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Report from Members Debate in Holyrood – 2 May 2018, Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport

For over an hour the Scottish Parliament discussed nuclear weapons convoys in a debate raised by

Mark Ruskell MSP from the Scottish Greens. It was a members debate which comes after decision

time so most members leave then but 22 stayed to listen and contribute.

Mark Ruskell introduced the motion and thanked David Mackenzie and Jane Tallents for the Unready

Scotland report and paid tribute to the work of the Nukewatch network. He explained why the

hazards of nuclear weapons transport are so unique and the results of a survey of Scottish Local

Authorities by him which showed that none of them had conducted risk assessments or informed

the public. He said that the current devolution settlement laid responsibility for community safety

with the Scottish Government under the Civil Contingencies Act 2014 and called for them to hold a

review of civil authorities plans for a convoy accident.

Bill Kidd (SNP) said no one should be ignorant of what these convoys carry and called for the

minister to consider setting up a group to conduct a review.

Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport to be debated in the Scottish Parliament

In Scotland last year, following a careful examination of the local authorities readiness (or not as the case is) to deal with any emergency arising from the regular convoys that take the Uk's nuclear warheads up and down the country on the back of lorries, campaign group Nukewatch worked with Green MSP Mark Ruskell to compile a meticulous report, Unready Scotland, to expose this gap in the Scottish Government's duty of care.

It has now been taken up by our parliamentary all party group on nuclear disarmament and will be debated in our Scottish Parliament.

They are asking the Scottish Government to examine the risk assessment and public information in place, and to highlight any shortcomings to the UK Government.

A detail perhaps, and a small action, but it could be  a concrete measure that the Scottish Government would be allowed to take. and I hope you might take the opportunity to send messages of encouragement to our First Minister  in the hope that the Scottish Government will agree to take the steps suggested in this parliamentary motion.

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-11539&ResultsPerPage=10

Motion S5M-11539: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/04/2018
Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport 

That the Parliament understands that the Ministry of Defence regularly transports nuclear weapons on public roads in convoys that pass through or close to communities in the Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Midlothian, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian local authority areas; believes that there is an inherent risk in transporting high explosives and radioactive material together on public roads; understands that information on what to do in an emergency involving a nuclear reactor is regularly circulated to residents close to the Coulport and Faslane bases but that no equivalent information relating to an incident involving nuclear weapons is available to communities along the regular convoy route; believes that although defence is a reserved matter, it would be for the civil authorities such as police, fire and rescue and local authorities to attempt to respond to any emergency as so-called category 1 responders, and notes the view that these civil authorities must have sufficient assessments and plans in place to respond.

Supported by: John Mason, Bill Kidd, Patrick Harvie, Sandra White, Alison Johnstone, John Finnie, Ross Greer, Richard Lyle, Jenny Gilruth, Bob Doris, Kenneth Gibson, Claudia Beamish, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support

Stop the Bombing of Syria Protest.

STOP THE BOMBING OF SYRIA. NO TO WAR - YES TO DEMOCRACY PROTEST.

Friday 20th April - 5:30pm - Buchanan Street steps (229-235 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 2NG).

This protest was called by Glasgow Stop the War Coalition and Scottish CND.

Attend on the Facebook event for further updates.

Theresa May's cynicism is so deep it is hard for us to comprehend. There was quite simply no possible good outcome from this bombing in the Middle East, even from our rulers' warped perspective. People will have surely died, the war will be prolonged, it will have done nothing to control chemical weapons and tensions with Iran and Russia will have risen. International law is unambiguous that these strikes were illegal too.

But no matter, Trump has been obeyed and May thinks she looks tough on the world stage. Not really though. It is too obvious she is frightened of Parliament, which is reconvening on Monday and that she is taking orders from Washington. It is also clear that the US's position in the world is weakening. 

JOIN US ON FRIDAY 20TH APRIL IN PROTEST.

A Response to the Situation in Syria - Scottish CND Chair

At the present time there is a strong possibility that military action could be taken by the US, UK and France in relation to the current situation in Syria.

Scottish CND condemn any use of chemical weapons and we take the view that further military action would lead to more death and destruction and would worsen the situation of the people of Syria. 

Military action by the US, UK and France would also increase the cycle of violence and risk direct confrontation between the great powers. Scottish CND take the view that there is a need to work towards a political solution in Syria and we call for a ceasefire on all sides.

In response to the very serious situation in Syria, the following activities have been organised for SATURDAY 14TH APRIL 2018:

  • Street stall/vigil at Bridgegate, Irvine: 10am - 11am - organised by Scottish CND and Ayrshire CND.
  • Street stall/vigil at The Cross, Kilmarnock: 1130am - 1230pm - organised by Scottish CND and Ayrshire CND.
  • Street stall/vigil on Debenhams, Argyle Street, Glasgow: 2pm - 3pm - organised by Scottish CND and Glasgow CND
  • Protest in East End of Princess Street, Edinburgh: 1230pm - organised by Edinburgh Stop the War

Anyone interested is welcome to come. We will have Scottish CND leaflets and materials on the stall. We will also have petitions opposing military action in Syria for people to sign. People can come to help on stall by putting leaflets out and standing in solidarity with the people of Syria - please bring banners and placards if you wish. People can just drop by and sign the petition and make a brief visit to the stall. 

Please pass the word round about these street stalls/vigils.

Arthur West

Chair of Scottish CND

Work at the UK's Biggest Festivals and Raise Funds for CND!

 

Stirling University CND are raising money this summer by providing volunteers to the Workers' Beer Company, who run bars at music festivals and is owned by Battersea and Wandsworth TUC. 

