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 Nuclear Free Scotland February 2005

CND GROUPS ROUND-UP

Scottish CND groups around Scotland have been busy since the last issue. Some of these activities included a speaking tour by Ippy from the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Campaign who talked to many groups about the Block the Builders campaign to stop new developments at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston.

In October Stirling CND had a lively AGM with thought-provoking input from Bruce Kent. In November Ippy spoke at their November meeting and made the point that although Stirling CND members would be very welcome to join demonstrations at the bomb factory, there was work to be done in Scotland by targeting firms which will be involved in the developments and which have Scottish factories or offices.

Stirling CND’s roadside demonstrations against nuclear weapon convoys passing through Stirling had been hampered recently by very short notice or no notice of their coming. This was because the convoys have been traveling for two days rather than three. Some of the people arrested for stopping a convoy in September last year, just outside Stirling, will be in the city’s Sheriff Court on 27th January. Following the difficulties they had with the police at another convoy in September, members of the CND group met with local police commanders to iron out problems and had a reasonably constructive meeting.

Meanwhile they continue with monthly street stall in the centre of Stirling and to hold regular and open meetings. They have been trying to get local MP, Anne McGuire, to communicate properly

with Stirling CND about the NPT but so far she has been able to palm them off with mere acknowledgements. On the plus side the group has made positive links with Mark Ruskill, one of the area’s MSPs, who is a member.

A busy year for Stirling CND beckons, with ongoing convoy, street stall and lobbying work and early in the year they will be discussing what to do about the G8 summit which will have considerable local impact.

Dumfries CND held a public meeting on 27 November. Ippy spoke about the development of new weapons at Aldermaston and the ‘Block the Builders’ campaign. The meeting was well attended, with a good discussion. Ippy later went on for a sightseeing door around Dundrennan firing range the only place in Britain where Depleted Uranium weapons are tested in the open air. There was a peaceful vigil at the Dundrennan on 19 December. Plans are being made to mark the 2nd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. On 19 March there will be a vigil for peace in Dumfries High Street (beside the fountain) at 12 noon, then videos and discussion at Lochthorn Library from 2.30pm. They plan showing the video ‘Dear Mrs Blair’ from the Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign, a 10 minute video,”Where is the Love” made by pupils at a school in East London about the DSEI arms fair, and “The Big Blockade” a video about the Faslane blockade.
They are also hoping to have a stall at the Environment Day in the Loreburn Hall, Dumfries, on 12 March. (Details of all events to be confirmed, phone David 01387 265205)

CND members on Bute held their group first meeting in November to form a CND group. 15 people met in the Boat Bar in Rothesay to hear Scottish CND’s Campaign Worker, Phill Jones, describe Scottish CND’s recent activities and what is planned for next year. Contact Angela Haggarty 01700 505056 for info4rmaton about the next meeting.

In October Falkirk against War organised a Public Meeting/Debate on ‘Troops out of Iraq’ in the Christian Centre, Glebe Street, Falkirk. The invited panel of speakers included Michael Matheson, SNP, Colin

with Stirling CND about the NPT but so far she has been able to palm them off with mere acknowledgements. On the plus side the group has made positive links with Mark Ruskill, one of the area’s MSPs, who is a member.

A busy year for Stirling CND beckons, with ongoing convoy, street stall and lobbying work and early in the year they will be discussing what to do about the G8 summit which will have considerable local impact.

Dumfries CND held a public meeting on 27 November. Ippy spoke about the development of new weapons at Aldermaston and the ‘Block the Builders’ campaign. The meeting was well attended, with a good discussion. Ippy later went on for a sightseeing door around Dundrennan firing range the only place in Britain where Depleted Uranium weapons are tested in the open air. There was a peaceful vigil at the Dundrennan on 19 December. Plans are being made to mark the 2nd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. On 19 March there will be a vigil for peace in Dumfries High Street (beside the fountain) at 12 noon, then videos and discussion at Lochthorn Library from 2.30pm. They plan showing the video ‘Dear Mrs Blair’ from the Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign, a 10 minute video,”Where is the Love” made by pupils at a school in East London about the DSEI arms fair, and “The Big Blockade” a video about the Faslane blockade.
They are also hoping to have a stall at the Environment Day in the Loreburn Hall, Dumfries, on 12 March. (Details of all events to be confirmed, phone David 01387 265205)

CND members on Bute held their group first meeting in November to form a CND group. 15 people met in the Boat Bar in Rothesay to hear Scottish CND’s Campaign Worker, Phill Jones, describe Scottish CND’s recent activities and what is planned for next year. Contact Angela Haggarty 01700 505056 for info4rmaton about the next meeting.

In October Falkirk against War organised a Public Meeting/Debate on ‘Troops out of Iraq’ in the Christian Centre, Glebe Street, Falkirk. The invited panel of speakers included Michael Matheson, SNP, Colin

excellent panel of speakers. Unfortunately Rose Gentle’s car broke down en route to Falkirk so she will make a return visit at a later date.

Falkirk against War’s ‘sister’ organisation ‘The Antonine Friendship Link’ held their first fundraising event on Saturday, 13th November in S. Francis Xavier Parish Church Hall, Falkirk. David Greig, playwright, gave a reading of the successful Edinbugh fringe play, “When the Bulbul Stopped Singing’. This was the story of the Israeli seige on Ramallah by members of the Israeli army in 2002. The play described how one ordinary individual coped with life when his city was occupied by an aggressive army. David Greig also gave a heartfelt reading of the ‘diaries’ to a packed hall.
Weekly vigils are held (weather permitting) at The Steeple, High Street, Falkirk, every Thursday between 5.00-6.00pm until the end of January 2005. And the group will be having its AGM on Monday, 21st February in the Christian Centre, Glebe St.,Falkirk at 7.30pm.

Edinburgh CND’s December meeting was a public meeting with Ippy from the Aldermaston ‘Block the Builders’ campaign. At the February meeting they will be discussing our input into the activities planned around the G8 meeting in July and the General Election Campaign. Edinburgh CND meets on the first Monday of the month at 7.30pm at the Peace and Justice Centre at St Johns Church on Princes Street. Edinburgh Stop the War meet the first and third Wednesday at the Friends Meeting House. Edinburgh CND regularly support a Vigil and leafleting outside St. Johns every second Saturday for an hour between 11.30-12.30.

Glasgow West CND continues to meet regularly. It had a very successful public meeting entitled ‘the World in 2005 - Halting the Juggernaught of War’ with Bruce Kent as guest speaker on Wednesday 26th January. This meeting also doubled as an AGM and elected a new and bigger Committee to take the work forward in the coming year. Glasgow West is gearing up for Scotland’s for Peace, the General Election and the G8 events.
Phill Jones

Mayors for Peace - recruit your Council leader now!

Mayors for Peace is an international organisation, based in Hiroshima, working to oppose nuclear weapons. The term Mayor includes the civic leaders of local authorities such as Provosts and other Council leaders.
The purpose of Mayors for Peace is to target a tier of government that will reflect the anti-nuclear feeling of the people they represent. These leaders of local government are then in turn in a position to put pressure on national leaders to change their nuclear policy. It offers cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition.
As of August 25, 2004, membership stood at 619 cities in 109 countries and regions. In the UK 26 Cities have signed up to Mayors for Peace including London, Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Leeds, and Oxford.
All your civic leader has to do to join is send a letter from the head of the Council to the Conference Secretariat stating that your city supports the Programme to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and would like to join the Mayors for Peace. Further information is available from Scottish CND and at:
http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/mayors/english/index.html

Phill Jones

 

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