For a few hours on Saturday 22nd September the gate to Faslane, the Clyde estuary home of the UK’s Trident submarines, became a hostile environment for nuclear weapons.
In putting together the NAE NUKES, ANYWHERE event Scottish CND planned something more than a demo or a protest. The vision was for a celebration of transnational solidarity around the rejection on nukes and in particular the hope and pathway provided by the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The plan came off, in the main thanks to a very special group of TPNW advocates from far and wide who gave a simple message We salute your resistance and we are with you. The nuclear-armed states were well represented by Ekaterina Mikhaylenko from Russia, Sharon Dolev from Israel, and Tim Wallis, Vicki Elson and Anthony Donovan from the US. The same message came from US “umbrella” states via Reiner Braun from Germany, Maike Beenes from The Netherlands and Shigeo Kobayashi from Japan. Scottish CND’s own Flavia Tudoreanu gave her perspective as a Rumanian. Canadian Allison Pytlak was there to represent Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the organisation that negotiated civil society at the UN to gain the TPNW
Loudest cheer of the day from the folk who had gathered in the sunshine from all over the UK and beyond was when Tim mentioned the decision of the Californian senate to back the TPNW. The nerve that story touched is the growing understanding that taking on the nukes is about more than dealing with the particular manifestation on your own patch, be it Trident or Dimona. It is a matter of touching the determination of people everywhere.
A warm and Scottish welcome to the visitors came from poet and novelist Jackie Kay. Although she is the non-political Scottish Makar, she said she was determined to be at the rally. She was supported by Kathy Galloway, former leader of the Iona Community, and by songsters Adam Holmes, Pauline Bradley, Penny Stone, Eileen Penman, Willie Sinclair, Sylvia McGowan, Protest in Harmony, and a zany Abba tribute from the Gareloch Horticulturalists.
There is so much more we can all do to comply with the TPNW at personal, local and national level. In Scotland’s case there is the risk that we will be satisfied with simply being against nuclear weapons and fail to explore all the routes that lie open.
See also Janet Fenton’s personal reflections on the Rally and the other events surrounding it
There was treatment of the story in the following outlets:
Print (with online versions)
Scotland on Sunday or Edinburgh Evening News? (surprisingly fair account from a usually non-sympathetic outlet)
Herald (Agenda item by Lesley Morrison)
Sunday Post (good photo account with accurate text and key quotes. The Post has one of the largest circulations in Scotland and reaches out to the Scottish diaspora)
Clydebank Post (a prep and a report – similar to Evening Express)
Westmorland Gazette (a prep plus report)
(this list is probably incomplete)
A fair number of the above used the PA report as the basis of their coverage. The PA rather missed the point about the international dimension though it had a good quote from Flavia.
We did not monitor broadcast output on the day of the event but sampling of people not in attendance shows there was some reporting. BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland interviewed Ekaterina Mikhaylenko on the morning of the rally. BBC Scotland had a pathetic online report with a picture of our stage – empty.
The Rally was live-streamed by Independence Live
Common Space had an early August piece, another prep article and made an excellent podcast with three of the international participants. It also had other minor references to the Rally and of all outlets has had the best understanding of the context.
Lochside Press (prep item)