Protest Against Collapse of INF at Edinburgh Consulates on Monday

On Monday 4th February there will be a peaceful protest at both the Russian and US Consulates in Edinburgh to register alarm at the breakdown of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The INF is a bi-lateral treaty between the US and Russia and bans the deployment of nuclear weapons with a range of between 300 and 3400 miles. The INF was agreed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987 in a mutual recognition that land-based mobile weapon systems like the US Pershing and the Soviet SS 20 dangerously reduced the threshold for all-out nuclear war. Intermediate-range nuclear weapon systems were the main focus of disarmament movements in the 80’s, such as at Greenham Common. In the last few days both the US have said they will withdraw from the treaty, effectively causing its collapse.

Janet Fenton, of ICAN’s International Steering Group, said:

Thanks to 1980’s civil society’s heightened awareness of the terrible danger and the enormous public pressure on governments, the US and Russia agreeing the INF was effective in reducing the threat of nuclear war. The nuclear arms race we now face carries even more horrific risk in such a fluid and volatile world order, involving weak governments and non-state actors added to the political spectrum and cyber attack possible on the weapons systems. The nuclear-arms states must cease their criminally infantile brinkmanship and start real constructive talking again. Above all, this dangerous episode illustrates how vulnerable arms control measures are to political change. The only irreversible solution is elimination of nuclear weapons. Again civil society is demanding change,with prohibition and elimination as the purpose of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)1 which includes provision for nuclear armed states to disarm while addressing their security concerns.”

Michael Orgel, of Medact Scotland, said:

The suspension of the INF Treaty today heightens risks for all of us. An escalating nuclear arms race will lead us further to the brink of nuclear war by accident or design. Any medical response to a nuclear attack would be extremely limited and largely ineffective because of the complete devastation caused to roads, buildings and electricity supplies. Even if some medics could treat those not killed instantly by the immense force of the blast, they would lack the resources to provide meaningful care. Researchers estimate that more than two billion people could die of starvation in the years following even a ‘limited’ nuclear war. And just 1.5% of the world’s nuclear weapons could dim the sunlight and cause a nuclear winter resulting in the possible extinction of the human race.”

Gari Don, Director of UN House Scotland, said:

The hitherto global commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 162 is being challenged to breaking point. We have until 2 August 2019, the date the US withdrawal can be revoked, to bring back the sanity of a rules-based world order. It appears to be impossible for States Parties to achieve and maintain this, so we in civil society must do everything we possibly can to highlight the lunacy of legal anarchy. This is the time for all of us to recognise, support and deliver the momentum behind the moral rationality of the TPNW.

The protests will take place at the Russian consulate in Melville Street at 9 a.m. , and at the US consulate on Regent Terrace at 10.15 a.m.C

1 The Treaty On the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted at the UN in July 2017. It will enter into force when it has been signed and ratified by 50 member states –un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

The International Campaign to abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)icanw.org was founded in 2007 and has partner organisations in one hundred countries world wide. It was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the TPNW. Scottish partner organisations are: Scottish CND www.banthebomb.org, Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre peaceandjustice.org.uk, UN House .www.unhscotland.org.uk, MEDACT (Scotland)medact.org/project/scotland, Northern Friends Peace Boardnfpb.org.uk and Trident Ploughshares – tridentploughshares.org.

2 UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 is for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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DOOMSDAY CLOCK STILL AT TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which informs the public about risks from nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies, today maintained its “Doomsday Clock” at 2 Minutes to Midnight. In their view, as regards nuclear weapons, the abatement of the Korean crisis is balanced by dangerous posturing and the undermining of arms control measures by the nuclear-armed states.

In
her speech at the Bulletin’s press conference Sharon Squassoni of
George Washington University acknowledged the importance of the
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and said that the
nuclear-armed states will “ignore it at their peril”. Also today,
St. Lucia became the 20th state to ratify the TPNW. 70
states have already signed the Treaty, the first step in acceding to
it.

In
a statement UN House Scotland said:

“As
a partner of ICAN, we at UN House Scotland are disappointed that the
Doomsday Clock continues to place our global threat at two minutes to
midnight, as a result of world leaders failing to adequately address
the most pressing challenges facing our world today. Leaders must act
on their commitments from the Paris Agreement and the recent COP 24
in order to make significant developments in reducing the impacts of
climate change. The continued proliferation of nuclear weapons also
leaves us deeply alarmed by the certain humanitarian catastrophe
which their use, or a related accident, would present.”

