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News

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Challenging NATO

Important reading. NATO WATCH has published Peace research perspectives on NATO 2030: A response to the official NATO Reflection Group – a collection of essays from a group of leading peace researchers, academics and civil society practitioners, among them Ray Acheson, Martin Butcher and Paul Ingram.

In his introductory essay Ian Davis says:

This direction of travel is hardly surprising given that the ten experts that wrote the NATO report represent what might broadly be described as the so-called realist paradigm: a worldview that emphasises the role of the state, national interest and military power in world politics.”

and

In contrast to the NATO report, the essays in this volume are written by a group of leading peace researchers, academics and civil society practitioners who broadly fall within a human security paradigm: a worldview in which the focus shifts from the state to a ‘human–centric’ vision.”

It is of course this human-centric vision that has led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which has subverted the convention security approach of the nuclear-armed states and put in place instead a focus on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in the past, present and future alongside a realistic response to the appalling and ever-present risks of so-called “deterrence”.

It should now be obvious to all that the selfish interests of a nation or a block of nations backed by military power has nothing to offer in response to the breath-taking challenges facing the whole planet. We have to wise up, and quickly.

Listen Again

If you missed an event, don't worry! Most of our online events are being recorded, and we're pleased to be able to share them with you. Listen Again via the links below to catch up with a wonderful menu of speakers, music, poetry and activism. Visit our Events page to see what's coming up next!


Speakers address the Scottish CND AGM
21 November 2020
Listen again here

 

Aberdeen CND Poetry & Peace Party
3 January 2021
Listen again here

 

IndyLive Radio - Glasgow CND interview on the Nuclear Ban Treaty
22 January 2021
Listen again here

 

Scottish CND's Year Ahead
27 January 2021
Listen again here

 

Beyond Nuclear Conference
31 January 2021
Listen again - Morning Session
Listen again - Afternoon Session

 

Marshall Islands' Day of Remembrance
1 March 2021
Listen again here

  

10 Years on From Fukushima: Lessons for Here and Now
11 March 2021
Listen again here

 

IndyLive Radio - Women Challenging Nuclear Weapons (Jean Anderson)
8 March 2021
Listen again here

 

Knowledge Exchange: Scottish Peace Movement (Museums & Galleries Scotland)
July 2021
Listen again here

 

 

For more videos, events and resources, please see Scottish CND's Youtube channel.

What's happening in 2021

2021 is a pivotal year for the nuclear disarmament campaign, and we want to make it as easy as possible for our members and supporters to get involved. To find out more about what's happening, and how you can be part of it, listen back to our Year Ahead presentation here:

 

 

Download the slides and transcript here (or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like a copy, or need a more accessible version than this). And please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have ideas or suggestions, or would like to get involved!

Dr Strangelove is Alive and Well

 

The Washington Post reports that one Charles Richard, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (AKA Nuclear Strike Force) has just said:

There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state. . . The Pentagon must shift from a principal assumption that nuclear weapons’ use is nearly impossible to nuclear employment is a very real possibility”

It is fairly clear that the main target of this unhinged outburst is the new man in the White House. Biden will be considering what they call the “nuclear posture” and the Pentagon will want to apply as much direct and indirect pressure as possible to ensure that the US modernisation surge initiated by Obama continues unhindered. The positive moves on the START treaty will worry them. The generals will also be aware of the the new factor in the mix – the entry into force last month of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – and the possibility that Biden may take into account that blow to the global reputational status of nuclear weapons. And the Washington Post offers nothing to counter the claim about Russian and China aggression.

There are of course other audiences for this irresponsible bluster in the rival nuclear-armed states, including parallel generals with similarly dangerous delusions. This is how wars begin. Like the infantile macho face-to-face of prizefighters it is all about escalation after escalation until no-one knows how to put the brakes on and we are all in the ditch.

This is the essence of so-called deterrence doctrine. It is a permanently unstable stance on a slippery slope to catastrophe. It is the readiness to commit the most appalling war crimes. And for us mere voters in the governmental game, if you back a party or a candidate who approves the foul doctrine, you are playing your own little part for inhumanity.

 

 

New START Treaty extension

On 26 January, the United States and Russia agreed to extend, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for five additional years.

This bilateral treaty was signed in 2010 to limit the nuclear arsenals of these two countries. Under Trump’s administration, there was little progress to extend it.

Scottish CND welcomes this start of the new US administration, but additional steps will be needed to make progress on disarmament. Throughout the time of the New START agreement Russia and the United States have spent billions each year to build new nuclear weapons systems, but since the international community has negotiated, adopted and brought into force a treaty (the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - TPNW) banning nuclear weapons.

Staying at the current nuclear weapons levels is not enough to protect the world from their catastrophic threats. With the New START quickly extended and the TPNW in force, the groundwork has been paved for significant disarmament advances in the coming four years. The nine nuclear-armed states have no excuses not to walk that path. Russia, the United States and all nuclear-armed nations must take active steps to move towards compliance with this international treaty and join it.

Quiz: What does the Nuclear Ban mean for us?

 

Deadline extended! The quiz is open for entries until 31 March 2021.

Learn more about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and be in with a chance to win exciting prizes to celebrate the Entry into Force of this landmark Treaty!

Take part in Scottish CND’s Nuclear Ban quiz here.

The top prize includes an opportunity (as soon as Covid restrictions allow) to have your photograph taken with the Nobel Peace Prize Medal which was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in 2017 in Oslo for its contribution to the Treaty.

There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. In the event of a tie, top-scoring quizzes will be entered into a draw for prizes. All entrants will also receive a copy of the Treaty and an ICAN badge.

For this quiz, research is not cheating! Please feel free to search the internet or make use of these fantastic resources to find out more about the Treaty and how it can help us to build a nuclear-free world at last:

To get inspired, learn about the history of the Treaty at: https://www.icanw.org/

Discover the Treaty itself: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

Learn more about the Scottish context at: https://www.nuclearban.scot/

Find out more about Scottish CND and join us at: http://www.banthebomb.org/ - and don't forget to look out for the completed answers on our website from March 2021!

This quiz is now open until 31 March 2021 (deadline extended!). One entry per person.

Get started now!

 

The Ban is Here!

It's here! At long last, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force today. The bomb is banned.

Join us throughout the day to celebrate!

From 11am to 1.30pm - peace and disarmament campaigners across Scotland and the UK will be taking part in a Twitter storm to raise awareness of the Treaty. Find out more and join in here.

At 12 noon - bells will be ringing out across the nation to celebrate Entry into Force. Join in by clapping, cheering or singing from your own doorstep! Find out more and get involved.

Throughout the day - there will be (mostly online) events in celebration from around the world. Find out more on our Events page, on NuclearBan.Scot and on the ICAN international events calendar.

From your own home - even though we can't be together, there are so many things you can do to mark the Treaty's arrival! Put up a poster, make a banner, or check our #TPNWChallenge posts for more inspiration.

Please send us photos and videos of your celebrations! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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!