- David Cameron has promised a parliamentary vote on Trident renewal sometime this year although as the Trident spending was in the budget a vote is not strictly necessary. Trident subBut whether there is a parliamentary vote or not the Trident Renewal programme will be rolling along – and of course a Vanguard class submarine is still currently out at sea 24/7 armed with enough warheads to kill and maim millions and millions of people and cause devastation for years to come. The Scrap Trident Coalition is kicking off campaigning in Scotland this year with a Day of Action across the country called Love the Planet – Scrap Trident on 14th February (of course!). Then we will send a big contingent down to London for the CND march and rally on February 27th to make Scotland’s opposition to Trident very clear down where such decisions are made, book tickets here: Artist Peter Kennard launches Stop Trident placard design competition ahead of the demonstration in London next month, a leading political artist he has launched the Stop Trident placard design competition in association with CND, which he hopes will inspire a new generation of activist artists: http://cnduk.org/component/k2/item/2330-stop-trident-placard-competition The next meeting of the Scottish Scrap Trident Group will be on Thursday 21st Jan (after the Don’t Bank on the Bomb meeting.
2. The latest issue of nuClear News No.81 January 2016 is now available for downloading here:
AND Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre has now moved: Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre. 5, Upper Bow. Edinburgh. EH1 2JN.
3. Edinburgh Stop the War thanks everyone who supported activities and events in 2015. They will be holding out regular organizing meeting on Monday 18th January, 7.30pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace.
They will also have a campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street from midday to 1.30pm on Saturday 16th January.
4. An SNP MSP will write to the Chief Constable after concern was expressed about police harassment of peace campaigners who were watching the movement of Trident nuclear weapons across Scotland. Bill Kidd said: “It seems to be a waste of police time to be stopping and questioning law-abiding peace campaigners who are simply performing a legitimate public service by keeping a watchful eye on the transport of nuclear weapons along our roads. It appears that the MOD has, without good reason, requested that police officers detain peaceful nuclear disarmers by means of carrying out spurious car searches. I will be writing to the chief constable asking that this unwarranted practise should stop henceforth”. Neil Findlay MSP (Labour) also commented, “I fully support the police in their work but they have to be absolutely clear that will not prevent peaceful, law-abiding campaigners from going about their business”. Bruce Crawford MSP has put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament which condemns the convoy as “an unacceptable risk to public safety”. The convoy was reported in the National and several local newspapers.
Officers from Police Scotland harassed two groups of peace campaigners in Stirling.
Alisdair Ibbotson of Stirling University CND was standing with a colleague at a roundabout nearby. They were approached by a police officer. He said “Right, your name and address, date of birth, place of birth and nationality. Failure to do so constitutes an offence and you may be arrested. You are formally required to provide your details.” (video)
John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said: “Police Scotland harassed several peace campaigners who were trying to draw attention to the fact that nuclear weapons are transported across the country. The police should support the Scottish Parliament and Government in their categorical rejection of Trident. We should not allow our police to be complicit in a conspiracy of silence or to reinforce the view that driving weapons of mass destruction through our towns and cities is normal and not worthy of note.”
N.B Minutes of the latest SCND Executive are available.
5. On January 11, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held a special meeting in New York to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the very first UNGA meeting in London. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will end his 10-year term in December 2016. The campaign for the next UN Secretary-General has begun and the peace person of 2015 chosen
6. Finally: Talks, Conferences etc – SRF and http://tridentploughshares.org/january-2016-awe-burghfield-briefing/