Janet
Fenton, Vice-Chair of Scottish CND and ICAN Liaison in Scotland said:

This
evidence-led and meticulously researched warning comes from
scientists the world over. Elimination through the prohibition
advocated by the new UN Treaty On The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,
is the only rational answer. Scotland has made its position clear;
since 1982 from the Peace Camp, through devolution and a Scottish
Parliament that votes for nuclear disarmament to the First Minister’s
clear message to the Nobel Peace prize ceremony when ICAN won it for
it work on that treaty, “No ifs and no buts …We say no to nuclear
weapons on the River Clyde or anywhere else.” The UK could learn
and choose a safer way.”

Campaigners against nuclear weapons recognise the underlying risk that has existed consistently since the the 1950s (particularly the danger of accidental triggering). The risks are now enhanced by the irresponsible and erratic behaviour by leaders of the nuclear-armed states, by the compliance of other nuclear-endorsing countries, by the increased fragility of arms control measures, and by the threat of increased conflict provoked by climate breakdown.

Scottish ICAN Partners are Scottish CND, Medact, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Trident Ploughshares, Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland. UN House Scotland

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Scottish ICAN Round Table – January 2019

The first Scottish Round Table discussion of 2019 was hosted by one of the partners, Scottish CND. The round table is not a coalition like Scrap Trident or the Scottish Peace Network. It is an opportunity for ICAN Partner Organisations here to communicate what they are doing with each other, and to support their autonomous activities. We can thus encourage campaigners, politicians and citizens to read and promote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The meeting is open to anyone committed to working with ICAN in Scotland. Please encourage anyone you know that may be interested in attending to contact hello@nuclearban.scot

Minute of Scottish Round Table – 8th January 2019 – 3:00pm

Present: Isobel Lindsay – Chair (SCND), Emma Cockburn – Minute
(SCND), David Mackenzie (Trident Ploughshares), Duncan MacIntyre (MEDACT), Gina
Langton (80,000 Voices), Brian Quail (SCND), Sean Morris (Nuclear Free Local
Authorities/Mayors for Peace), David French (SCND), Vicki Elson
(Nuclearban.us), Tim Wallis (Nuclearban.us), Rebecca Johnson (Acronym),
Elizabeth Minor (Article 36), Lesley Morrison (MEDACT), David Peutherer (SCND),
Steve Davies (SCND), Jean Anderson (SCND), Gari Donn (UN House Scotland),
Kenneth McNeil (SCND), Janet Fenton (ICAN/SCND).

Apologies: Jill Saunderson, Guy Johnson, David Mumford, Edinburgh
CND, Michael Orgel, John Page, Edinburgh Yes Hub, Gareloch Horticulturists and
Northern Peace Board.

Chair welcomes everyone to the meeting

INTERNATIONAL ICAN

Tim Wallis with Vicki Elson reports from the Trident base in Washington where a similar action to that at Faslane took place, parts of the TPNW were read to the commander of the base. Tim and Vicki bring examples of their work with colleges and towns and speak of their business pledge. Vicki discusses her work at Yale University with sights on Stanford University next. Positive news from the US as last year they were told that no member of Congress would sign the Parliamentary Pledge and last week they got their fifth signature. Tim will circulate draft legislation that a state senator has brought to their legal team to be submitted on 18th January 2019. Tim notes that campaigns are working tirelessly with success in Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota and California.  Vicki mentions the Candidates Pledge they are working on and within two days of launching they had 30 to 40 candidates signing, this is similar to the Parliamentary Pledge. This will be spread on national scale in advance of the 2020 elections.

SCOTTISH ICAN PARTNERS

SCOTTISH CND – Janet Fenton discusses the success of the Nae Nukes Anywhere March and Rally organised by Scottish CND on the 22nd September 2018 and the meetings that occurred alongside. These meetings have led to a number of developments in future ICAN work in Scotland. Scottish CND is the secretariat of the Nuclear Disarmament Cross Party Group and work hard to ensure the TPNW is high on the agenda in the Scottish Parliament along with the upcoming NPT review. Janet notes that it is critical to ensure that the TPNW has a place in any discussions around nuclear disarmament. Also noted that SCND are preparing a response to the House of Lords inquiry and will encourage other ICAN partners in Scotland to do the same by 18th January 2019.

TRIDENT PLOUGHSHARES – David Mackenzie notes that Trident Ploughshares have a focus on the NPT in May and have also prepared a submission to the House of Lords inquiry. Trident Ploughshares have a number of things planning in the coming months and urge ICAN Partners in Scotland to share and respond when they come up. David also notes that with the NPT review and the ‘New Cold War’ that groups in Scotland should be ready to respond should there a crisis out of the current belligerent attitudes. Noted that the NPT negotiations will take place in April/May 2020 and the review will take place in April/May 2019.

