<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
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Meet the volunteers

From October to December we were fortunate to have assistance from Gloria de Petrolo and Ada Chiara de Marco. Gloria and Ada are both graduates in political studies from Italy. They attended an English language course in Glasgow followed by a work placement, with Scottish CND, arranged by Atena Training.

Gloria and Ada made contact with peace and anti-nuclear groups in Italy to find out what they were doing and to pass on information about what is happening in Scotland. There are US nuclear weapons at two Italian airbases. There has been campaigning against the American presence at Aviano airbase. There has also been local opposition to the US submarine base at La Maddelena. Recently the US Navy announced that they are to withdraw from this base.
Ada and Gloria, on their own initiative, drafted a questionnaire and used this to carry out a street survey of 151 people, primarily around Glasgow University. Only 46% of those questioned knew what Trident was and only 26% knew that there were plans to replace Trident. 58% of those polled were not aware of Scottish CND. 38% opposed Trident replacement and only 9% supported it. 53% said they neither supported nor opposed it. This shows the need to raise awareness, particularly among young people. Ada and Gloria have now returned to Italy and we are very grateful for their help.

Scottish CND relies on the work carried out by volunteers. At the moment we are particularly looking for help with lobbying politicians on the issue of Trident Replacement, either working from the office in Glasgow or from home. We are also looking for help with organising activities during 2006.

The costs of war
Gordon Brown has told MPs that an extra £580m was being set aside for the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and other committments overseas. The cost to Britain of the Iraq war is now believed to have passed £4 billion. In the last financial year, the MoD spent £910m on the war and occupation, £847m in 2002-3 and £1.3bn in 2003-4. In the year to March it also spent £67m in Afghanistan and £87m in the Balkans.

Andrew Burgin from the Stop the War Coalition said: ‘This is a complete waste of money. It should be used to build schools and hospitals. The sooner we get ourt of of Iraq the better. It’s a waste of human life and valuable resources.’

Liam Wren-Lewis, a member of the Iraq Analysis Group, said: ‘The continued presence of UK troops in Iraq is now costing almost £1bn a year to the treasury and it is scandalous the government hasn’t made it clear exactly where this money is going or how long this will be sustained for.’

Nuclear Power: a dangerous distraction

CND welcomed the Government’s energy review. But it condemned the logic of favouring the least safe, unsustainable nuclear option. It warned that if the review is to be successful, it must include the real questions and issues we face in looking for a sustainable and clean solution to our environmental and energy needs. Nuclear power is a dangerous distraction.

In particular it it not the answer to climate change. It is not free from carbon emissions and new power stations would not come on stream for at least 10 years. It threatens the environment and people’s health. No safe solution has yet been devised to store its carcinogenic toxic radioactive waste, some of which remains dangerous for thousands of years. It also leaves us vulnerable to the possibility of nuclear accidents or even terrorist attack.

A safe mix of renewable energy sources, cleaned up fossil fuels and energy efficiency measures - all of which are safe, effective and proven technologies - are available now. Already Germany, a leading industrial nation, is closing its nuclear power stations and moving to reliance on a non-nuclear mix.



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