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A MOMENTOUS YEAR
...but the best is yet to come!

2007 has been a momentous year for the peace movement in Scotland. It started with the successful ‘Bin the Bomb’ roadshow culminating in the huge march and rally in Glasgow on February 24th. The platform party on that day demonstrated how far we had come - a roll call of the leading figures in Scotland’s churches, trade unions and political parties which expressed better than anything the growing consensus against Trident.

In the same month we produced, along with the STUC, a ground breaking report on Trident and Jobs which showed how renewing Trident would actually cost Scotland vital jobs and cancelling it could release funds to regenerate its economy. Then there was the Trident vote in the Westminster Parliament when 33 out of 59 Scottish MPs voted against Trident replacement and only 22 (most of whom held ministerial posts) voted in favour.

And then there was the Scottish parliamentary elections on May 3rd with the narrow victory for the nationalists - a party committed to getting rid of Trident - who went on to set up a minority adminstration. Since then we have had our successful post election conference and have held discussions with Bruce Crawford, minister for parliamentary affairs, culminating in the convening of a Scottish Summit to discuss the way forward for the anti-Trident campaign.

And during all this time Faslane 365, drawing in the support of groups from the length of Britain and beyond, have managed to maintain a presence at Faslane, to remind base workers and the rest of Scotland just what a nuclear monstrosity lies behind these miles of razor wire.

HOLYROOD VOTE

But perhaps the most important and significant events of these months was the debate and vote in the Scottish Parliament on June 14th. By 71 votes to 16 it overwhelmingly endorsed the Green Party resolution which ‘calls on the UK government not to go ahead at this time with the proposals in the White Paper, the Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent’.

The blanket of press silence made it one of Scotland’s best kept secrets, but its significance is immense. It represents the achievement of a key strategic objective of CND and Scotland’s for Peace to win the Scottish parliament to take a position of opposition to Trident replacement. It means that the new Scottish Government now has the backing of parliament as well as overwhelming public opinion to use every means in its power to obstruct the deployment of this destabilising new weapon.

IRREVERSIBLE

It is also significant that not one Labour MSP voted in favour of Trident. Five voted with the motion and 39 abstained. It is now inconceivable that a pro-Trident motion could be passed by this or any future parliament, and therefore, the decision of the Scottish Parliament must be considered irreversible.

But historic as these events have been, the best is yet to come. We have a dizzying programme of activities and events for the rest of 2007 and into the new year, which we are confident will attract activists and supporters from the wider peace movement.

1 The Big Blockade on 1st October will be an opportunity to celebrate the year-long blockade at Faslane. Faslane 365.

2 The Trident Summit on Mon 22nd October organised by the Scottish Government.

3 A joint SCND/STUC conference on Mon 29th October - Trident, Trade Unions ans Scotland’s Economy (see panel on page 3 for details).

4 The major event of the autumn People & Parliament Against Trident, a march and rally in Edinburgh on Sat 3rd November (see p3).

5 The SCND Annual Conference on Sat 17th November in Edinburgh.

Beyond that there is a NFLA conference in January 2008 and the celebrations of CND’s 50th birthday around Easter 2008. Watch this magazine or check out www.banthebomb.org for details.

Alan Mackinnon
PS The launch of the Scottish
Covenant for Peace is described elsewhere in this magazine.


 
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