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Writing a Letter to the Editor

 If you would like to write to a local newsletter or magazine to celebrate the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but you’re not quite sure what to say, or how best to explain it to people who aren’t normally involved in nuclear disarmament work, we have put together a template letter which you are welcome to use or adapt. Please feel free to copy this (highlight the text you want and press ctrl + c, or right click on it and press Copy) into a document of your own, put a personal touch on it if you want to, and send it on its way!

Letter to the Editor:

Friday 22 January marks the beginning of the end for nuclear weapons. Bells will be ringing across the nation at 12 noon when the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force, and many of us will be standing on our doorsteps with bells and whistles to make a noise in celebration.

The Treaty comprehensively bans nuclear weapons among the countries that have ratified it - 51 so far, with many more to come, as over 80 countries have completed the first stage of signing the Treaty.

Scotland can’t sign the Treaty just now. The UK Government speaks for us at the UN, so we are held hostage to the UK’s deadly commitment to maintaining these weapons of mass murder at Faslane; which also means enduring them being driven up and down the Scottish Borders in unmarked lorries, on their maintenance trips to Aldermaston.

The UK’s strategy of stationing all their nuclear weapons in Scotland places our population at immense risk. Let’s not kid ourselves that nuclear security measures are immune to human error. Remember the reports we heard this autumn, of the nuclear commander who showed up drunk to work with a bag of chicken? Or of the inevitable COVID-19 outbreak at Faslane in December? And as for deliberate hostilities, for as long as we have nuclear weapons here, Scotland is vulnerable to terrorist attacks and acts of war that target the UK’s nuclear capacity.

Worst of all, while we host the UK’s killer submarines, it makes Scotland an unwilling but undeniable participant in one of only nine nuclear regimes around the world. International opinion condemns these nuclear-armed states. So too do our own consciences. A clear majority of Scots want no part of the UK’s nuclear programme, making the nuclear base at Faslane one of the greatest obscenities of our time.

So we look forward to the day when Scotland ratifies the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Even if it takes independence from the UK for Scotland to be able to do so in its own right, we are convinced of the moral and humanitarian case against nuclear weapons.  The Treaty  provides a clear legal framework, as well as powerful international solidarity, for Scotland to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.

And when that happens, we have every reason to believe it could finally put an end to the UK’s nuclear regime. If Scotland – with a clear popular mandate, support from the majority of UN states and  the full backing of international law – expels the nuclear weapons we’re currently forced to hold, where will the UK put them? What community, knowing what we know now, would accept nuclear weapons being forced upon them? We look forward with hope to a time when Scotland is able to shake the whole foundation of the UK’s nuclear programme and pull the thread that unravels the whole deadly regime once and for all.

Yours,

 

Kenspeckle Scots Support the Treaty

Kenspeckle Scots for the TPNW are registering to show their enthusiastic welcome for The Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons whose entry into force in 8 days time will be celebrated far and wide.

The TPNWii prohibits the developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, assisting other states with these prohibited activities, stationing, deployment or installation of nuclear weapons belonging to other states on a state party’s territory. While the Treaty does not add any additional obligations on states which are not party to it, its entry into force will have significant impact on the nuclear-armed states.

Among those who have already registered their support are: Larry Flanagan, General Secretary of the EIS, Scotland's largest teaching union; Mike J Kirby, Secretary, UNISON Scotland; author AL Kennedy; Cameron McNeish, mountaineer, author and broadcaster; Aamer Anwar, human rights lawyer and formerly Rector of Glasgow University; Adam Holmes, Scottish singer and songwriter; Dave Anderson, actor; Bruce McGregor, fiddler and presenter of Travelling Folk on BBC Scotland: Gerry Loose, poet; Jim Sutherland, film composer for Brave ; Karine Polwart, Scottish singer, songwriter and writer; Rachel Sermanni, singer-songwriter; Alastair McIntosh, writer, academic and activist. Leslie Orr, feminist historian, theologian and supporter of the Scottish Women's Covenant for the TPNW.

AL Kennedy said:

“Scotland is fast developing an international reputation for good governance and humane policy making. It is pressingly urgent that we take our commitment to international harmony and human rights to the next level and become signatories to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Rather than a being a dumping ground for nuclear weapons and all their risks at home and promises of violence to the world, Scotland can be a leader.”

Bells for the Treaty

 

(Credit: Thanks to Penny Stone for this lovely catchy round.)

At 12 noon on Friday 22 January, bells are going to ring out across the UK in celebration of the Treaty entering into force. Do you know a place of worship, or a university building - or anywhere else with a bell! - that could take part? Please get in touch with them and ask them to join in. Contact us if you would like more information, or to let us know what you've organised!

And why not join in at home? Lockdown undoubtedly makes our plans harder, and we can’t gather in public squares or outside our Parliaments or town halls, but we can come to the doors and windows of our homes with whistles and instruments, we can ring handbells or bang pots & lids at 12 noon. After all, there's a time-honoured tradition of ringing bells, of town criers calling out the news and women banging pots and lids to celebrate with noise, so that is one way people can come together and mark the Treaty - even in the lockdown.

Please feel free to download these posters (PDF: Bell Ringing | Celebrating at Home) and put them up in your window, or pass them on to any organisations who have agreed to ring their bells, and would like to explain to their members, or to passers-by, exactly why the bells are ringing on 22 January!

