STOP PRESS 18/11 There are just 25 days to go until the General Election.
That’s 25 days in which we can continue to make Trident – the UK’s immoral, expensive and militarily useless nuclear weapons system – a major issue in this election campaign. We’ve already seen Trident making headlines. Politicians are glibly asked if they would ‘press the nuclear button’, as if doing so were just a game and not a decision that would kill many millions of people. So now we need to really step up the pressure and let all candidates know that scrapping Trident is a vote-winner. And we’ve only got 25 days to do it. See item 8 below Two weeks ago (Jo) Swinson said politicians unwilling to use nuclear weapons were a threat to national security and last night, on the ITV leaders’ debates, she confirmed for the second time she’s ready to press the nuclear button. But what do the others think?
21/11: Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to Labour’s 2019 manifesto. Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “Labour’s manifesto is a missed opportunity to address the growing threat of nuclear war, a threat as serious and urgent as the climate crisis.
1. Thursday November 14th: The planned NFLA meeting on Nov 14 in Motherwell has now been CANCELLED due to General Election purdah rules on local authority meetings. However there will be a meeting at the University of Edinburgh on at 3 pm in room LG 11 in the basement teaching area that you enter from George Square or the basement of David Hume Tower. The meeting is to discuss the alarming new ONR evidence on the poor state of the reactors at Hunterston B. These were first revealed in newspaper articles in the Ferret on October 17 (see https://theferret.scot/hunterston-graphite-debris-nuclear/).
Ian Fairlie has kindly agreed to speak to the Edinburgh meeting and to answer questions. We shall also be discussing possible demands for the immediate distribution of prophylactic iodate tablets by EDF and the publication of 30 km evacuation zones near Hunterston and Torness.
2. Saturday 16th November: 2.1 Scottish CND AGM at the Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House (7 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2JL) from 10:00am with special guest performer Rachel Sermanni and Scottish Youth Climate Strikers Kenneth McIvor and Grace Quinn. All welcome. Further information VIA THIS LINK
3. Tuesday 19 Nov. NAE CASH FOR NUKES! Launch of the new Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland 2019 report. 6 for 6.30-8.30pm Edinburgh University Law School, Quad Teaching Room G.158, Old College, South Bridge EH8 9YL
Speakers: Linda Pearson, Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland.
Audrey Doig, Renfrewshire Councillor, NFLA Scotland Co-convenor.
John Finnie, Green Party MSP for the Highlands and Islands.
Please book via https://dbotb19nov.eventbrite.co.uk and
Note: Edinburgh Council hasn’t passed a resolution on nuclear weapons divestment, although we hope it will eventually, as it has passed the ICAN cities appeal resolution. Midlothian Council has passed a divestment resolution. The complete list of Scottish councils that have passed a divestment resolution is on this page: https://nukedivestmentscotland.org/local-authority-divestment-resolutions/
4. Thursday 28 November – Sunday 1 December. Conscience International conference. Quaker Meeting House, Edinburgh.
Speaker Thurs 28 Nov. Vijay Mehta on the idea of a Minister for Peace.
5. Tuesday 3rd December: No to NATO national demonstrations
On Tuesday 3rd December, the Queen will be hosting a reception for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace and protesters from a wide range of campaigning organisations will be there to greet the delegation. Crowds will be assembling in Trafalgar Square from 4pm where there will be speeches and music before setting off towards Buckingham Palace.
There is also an anti-NATO summit in London on 30 November 2019 • 10.30 Britain’s membership of NATO is rarely discussed in the public arena. Many politicians talk like it’s an obviously good thing – some even cling to the bogus notion that NATO represents a high-point of international cooperation. STOP PRESS 19/11 Campaigners say their plans to protest against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in December are being curbed by the Metropolitan Police.