MEDACT – Lesley Morrison notes that MEDACT were involved in the Nae Nukes Anywhere March and Rally at Faslane in September 2018 and had their AGM the previous night. Lesley notes that this demonstration reinvigorated the nuclear focus of MEDACT with members able to see Faslane with their own eyes. The Scottish group is very active and is taking the lead in the UK. Some MEDACT members are also part of Don’t Bank on the Bomb and are very keen to further discuss the paper by Linda Pearson “Stop Funding the End of the World”. Duncan MacIntyre notes that since the demonstration at Faslane in September 2018 MEDACT have gained new younger members who see the link between climate change and nuclear weapons.

UN HOUSE SCOTLAND – Gari Donn notes that UN House have been connecting with enthusiastic young people to gather parliamentarian details including councillors and MPs to draw attention to the key issues. UN House also hope to work with others including Scottish CND to find a way to integrate different visions of what security and peace means.

NUCLEAR FREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES – Sean Morris notes NFLA had a meeting on international peace day in Clydebank and have been part of the ICAN Cities appeal with the success of Renfrewshire Council being the first council in Scotland to officially support the TPNW. NFLA Scotland are now focusing on Edinburgh City Council and Glasgow City Council, they aim to have the support of another five to ten councils in the next twelve months. Sean spoke through the democratic process to getting the resolution passed. NFLA had a meeting in Kilmarnock where DBOTB was mentioned and it was noted at that meeting that council investments are connected, while one council may want to divest, support from connected councils is required, there are 16 councils in Scotland which are not part of NFLA. NFLA would like to connect with DBOTB to move forward with this. 9th January 2019 NFLA will be in the Scottish Parliament at a debate on Hunterston. Noted that NFLA will also have a response to the House of Lords inquiry.

MAYORS FOR PEACE – Sean Morris notes that there will be a UK wide meeting will be in Manchester that will focus on the ICAN cities appeal with a range of speakers. Janet Fenton mentions that ICAN Partners in Scotland could use the work UN House Scotland have done with representative spreadsheets by interns for the ICAN Cities Appeal to follow up.

WILPF SCOTLAND – Janet Fenton notes that WILPF UK and WILPF Scotland will have a response to the House of Lords inquiry and there have been meetings in Scotland with a new meeting in Glasgow which is supportive of Reaching Critical Will and wants to utilise the lobbying training and developing it into having a particular focus for Scotland to lobby for the TPNW at Strathclyde University.

DON’T BANK ON THE BOMB SCOTLAND – Message from Michael Orgel noted that Linda Pearson’s report “Stop Funding the End of the World” has been an invaluable resource by bringing the international DBOTB campaign into Scotland. Duncan MacIntyre also noted that there is a particular focus on Strathclyde Pension Fund and Scottish Parliament Pension Funds. Guy, Michael and Linda have submitted articles to Peace News and other outlets. DBOTB have also been invited to the NFLA meeting in mid-February to speak.

OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK TOGETHER

Janet Fenton underlines the Trident Ploughshares position that ICAN partners in Scotland should be very closely in touch in case of an event requiring a fast reaction. Partners should collaborate and be active in case of: an accident with a convoy, the international situation deteriorating or in the case of a significant step forward in mutual aggression. Lesley Morrison from MEDACT notes that ICAN Partners should use every opportunity to get press coverage and that there should be more work done in the Scottish Parliament with legislation to underline their commitment to nuclear disarmament. Rebecca Johnson of Acronym notes that work in schools is vital and she has taken the medal into schools where the children have been making the link between climate change and nuclear weapons. Vicki Elson notes that in the USA there have been workshops in schools to have children write to companies involved in their schools e.g. Honeywell and asking them to divest.

Isobel Lindsay of Scottish CND mentions that NATO’s 70th anniversary will fall on 4th April 2019 and this should be used to highlight the nuclear weapons issue. Rebecca Johnson notes that the official ICAN position is neither for nor against NATO but ICAN intends to make it clear that NATO members can and should be signing the TPNW. This means removing the nuclear component of that alliance and coming into line with the TPNW. Joining the TPNW requires denuclearising and it does not mean getting out of the alliance.

Trident Ploughshares have volunteered to host the next meeting, ICAN Scottish Liaison, Janet Fenton, will pass information to David Mackenzie. Agreed to use the polling system to decide date in late March.

Isobel Lindsay, chair, brings the meeting to a close.

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122 States Confirm Support for UN Nuke Ban Treaty

Last July 122 states voted at the UN to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). On 1st November they re-affirmed their support for the Treaty by voting in favour a new resolution in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly welcoming the adoption of the Treaty and calling upon all states to join it. This vote demonstrates once again the overwhelming and continuing international support for this treaty in the face of strong opposition from the nuclear-armed states.