    

Welcoming in the Nuclear Ban Treaty

 Day 6 #TPNWChallenge: Write to your Representative

 

The Nuclear Ban Treaty (TPNW) becomes international law tomorrow!

 

Right now, Scotland is an unwilling host for the UK’s nuclear weapons. If we are able to reject them, it could lead to the unravelling of the UK’s entire nuclear programme – it’s certain that the government would struggle to find anywhere else in the UK that would be prepared to take the risks of hosting them.

 

The Treaty adds strength to Scotland’s fight to become a nuclear-free country. It sets a clear international standard that nuclear weapons are illegal, inhuman, and must be completely eliminated.

 

ICAN has a Parliamentarians’ Pledge for politicians who promise to support the aims of the Treaty and work to see it realised. 

 

Most MSPs and Scottish MPs have already signed the Pledge. You can check if your representative has done so here. (To check who your MSP or MP is, look them up easily on a site like WriteToThem or TheyWorkForYou.)

 

If your representative has signed the Pledge, please take a minute to send them a short letter of thanks and support. Remember, as they work to push for a nuclear-free Scotland, they will face a lot of resistance from the UK and its nuclear-armed allies, so it’s really important to remind them that they have the strong support of the people they represent. 

 

Our template letter to the media might provide some helpful inspiration, if you’re not sure what to write, but it’s really important to try and put your message in your own words, if you want your MSP or MP to take notice  – have a quick read of MySociety’s guidance on writing a letter that politicians will actually read.

 

If your MP or MSP is one of the few Scottish politicians who hasn’t signed the ICAN Pledge yet, please write to them now and urge them to do so!

 

If you have a bit of extra time today, we would also encourage you to write to your local councillors (check out who your local representatives are on WriteToThem) and ask your Council to endorse the ICAN Cities Pledge and become a member of the UK & Ireland Nuclear-Free Local Authorities. Only four Scottish Local Authorities have done this so far (Edinburgh, East Ayrshire, Fife & Renfrewshire – with Stirling on the way!) and this is definitely not representative of most Scottish people’s views!

 

More information about our #TPNWChallenge... 

 

Beyond Nuclear Conference

Beyond Nuclear was designed to answer the question: ‘Why would we in Scotland want or need to have nuclear power stations when we have almost unlimited potential for clean, renewable energy production?’ The conference will therefore be a day of two halves, starting off with an examination of the negatives involved in nuclear power production in the first session, contrasting with the positives of clean renewable energy in the second.

Planned for Mar 2020, then postponed till Oct 2020, we are pleased to announce that Beyond Nuclear will now be a Cameron Virtual Conference!

10 Anti-Nuclear New Year's Resolutions for 2021

 

Looking for a New Year's Resolution that will make a real difference? Here are our suggestions for 2021:

1. Build the movement. If you're not yet a member of Scottish CND, why not join us now? If you're already a member, why not gift a membership to a friend? It may be too late for Christmas, but what better way to start the New Year than with a firm commitment to peace!

2. Join your local group. Local CND groups this year have organised events, run campaigns, and persuaded their city councils to commit to a nuclear-free Scotland. Find out more about local groups here, and make a difference close to home.

3. Learn about the Nuclear Ban. One of the most important developments in our lifetime, the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW, or the Nuclear Ban Treaty) finally outlaws nuclear weapons - this year! Be ready to answer the doubters by using ICAN's excellent resources, and find out what it means for us in Scotland at nuclearban.scot.

4. Celebrate with us on 22nd January. This is the day the Nuclear Ban Treaty enters into force. Check ICAN's listing of events and celebrations around the world; follow our website or social media for local updates; look out for what other Scottish peace groups, faith groups and parliamentarians will be doing; and don't forget to order yourself a flag before they sell out!

Scottish CND AGM 2020 REPORT

Our Annual General Meeting took place via Zoom on Sat 21st of November 2020.

Please see enclosed the minutes of the meeting here.

A recording of our Speakers and Open Discussion can be found below.

If you wish to access the recording of the business part please get in touch by email.

A message from our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was conveyed by Bill Kidd MSP.

HM Government must follow Scotland's lead in signing and ratifying the TPNW

 

The below letter is in response to this Herald article and has been sent to the newspaper.

We have to be a little concerned about academic standards when the Professor of Strategic Studies at St. Andrews University chooses to write about the SNP submission to the UK Integrated Review without having read it properly. He says that 'unilateral disarmament' is not mentioned at all.  However, in page 3 of the document, it states that: 'It is vital that the remaining treaties which constitute the nuclear disarmament regime be preserved and strengthened.  HM Government must follow Scotland's lead in signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons'.  This will become a formal UN Treaty and part of international law in January.  Every SNP MP and MSP have signed the Parliamentary Pledge in support of this Treaty.

2020 SCND AGM - Papers & Info

Our AGM is taking place onnline (Zoom) on Sat 21st of November. Meeting is due to start at 10 am, but we require all participants to check in at 9.30 to verify their membership status and enable a staggered start for the organisers. If you wish to attend our AGM please register on our Eventbrite page here.

All the voting (executives & resolutions) will happen on the day. Instructions will be offered at the meeting. All voting participants will receive a personal ID in advance by email. Please make note of it to have it handy at the meeting. A separate ID will be given to delegates too so make sure you have both if you fall into that category.

Please see enclosed the papers for the meeting:

AGM update

The deadline for resolutions and nominations has now passed.  You can find these here.