nuclear warhead convoys in the name of peace was today cleared of a charge of Breach of the Peace.

On 10th March 2016 Brian held up a convoy of lorries carrying nuclear bombs at a pelican crossing in Balloch.  As a result he was charged with Breach of the Peace, for which he was found Not Guilty at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on 9th February 2017.

The verdict was reached after he gave a long and passionate speech, bringing even the clerk of the court close to tears. He explained what convoys are and mentioned a variety of laws, national and international, broken by their presence on our roads. He referred to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and his own ignorance to consequences of these bombs at the time. He went on to talk about the dreadful effects of nuclear testing and referred to the imminent negotiations towards a Global Nuclear Ban Treaty at the UN in New York. He spoke movingly of his personal motivation, not just to protect his family, but all families.

Life After Trident, 11 Feb

Join Helesnburgh CND at their conference on 11 Feb, 1 - 5 pm (Helensburgh Parish Church Halls, Colquhoun Square, Helensburgh, G84 8UP)

Speakers

Professor Mike Danson (Heriot-Watt University)

Janet Fenton (Scottish CND)

Brendan O'Hara (MP Argyll & Bute)

Lesley Riddoch (Journalist & Broadcaster)

Chair: Alannah Maurer (Navy Not Nuclear)