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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.

The Day the World Banned the Bomb

24 October 2020 - the day the world banned the bomb

 

Today, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The 50th ratification triggers irreversible entry into force.

Recalling Britain's Shameful Nuclear Anniversaries

October is a month of terrible anniversaries in Britain. Last week, on October 3rd, we marked the shameful moment when, in 1952, the United Kingdom became the world's third nuclear power, after detonating an atom bomb off the Montebello Islands in Western Australia.

Throughout the 1950s, the UK continued to test nuclear weapons in so-called 'remote' areas of Australia. The environmental devastation, and enormous damage done to human health and life, is still being felt today, especially by the indigenous people who lived close to the source of the blast.

The parade of deadly anniversaries continues this week. October 10th marks the day that fire broke out at Windscale nuclear plant (now Sellafield) in 1957 - an incident which narrowly avoided devastating the Lake District, and which is now blamed for at least 240 cases of cancer.

The Windscale Fire should stand as a warning that even nuclear power plants can be deadly. If you missed last week's newsletter, click here to read about the threat that Hunterston B power station still poses to hundreds of thousands of us in Scotland, and share your #ShutDownHunterstonNow photos on social media to join our online protest.

Our past casts a long shadow, and some of the challenges we face today are eerily similar to the nightmares of the 1950s. Did you know that "New START" - the treaty between Russia and the USA which provides for some measure of arms control - will expire this February, and talks to renew it are foundering?

The challenges are immense, but there is also hope. The world stands on the brink of ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - an international agreement that would - fully, finally - ban the bomb. The importance of this moment cannot be overstated. Here, in Scotland, we must seize this opportunity to call for an end to nuclear weapons - out of Scotland, out of Britain, out of the world.

To receive regular updates on this and other essential campaigns, click here to subscribe to our newsletter, or join us and become a member of Scottish CND.

NATO Exercise Joint Warrior

 

The large naval NATO exercise, Joint Warrior, occurring in Scottish waters and ports has commanded public attention because of justified fears for the safety of dolphin nosed whales visiting the Gareloch; whales are known to be highly sensitive to underwater noise.  The Scottish population is not the intended public of the show of force mustered by this exercise but rather Russia or whoever it is in the international community that NATO wishes to impress. Willingness to use nuclear weapons, including in a first strike, is part of NATO military doctrine. It is no accident that the exercise is based on Faslane in the Gareloch, the home of the UK nuclear weapon system. In Scotland, neither nuclear weapons nor NATO’s first strike doctrine have popular support; if asked what they would prefer in our waters, most people would unequivocally choose whales over deliberately provocative displays of mass force.  Yet Scotland regularly hosts such NATO exercises, including events that would never happen anywhere else in Europe. Cape Wrath is the only firing range where multiple countries conduct live bombardment from land, sea and air. As with all military activities, neither the carbon footprint of fuel and resources used up in the process nor the environmental damage in pollution caused by Joint Warrior will be monitored or reported, never mind the direct impact on marine life like whales.  Scottish CND campaigns for a Scotland and a UK that is out of NATO as long as NATO is a nuclear alliance and advocates that the UK join the majority of the world in signing the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We condemn this exercise as an unnecessary harm to our environment, a squandering of resources in the middle of a global tension, climate emergency and a pandemic; it is an unhelpful statement to the rest of the world that is not in our name.