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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.