The “Big Five” nuclear-armed states (US, Russia, China, France and the UK) claim that the TPNW is dangerous and undermines the Nuclear Non-ProlIferation Treaty. It doesn’t. It is in fact the necessary mechanism for advancing Article V1 of the NPT, the obligation of the nuclear-armed states to make progress in good faith towards disarmament. Indeed, back in the 60s the US was strongly critical of the Irish proposal to introduce the NPT, which it now declares to be the true path to disarmament.

The Treaty itself continues to make good progress with 69 signatures and 19 ratifications with another 20 or so in the pipeline.

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Alarm as UK Backs US Move to Ditch Key Nuclear Weapon Treaty

Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners have reacted with anger and alarm at UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s unequivocal backing for the US intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

The INF is a bi-lateral treaty between the US and Russia and bans the deployment of nuclear weapons with a range of between 300 and 3400 miles. The INF was agreed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987 in mutual recognition that weapon systems like the US Pershing and the Soviet SS 20 dangerously reduced the threshold for all-out nuclear war. Intermediate-range nuclear weapon systems were the main focus of disarmament movements in the 80’s, such as Greenham Common.

Bill Kidd MSP, Chair of the Scottish parliament’s Cross Party group on Nuclear Disarmament, said:

If the US President wants to make a long term impact he should be looking to be seen as a World leader and taking the opportunity to make ‘deals’ which build peace as with the Gorbachev/Reagan accord in 1987.”

Chair of Scottish CND Arthur West said:

The US administration under the dangerous and erratic Donald Trump, urged on by the maverick John Bolton, is inflaming nuclear confrontation by this unilateral move. What is even more sickening is the way the UK comes immediately to heel behind its transatlantic master. How can Gavin Williamson even pretend to speak for Scotland when there is clear evidence that the majority of politicians and the public reject nuclear weapons?
This is why there now seems to be growing support for Scotland to disentangle itself from a state that does not seem to have any aspirations to create  a more peaceful world .”

Janet Fenton, ICAN’s liaison in Scotland, said:

This move also underlines just how dishonest the UK and US are when they talk about multilateral disarmament. They don’t believe in it. They will not sign up to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. They block progress on the NPT. Instead of sitting down with Russia for honest face-to-face talks about the INF they indulge in aggressive posturing instead. “

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The Money That Makes The Bomb – From Wellington to Edinburgh

Today, International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, campaigners in Edinburgh joined people all over the world to draw attention to a large international bank that invests hugely in the production of nuclear weapons.

BNP Paribas is a French international banking group. It is the world’s 8th largest bank by total assets, and currently operates with a presence in 77 countries, including Scotland. Though BNP Paribas has a policy restricting investment in companies associated with the production of nuclear weapons, it has provided US$8 billion in financing to 16 nuclear weapons producing companies in just over 4 years.

Today a group of campaigners representing Scottish organisations which are partners with the Nobel Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), went this morning to the Edinburgh address given on the company’s website to engage staff in conversation about the problem, only to find an empty suite of rooms and a scar where a plaque had been.

Linda Pearson, author of Stop Funding the End of the World, a guide to nuclear weapons divestment in Scotland and member of the Scottish Don’t Bank on The Bomb group said:

Eight of the nuclear weapons companies financed by BNP Paribas produce key components for Britain’s nuclear weapons programme so it’s important that people in Scotland who oppose Trident target the bank today. The action is part of a growing global nuclear weapons divestment movement. Everyone in Scotland can play a role by contacting their bank and pension fund and encouraging them to adopt policies that prohibit nuclear weapons investments. If we can persuade enough financial institutions to divest, we can force companies to stop producing weapons which are indiscriminate, immoral and illegal.”

Janet Fenton, ICAN’s Scottish liaison, said:

Today ICAN is focussing on BNP Paribas everywhere. Global financial institutions are learning that the new UN Treat on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) 1 makes divestment from nuclear weapons the safest financial option, and following an inspiring international rally at Faslane on Saturday, it’s clear that Scots have plenty of support in their abhorrence of these uncontrollable, insane and indiscriminate status symbols whether they are delivered by May, Trump, Putin or anyone else. Responsible financial institutions can find safer and more profitable choices.”

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Citizen Monitors Put UK WMD Base on Notice

Citizen Monitors Put UK WMD Base on Notice

Today an international group of citizen monitors visited Faslane naval base on the Clyde estuary to advice its operators that their activity is prohibited under international law as confirmed by the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)1.