A coalition of groups are planning to protest outside Buckingham Palace during a reception for NATO leaders on December 3rd. In the wake of the unlawful ban on Extinction Rebellion protests in October, activists say the Met Police are insisting on draconian restrictions again for protests during the NATO summit. Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “We wish to protest to make clear our opposition to Donald Trump and the NATO summit, but the police have offered us a protest site where sound amplification is banned and is set back away from Buckingham Palace behind a wall.————————— 6. Tuesday 3rd December: Edinburgh AGM and Seasonal social 7pm at Peace and Justice Centre, Epworth Halls EH8 9BX. Immediately after the anti-NATO demo ——————– 7. Saturday 7th December: 12 30, Leafleting at the East End of Princes Street.———————
8. Thursday 12th December GENERAL ELECTION. CND says: Now is the time to put nuclear weapons on the public agenda. So CND is taking action to make Trident an unignorable issue at this election and is launching a major campaign to lobby parliamentary candidates, to tell them that their views on nuclear weapons matter and can affect how we vote. The majority of us don’t want to see £205 billion wasted on replacing Trident – and we want newly elected MPs to oppose it. It’s vital that the peace and anti-war movements are mobilised to demand an end to what John Pilger dubs an ‘American invention designed to impose American power on Europe.’
Scottish CND adds: What does a general election mean for those of us who want nuclear disarmament? It is a chance to check out the position of all candidates before we decide who we vote for. Let’s make sure that Scotland only returns MPs that firmly OPPOSE nuclear weapons and support the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that will ban them globally.REGISTER TO VOTE: A lot of people, especially young people, are not registered to vote because they may have just come of age or moved house since the last election. Check your own eligibility and encourage others. You can register to vote VIA THIS LINK. Those working, or otherwise away from home, can get a postal vote. Applications for postal votes must be received at least eleven working days before the election. Apply for a postal vote VIA THIS LINK.
2. Move the Nuclear Weapons Money: From October 24-30 (UN Disarmament Week), a team of volunteers in New York City counted out $542 billion – the approximate global nuclear weapons budget for the next five years – and symbolically reallocated this to climate protection, poverty alleviation and the Sustainable Development Goals.The money was counted in 542,000 mock notes each of value $1million. ‘We had hoped to count 1 million notes to make up $1 trillion, the nuclear weapons budget for the next ten years’ said Susanna Choe, Co-founder of Peace Accelerators and member of the core team of money counters. ‘But this amount of money is so vast, that even counting with notes of $1million and with many volunteers counting, it was too much.’ We filled basket after basket with billions of dollars,’ said Bill Kidd,Member of the Scottish Parliament and member of the core team of money counters. ‘This moneycould protect the climate, end poverty, ensure universal health care, support peace and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if it were not wasted on nuclear weapons.’
‘We are counting out one million mock notes totalling $1 trillion, the global nuclear weapons budget for the next ten years, and reallocating this to climate protection, ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,’ said Alyn Ware, PNND Global Coordinator.
‘This action demonstrates the massive wastage of money on nuclear weapons, and actions that people can take to cut nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in nuclear weapons, and shift these to better things.’
To co-incide with the 24th October PNND Co-President Senator Edward J. Markey and Congressman Earl Blumenauert reintroduced legislation in the U.S. Congress that would cut $75 billion from the nuclear weapons budget over the next decade. The purpose of the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act is to improve national security and budgetary sanity by cutting redundant and destabilizing nuclear weapons programs.
3.1 A desperate nuclear industry propaganda machine is in overdrive, so thorium reactors are routinely trotted out as the latest savior, the next better nuclear mousetrap. But thorium, writes Helen Caldicott, is just one more dangerous, expensive and pointless delusion. To achieve nuclear power, we need uranium. Navajo activist and academic, Tommy Rock, describes his personal journey as the grandson of a uranium miner, and how he uncovered the vast extent of health tragedies in his community and beyond.It is also on our website – https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/newsletters/nfla-newsletter-october-2019/
3.2 Although they came in peace to prevent a crime against humanity, seven Catholic Worker activists were instead convicted of crimes after entering a US Trident submarine base. Now they await sentencing. Nuclear Resister’s Jack Cohen-Joppa tells their story. Jane Fonda has been a life-long activist. But the actor now has a new lead role, on the frontlines of climate protest. We check out her Fire Drill Fridays.
