Edinburgh CND News 18 December 2017

EVENTS:
  1. Wednesday 17 January 2018, Film Screening: Nuclear Savage

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    7 to 9pm
    Augustine United Church
    41 to 43 George IV Bridge
    Edinburgh
    For Facebook event click here
    For Eventbrite tickets click here It was a Pacific island paradise…until the United States tested nuclear weapons and conducted secret human radiation experiments. Experiments that would remain top-secret for decades, until now.
    This documentary reveals a shocking political expose, and an intimate ethnographic portrait of Pacific Islanders struggling for survival, dignity and justice after decades of top-secret human radiation experiments conducted on them by the US government.
    As geopolitical tensions between nuclear armed states continue to escalate, please join us to watch this timely reminder of the humanitarian devastation caused by nuclear weapons. Weapons that threaten our very survival as long as they are allowed to exist. This event is co-sponsored by Scottish Wilpf
    Entry by donation (suggested amount: £3 to help Edinburgh CND cover the cost of room hire).
    Please book through EventBrite if you would like to reserve a place. However, we will also be allowing folk to turn up on the day.

NEWS

ICAN receives Nobel Peace Prize

  1.  On the 10th December, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to ICAN, the global network which supported the 122 states backing the new UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

    Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow delivered the Nobel Lecture in Oslo on 10 December. Fihn said:

    Nuclear weapons, like chemical weapons, biological weapons, cluster munitions and land mines before them, are now illegal. Their existence is immoral. Their abolishment is in our hands. The end is inevitable. But will that end be the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us? We must choose one.”

    ICAN’s photos from Oslo can be found here and ICAN UK’s photos are here.
    On December 8, a party was held at UN House in Edinburgh to celebrate the win.

  2. Scots attend in Oslo: Scottish activists with political and popular support from home, symbolised by carrying a torch specially gifted by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, traveled to Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize celebrations.
    Scottish CND Vice Chair, Janet Fenton, wrote:

     “The award is a significant acknowledgement of work by the Scottish peace movement and, in turn, increases Scotland’s contribution to peace in the world.”

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    3. Day of Action: On December 9, CND called a Day of Action to celebrate the Peace Prize award, draw attention to the nuclear ban treaty and encourage as many people as possible to sign the Citizens’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Events were held around the country.
    Members of CND, along with other members of ICAN-UK, hosted their own ceremony outside the Ministry of Defence in London. Veteran campaigner Bruce Kent presented “awards” to those campaigners present. Other speakers will included journalist Victoria Brittain, Sheila Triggs from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – a previous Nobel peace laureate, Dr Michael Orgel from Medact and Kate Hudson from CND.
    Edinburgh CND held a stall on Princes Street, with an “empty chair” to signify the UK government’s boycott of the treaty.

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4. Nobel Peace Prize Concert: Parts of this video message from Scotland was shown on the big screens at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo. The concert was seen live on TV by millions of people. You can watch the full concert here. A video from Edinburgh was sent to the producers as well.

5. Political support for ICAN and the ban treaty: The leaders of the SNP, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru wrote an op-ed urging the UK government to “sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons without further delay and stop wasting public money on weapons of mass destruction that threaten human survival and could never rationally, morally or legally be fired”.

6. Support from religious leaders: A large number of the UK religious leaders issued a joint statement to congratulate ICAN and “call on the UK government to add its support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

7. The Perfect Gift: Robert Harrap, general director of a socially engaged Buddhist movement, described the ban treaty and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN as “the perfect gift” for peace on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought.

Trident

On December 19, CND responded to the news that Trident could be shifted from the Ministry of Defence budget. Dave Webb, CND Chair, said:

“This is an extraordinary development if the government goes ahead. Where precisely will £205 billion or more, the full cost of Trident replacement, be found outside of the MoD budget? The government has repeatedly said it hasn’t got billions laying about so, for lack of a magic money tree, this can mean only one thing. Further cuts to schools, hospitals or other areas of social spending.
There are growing numbers of MPs concerned about the impact of Trident spending on conventional weaponry and defence. The leaks on HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier, could well be an example of the sort of corner cutting the MoD is charged with. But the answer to this is not to shift the responsibility for Trident spending elsewhere. The credible answer is that it’s time to face the reality about Trident: it’s outdated, expensive, leaves us vulnerable, and doesn’t address the major 21st century security threats. It’s time to cancel Trident.” 

Other news

  1. Daniel Ellsberg on US nuclear war plans: Discussing his new book “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” on DemocracyNow!, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg revealed that  US President Eisenhower had plans to kill hundreds of millions of people in a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union and China. Ellsberg also discussed the dangers of a nuclear conflict being started by President Trump with North Korea, Iran or Russia.
  2. You still have time to get someone an awesome CND gift for Christmas! Like one of their soft, warm, organic hoodies. And what’s better than knowing your gift is supporting a globe-saving campaign to end nuclear weapons? All garments are organic and ethically made, printed in a wind-powered factory! http://www.cnduk.org While CND members have been wearing them for years, protest t-shirts hit the fashion headlines in 2017. And hitting the news headlines this year was the United Nations’ treaty banning nuclear weapons. Read about both in this month’s Campaign magazine: Read Campaign: December edition
  3. The December Edition of Drones Campaign News is out: https://dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com/ 
  4. Los Alamos Bulletin 239: http://www.lasg.org/ 
  5. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party and a PNND Council Member, gave a keynote policy speech on human rights at the United Nations in Geneva on December 8, when he received the Sean McBride Peace Prize. Corbyn told the packed auditorium that ‘We need to redouble our efforts to create a global rules based system that applies to all and works for the many, not the few. No more bomb first and think and talk later.’                                                                                                                        LATE ADDITIONS:
  6. A special issue of nuClear News covering out comments on the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has called for before the end of December 2017. These comments were produced on behalf of the Stop Hinkley Campaign and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities. www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/wp/wp content/uploads/2017/12/NuClearNews_No102.pdf
  7. PEACE BOAT 96th VOYAGE COMING TO FREMANTLE Wednesday 24 – Thursday 24 January 2018 | Fremantle Port | a massive 2 days of building culture of peace around the world
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