Queens of the Stone Age Concert: 30th June 2018
Finsbury Park Festival: 1st July 2018
Lovebox and Citadel: 13th - 15th July 2018

You'll need to do a maximum 7 hour shift per day (usually less than this) serving alcohol in a bar. In return, you'll be provided with accommodation, one hot meal per day and transport to and from the festival (provided you make your own way to regional pick up point). 

All the time you're not working, you have free access to the festival and the time's your own. You'll also get 2 drinks vouchers per shift worked which can be exchanged for a pint of beer or cider or a glass of wine (soft drink option available). 

For each hour you work, Scottish CND will receive £7 which will go towards funding the campaign for nuclear disarmament and projects such as this summer's Peace Academy (applications still open). 

Scottish CND Chair Disgusted at Government Announcement of Extra Spending on Trident Replacement

Arthur West, chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, expressed his disgust about the recent Government announcement that they are set to spend an extra £600 million on the Dreadnought submarine programme which is part of Westminster's plan to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system.

 

 

 

 

Arthur West:

"It is absolutely disgusting the Government plan to spend millions of pounds in this way, instead of spending it on decent things like schools, hospitals and building new homes. 

According to public sources of information, it now looks as though the replacement of Trident could cost well over £200 billion in its lifetime. This is completely unacceptable and represents a massive drain on public service budgets."

Dreadnought is the British programme to replace the 4 Vanguard class submarines which provide continuous at sea deterrence since 1992, with Dreadnought submarines to be introduced from 2030's onward with a lifespan of just 30 years. 

Dreadnought will be based at Faslane, just 30 miles away from Glasgow and will cost over £41 billion, one of the most expensive Government projects going forward. The annual cost of the Trident system is at least £2.2 billion per year which is the equivalent to what is spent on Income Support, Statutory Maternity Pay or Carer's Allowance.

To support the fight for nuclear disarmament, consider becoming a member of Scottish CND.

Don’t Bank on the Bomb UK information

This updated report, produced by PAX a member of the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) is the only report detailing the global investments by financial institutions in companies producing nuclear weapons.

This document extraction provides information on UK's banks. Check out the hall of fame and hall of shame lists as well as the nuclear weapons producing companies. If you want to hear more about this campaign please send us an email. If you have an account with RBS please contact them on this issue (details here).

Did you know?

26 Financial Institutions made an estimated USD$ 33,928 million available to nuclear weapon producing companies since January 2014.  But, since the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 30 financial institutions have ceased investing in nuclear weapon producers.

Full report here.

Below is the Press Release put by Don't bank on the Bomb Scotland

Scotland Endangered: The Hazards Of Nuclear - Helensburgh CND Conference, 17 March

Scotland Endangered, 17 March

(Helensburgh Parish Church Halls, Colquhoun St, 10.30 - 6 pm, organised by Helensburgh CND)

Join Helensburgh CND and their conference to hear about the hazards associated with nuclear weapons regardless of whether or not anyone ever actually pushes the button.

Radioactive materials are transported on our roads, from our airports and on our railways, and our air and water are contaminated by radioactive elements and processes.

The transportation, use and storage of nuclear weapons and materials have involved numerous incidents and mishaps, nearly all of which are in the public domain, and when taken together paint a hugely frightening picture of the Trident Nuclear Weapons System in Scotland - a major accident waiting to happen, and for which there has been little or no preparation. The likelihood of such an event has only been increased due to the aging of the current Trident system, and also because of the financial constraints owing to the eye-watering cost of Trident both present an future.

For those unable to make it, the event will be live-streamed here.

Programme
10.30 Registration, 11.00 Start
Opening (Arthur WestChair of Scottish CND)
Short Film: Benchmark 6 (David Newbigging Filmmaker & Artist)
11.20 Unit 1 Transportation (Chair Ruth Wishart, Columnist & Broadcaster)
 Nukes of Hazard (Rob Edwards, Investigative Journalist)
 Unready Scotland (Jane Tallents/David McKenzie, Nukewatch)
 Activist (Brian Quail, Scottish CND)
 Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (Tor Justad)

1.00 - 1.45 Lunch Break (soup & sandwich lunch provided)

1.45 Unit 2 - Contamination (Chair Alannah Maurer, Navy Not Nuclear)
 Dumped at sea (Alonso Latrina film about nuclear waste disposal)
 Tritium (Dr Ian Fairlie, Respected Independent Consultant on
Radioactivity in the Environment
)
 Epidemiology (Dr Ian Fairlie, as above)

3.15 - 3.45 Refreshment break (tea/coffee/biscuits provided)

3.45 Unit 3 - Degradation (Chair Isobel Lindsay, Vice Chair of Scottish CND)
 Playing with Fire (David Cullen, Nuclear Information Service)
 Trident Nukes Present and Future (Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for
West Dumbartonshire
)

5.55 Closing
6.00 Finish
Floor Manager: David Newbigging (As above)
Livestream: Kevin Gibney (Independence Live)

Peace Vigil

The next monthly vigil of the Peace Network will take place next Thursday, February 22, from 5 to 6 pm at Dewar's statue on Buchanan Street in Glasgow city centre. Scottish CND will have a stall just before the vigil - from 3 pm.

 

We just held a vigil in Paisley with a good turn out and a positive response. This is our third year of vigils at Dewar's statue and we hope to build on the success of the Paisley vigil. The weather is getting warmer and the days longer so JOIN US. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Jappy

Scottish CND has received the very sad news that John Jappy passed away.
 
"John Jappy made a massive contribution to Scottish CND and the wider peace movement down the years.
I am very sad to hear he has passed away and we are grateful for his commitment down the years."
Arthur West - Chair of Scottish CND
 
If you want to read John's blog please visit this page.