3.3 BNI are also Fundraising for their work (see website).
3.4 18/ 11 STOP PRESS A hot radioactive particle turned up in a vacuum cleaner in a home in Nagoya, Japan. It came from the exploded Fukushima reactors, 270 miles away. How did it get there? Cindy Folkers reports. There’s still no sign of land when it comes to solving the world’s radioactive waste problem. A new report takes a deep look into the issue and concludes that future generations will still have to handle the burden.
3.5 25/11: Many questions have been raised about safety for athletes and spectators at next year’s Olympic Games in Japan. Two events are scheduled for Fukushima prefecture. Meanwhile, Japanese citizens must live with the health impacts of the nuclear disaster every day. This week, in two stories, we turn to the doctors of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) for advice.
4. Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) 4.1 Due to the calling of the UK general election on December 12th, the NFLA Scotland Forum on November 14th is cancelled and the NFLA UK & Ireland Steering Committee, Annual General Meeting and Annual Policy Seminar will now be on January 31st, 2020 in Manchester Central Library.
4.2 All the presentations from the NFLA All Ireland Sustainable Energy Forum; and the presentations from the NFLA English Forum joint meeting with TASC, BANNG and Stop Hinkley held in Colchester are on the website – https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/category/presentations/
4.3 The NFLA Chair was one of the co-signatories to a joint letter challenging a Financial Times article that was arguing a ‘net zero’ carbon target needs politicians to get over their ‘radiation’ fears and embrace new nuclear. The joint letter is attached and has gone on our website, along with our views on the upcoming UK general election (which means that probably, due to purdah rules, only Irish Forum NFLA media releases will be sent out until the election is over) and congratulations to Norwich.
5. New Media (a) A new half-hour film entitled ‘A New Lucas Plan’ looks at a plan for switching workers involved in arms manufacturing to more socially useful jobs. A copy of the film is available online.
(b) A new documentary about the nuclear “Ban Treaty’ will be premiering in LondonWebpage – here // Facebook here // Eventbrite here
1. Wednesday 13 November (1.1) No to Nato meeting in the Glasgow SCND office (See 4 below) 2pm (1.2) 7:15 for 7:30pm.Religious Freedom, Religious Persecution and Peace: An Interfaith event for peace and understanding. Annandale St Mosque organised by Uniting for Peace
2.Thursday 14 November . 5:30pm for 6 – 7pm.Edinburgh Radical Bookfair, 2 Roxburgh Pl, EH8 9SU. Stopping War in 2019.
Tim Gee, Melanie Scott, Janet Fenton (and Edinburgh Stop the War)
Three anti-war activists make a case for a nonviolent world, and the means by which it might be achieved. facebook.com/events/384671502208071/
NB There is a Peace Campaigning stall (with ECND materials) at the Fair. 3. 22nd November:Global Ban Treaty Working Group meeting in the SCND office (77 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LE) from 2:00pm. Remote meeting software will be available, please get in touch to participate.
4. Tuesday 26th November: Dovetails upcoming anthology Bridges or Walls? features work by Margaret Elphinstone, Chrys Salt, Liz Niven, Ray Evans and many more. EDINBURGH launch of the anthology at Lighthouse Books (West Nicolson St) starting at 7PM. Buy previous anthology ‘A Kind of Stupidity’ here
5.Wednesday 27 November: 6:30 – 8:30pm,Opposing War Memorial Embroidery workshops: Create your own peace handkerchief. Edinburgh central venue, to be confirmed. To book your space email Kate Ive directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sunday November 17th On Borders: Carving the land, shaping the Mind
2019 at 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM.Assembly Roxy. Edinburgh Radical Bookfair, 2 Roxburgh Pl, EH8 9SU. Peace Campaign stall with ECND materials still available.7. Monday 25 November 30. 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. Glasgow Protest the Scottish government’s subsidy to Raytheon.