Edinburgh CND News 20th June 2017

The Global Ban Treaty Negotiations started last week in New York, attended by our five-strong Scottish delegation, including Scottish CND organiser, Flavia. They have been sending  back daily reports which are posted at  nuclearban.scot with photographs.The following are some highlights from the first days of the conference:
Day 1
We had the first discussions on the preamble which focuses on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Both states and civil society representatives participated. Suggestions were made to strengthen the references to international environmental and humanitarian law.
One of our delegates attended the side event on ‘Verification of the ban treaty: articles 3, 4, 5 and beyond’
Day 2
Four of our group together with Dave from UK CND and Tim from Quakers UK participated in a meeting with the UK –UN mission which was organised by the world council of churches. Our concerns over the UK’s refusal to participate in the conference were expressed. 
We also attended a Pugwash conference panel discussion on the challenges of being a host state to some one else’s nuclear weapons. That was particularly relevant for Scotland. the Netherlands were the only host state attending.
Janet spoke at the book launch of Tim Wallis’, ‘Disarming the Nuclear Argument’. Also taking part were Rebecca Johnstone and Dave Webb. We intend to promote the book here on our return.
 Day 3
This was the day of the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. We had prominent Scottish banners and despite very heavy rain marched through New York for an hour .
 Day 4
The delegation took part in an American Friend’s Service Committee event. There were speakers from Hiroshima, the Marshall Islands and Israel. This was followed by discussion on past treaty activities. Alyn Ware, from New Zealand explained their shiftd from a pro- to anti-nuclear state and stressed the importance of showing how nuclear weapons make you a target.We welcomed Caroline Lucas MP and discussed our campaign in Scotland . More next week!
Photos can be seen  on the dedicated website face book and twitter
More general daily updates from the negotiations are available from Reaching Critical Will 
What can you do to support the Scottish team?
  • Contact the Press! Despite the New York delegation and Scottish support literally working around the clock to  post updates and photos on our websites  and social media channels. We have so far failed to attract the interest of the mainstream media but perhaps you’ll have more success!
  • Contact your parliamentarians! Some MPs and MSPs have already sent us video messages of support for the Scottish delegation. We have posted them at nuclearban.scot. If your  MP/MSP isn’t there yet please contact them to ask them to send a message of support – preferably as a 15-20s video.
 
There was broad agreement on core issues in the first negotiating session among the 130 or so states attending, which augurs for success in the present, final session. ‘Some thorny issues remain, of course. Amendments to the text can be accepted or rejected on the basis of a two-thirds majority vote of states present, which will help avoid deadlock’. Los Alamos Study Group director Greg Mello continues: “We are cautiously optimistic that the Conference will produce a final treaty. Extending negotiations past July 7 – which realistically means well into 2018 or beyond – is neither necessary nor desirable for this relatively straightforward Convention.
“These negotiations are unprecedented. They are momentous for humanity and civilization. The present opportunity, created by the work of thousands of people over many years, may not come again. No issue, even ones we have raised in our comments on the draft treaty text, should be allowed to get in the way.
++++Los Alamos latest bulletin available http://www.lasg.org/ActionAlerts/2017/Bulletin230.html
Follow the news and sign up to Scottish CNDs e-mail list at http://www.nuclearban.scot/
 If you want all the details you can get new briefing papers and the Nuclear Ban Daily newsletter by subscribing to Reaching Critical Will   www.reachingcriticalwill.org/news/subscribe!
Follow the negotiations as they happen on Twitter  #nuclearban
Added information from ICAN:  1. there is an amicus memorandum from a colleague, Professor of Law, Dan Joyner, University of Alabama, who has taken an interest in the ban treaty. He makes six recommendations for amendments to the draft treaty text, with his reasoning, which may be useful to explore and discuss with colleagues in New York. It is available on his website, Arms Control Law: https://armscontrollaw.com/ 2017/06/12/amicus-memorandum- to-the-chair-of-the-nw-ban- treaty-negotiating-conference/

2. A new update to SGR’s beginner’s guide to nuclear threats is now online to coincide with the start of the next stage of the Nuclear ban negotiations: http://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/nuclear-weapons-beginner-s-guide-threats           3.Theresa May says she would kill ‘100,000 men, women and children’ with a nuclear bomb. Previous prime ministers have avoided answering the hypothetical question of whether they would ever press the nuclear button

