Disarmament campaigners looking forward to the NAE NUKES Rally at Faslane naval base on 22nd September are much encouraged by the news that California has voted to back the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
California, with a population of over 37 million, is the largest state in the US. On 29th August the State Legislature passed a resolution that calls on the United States federal government “to embrace the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, make nuclear disarmament the centerpiece of national security policy, and spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war. “
The similarities with Scotland are obvious. In both cases there is marked opposition from population and legislature to the parent government’s nuclear weapon policy. Every member of the Scottish government has signed the ICAN parliamentary pledge in support of the Treaty.
Bill Kidd MSP said:
“There are those who will sneer at the Californian and Holyrood votes as mere gesture politics but the TPNW is giving to all of us more power to turn our homes, our cities and our lands into environments hostile to nuclear aggression, and to fatally undermine the spurious claims of the UK and the US that they are operating with a democratic mandate. As things stand we in Scotland cannot become a party to the TPNW but there are lots of ways in which we can align ourselves to the Treaty. The NAE NUKES rally will be a fine opportunity to mark our determination to do so.”
Timmon Wallis, of the US Treaty Compliance Campaign , who will speak at the rally, said:
“We don’t have to wait for the UK, the US or the other nuclear armed states to decide it’s time to get rid of these unacceptable weapons. The new treaty gives us a legal framework to get rid of these weapons OURSELVES! We can decide to comply with this treaty as individuals, as organizations, as faith communities, as universities, hospitals, businesses, cities and other political entities. And by doing so, we can begin to dismantle the nuclear war machine piece by piece, as the companies which make and maintain these weapons, and the people who work in these companies, begin to realise that they can no longer do so without moral, legal and financial consequences…”
Speaking at the Rally will be international campaigners 1from the Netherlands, the US, Iran, Russia, Israel and South Korea. They will also feature in a programme of public meetings in the days before and after the rally.
1 Sharon Dolev (Israel), Founding director of the Israeli Disarmament Movement,
Ekatrina Earsalovna (Russia), Professor of International Relation, Ural Federal University, Anthony Donovan, writer, organiser and documentary maker on peace and disarmament from New York, Emad Kiyaei (Iran), a consultant who provides political, business and civil society leaders with strategic advice in the intersection of political risk, diplomacy and technology, Maaike Beenes (The Netherlands), a young campaigner with PAX in the Netherlands, Members of the People’s Democratic Party (South Korea) who visited Scotland last year as part of their Peace Expedition, Allison Pytlak (Reaching Crtical Will), who was awarded, along with Ray Acheson, the UN Women’s Champion for Change status this year for her advocacy in the campaign for the TPNW and Timmon Wallis (United States), of the US Treaty Compliance Campaign