Vicki Elson, Anthony Donovan, Janet Fenton, Sylvia Boyes and Timmon Wallis were acting as a small delegation from the hundreds of people who attended the NAE NUKES Rally at Faslane on Saturday last (22nd September). Visiting the North Gate of the nuclear weapon base they met with the Duty Naval Officer to advise him that the work being carried out there for the UK’s WMD arsenal is unlawful. They also handed him a copy of the TPNW and a copy of Timmon Wallis’ book The Truth about Trident. The Duty Officer promised to hand these items to the base commander, Commodore Donald Doull. They then left signs saying “Prohibited” at both main gates to the base.

Anthony Donovan described the exchange:

“When the police arrived, the activists were told the base was closed today.   They mentioned that there were three people that traveled a long way to speak with Commander of the base Donald Doull.   All four of us wished to share a copy of The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.    The police phoned in, high in doubt.    There was several minutes of waiting for reply.    Although the Commander was away from the base, the Duty Naval Base Officer agreed to come out to meet.   They talked, and listened about the Treaty, and the my documentary and Tim’s book, took copies of all, and thanked them, assuring he would pass them on. “

Under the auspices of the new Treaty similar citizen monitoring inspections have already taken place in other nuclear-armed states and in countries hosting US nuclear weapons.

Janet Fenton said:

Those employed at Faslane on Trident and Trident-related work should be made aware of the Treaty and the impact it is already having worldwide. The Treaty is shifting nukes ever more clearly into the category of pariah weapons, along with chemical weaponry and landmines, on account of their horrendous effects on human life. Staff also need also to realise that Trident’s jacket is now on a really shoogly nail. At the NAE NUKES Rally on Saturday international disarmers from Russia, Israel, the US, Germany, The Netherlands and Japan commended us for our resistance to nuclear weapons and pointed out that we can play a key role in making the UK the first nuclear armed state to comply with the Treaty. That is a challenge to all Scots.”

Timmon Wallis 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.”

1The TPNW was adopted by overwhelming vote at the UN on 7th July 2017 and has already achieved 60 state signatures and 15 ratifications and will enter into force when signed and ratified by 50 UN member states. It is seen as a game-changer for global nuclear disarmament and follows the pattern of other significant treaties outlawing particular weaponry, such as chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions, that have given them pariah status.

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NAE NUKES takes over Faslane gateway

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 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.

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MAKAR TO WELCOME INTERNATIONAL DISARMERS TO FASLANE

Scottish Makar Jackie Kay will give the Scottish welcome to the international disarmament campaigners who will address the NAE NUKES ANYWHERE Rally at Faslane on Saturday, 22nd September, in a celebration of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

The welcome will be shared with Kathy Galloway. Kathy, the first woman to be elected as leader of the Iona Community was a key player in the Scottish Constitutional Convention and is known for her ability to embed the values of peace in civil society contexts. Also on stage will be Scottish musicians, including Adam Holmes, Pauline Bradley and Bobby Nicolson. The core of the Rally will be addresses by advocates for the TPNW from the US, Russia, Iran, The Netherlands, Israel, and Germany.

Janet Fenton, chair of Scottish CND, which has organised the rally said:

Kathy and Jackie are women of foresight, integrity and compassion. In their different spheres they articulate our aspirations for a Scotland that can contribute to peace and justice everywhere. Jackie is not only a poet of eloquence and our chosen Scottish Makar, she is an internationalist who knows and understands our culture. We are very pleased that they will welcome these amazing international visitors who have all campaigned in their own countries. Representing SCND and others in Scotland, I have worked with our visitors in meetings and conferences in many places, eventually at the United Nations in Geneva and New York, and all of us share the same goal. They are coming here to support us.

Anthony Donovan, a writer, organiser and documentary maker from New York said:

I was deeply moved by the Scottish contingent in NYC last year helping to get the Ban Treaty adopted. When I learned that all of the UK’s nuclear arsenal was in your land against the will of the majority, I wanted to support in any way possible the brave, courageous, wise leaders that each of you are. Instead of clicking another “like” on FB, I hoped to say a profound thank you personally. Greatly honored to be here with you.”

The TPNW was adopted by overwhelming vote at the UN on 7th July 2017 and has already achieved 59 state signatures and 14 ratifications (most recently New Zealand) and will enter into force when signed and ratified by 50 UN member states. It is seen as a game-changer for global nuclear disarmament and follows the pattern of other significant treaties outlawing particular weaponry, such as chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions, which have given them pariah status.

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Boost for Faslane NAE NUKES ANYWHERE Rally as California backs UN Nuke Ban Treaty

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

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