And some Scottish News: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/15/cuts-could-leave-trident-nuclear-base-at-risk-of-attack-says-police-boss?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=230673&subid=5499840&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
Future Activities: There will be an afternoon of singing our opposition to Trident Nuclear Weapons outside Faslane Naval Base (outside North Gate) on Saturday July 8th, 2017 from 2-5pm. All are welcome – bring a banner, bring a song or an instrument, or just bring yourselves. Penny Stone will be there to lead some group singing. 
 The singing will be on the first day of Trident Ploughshare’s Disarmament camp. There will be direct action happening during this week, but the singing gathering will be a fluffy, non-arrestable event. All are welcome, kids welcome, adults welcome!
 The camp will be happening all week, from July 8th-16th, so if you’ve got more time to spare in July and want to meet some lovely people and be involved in some creative nuclear disarmament, do bring your tent and stay for longer. 
This is an important time to take action of all kinds for nuclear disarmament.
Everyone who opposes Trident,  its grim replacement and the nuclear ban is invited to join us for ten days of camping, plotting and taking direct action to disrupt this monstrosity. 
All welcome for as little or as long as you can stay. Bring friends, make friends, and enjoy camping in an ancient oak woodland adjacent to MOD Coulport, where the nuclear weapons are stored in sinister bunkers deep inside the hillside by one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland.
 
Edinburgh CND will be arranging transport on another day that week day(watch this space)

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The first major anti-nuclear power conference in Britain for 30 years took place in London on the 17th June. As Women demonstrated for the Nuclear Ban, nuclear power and renewable energy experts, and politicians and activists campaigning for change,set out an alternative to government plans to build a new generation of nuclear power reactors. Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous, expensive and absolutely unnecessary. Renewables now demonstrate that final point beyond all question. The idea that nuclear power is worth the risk is finished. Many countries already recognise that and it’s time for the UK to kick its nuclear addiction in the interests of people and planet.” Issues discussed included: what’s wrong with nuclear power, the politics of nuclear power, energy demand & energy efficiency, the scope of renewables in the UK.  A full report of the conference can be read at
There is excellent report prepared by Youth and Student CND: What You Missed at the #NoNeedForNuclear conference
OTHER EVENTS 

 1. After the election the Radical Independence Campaign, Edinburgh is hosting an event which we hope will be an opportunity to discuss the way ahead for the left in Scotland. We  have an exciting line up of speakers: George Kerevan former SNP MP,  Jonathon Shafi RIC,  Lyn McCabe, community education worker and women from the Stop the Evictions Campaign in North Edinburgh,  Peter McColl Scottish Green Party,   Holly Rigby, Momentum London,  Sarah Collins, RISE,  ETUC speaker tbc Eileen Cook, Edinburgh CND will facilitate. I hope you will come along and join the discussion!                                             2. Countering Militarisation of Youth : 2 Films & Discussion
22 June. 7 – 9pm. Augustine United Church.
George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL
 https://www.facebook.com/events/1050691738365148/                 3. Peacemaking in Kabul: Maya Evans: Report from Afghanistan.

Thurs 6 July. 7 – 9pm.  Please come along and SHARE the event on Facebook.
 4. Fri 7 July. 10am – 1pm. Maya Evans : Fly Kites Not Drones workshop. 
All Welcome but this is especially suitable for children and families.

Venue to be confirmed.
5. Sat 8 July 2 – 3pm. Carolyn Affleck Youngs Walking to Japan Book Talk
Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre

3- 4pm Origami Cranes Workshop with Carolyn Affleck Youngs.   
JOIN and SHARE the Facebook Event Here
4. John Dear: Nonviolent Resistance in the USA in the Age of Trump
Thursday 13 July.
6pm Light refreshments in the Peace & Justice Centre.
6:45pm Talk & Q&A with John Dear. Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace.

John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence.

6. (Glasgow) The monthly vigil of the Scottish Peace Network will take place this Thursday, June  22, from 5-6pm, at Dewar’s statue, Glasgow city centre. The focus of this month’s vigil will be the UN conference to develop a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The conference is taking place now in New York. We will have flyers explaining the treaty as well as our usual banner and placards. We will also be remembering the horror of the Grenfall tower block fire, a disaster that should have never happened. The billions of pounds wasted on the military, and in particular the Trident missile system, could be going to fund the social services, including quality, low-cost housing. There is also something very wrong with a society where poor families are stuffed into a dilapidated high rise while nearby huge mansions owned by property speculators and wealthy tax evaders remain empty 

7. (London)
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