“Nuclear weapons constitute the greatest immediate threat to the health and welfare of mankind …. no health service in any area of the world would be capable of dealing adequately with the hundreds of thousands of people seriously injured by blast, heat or radiation from even a single one-megaton bomb … Famine and diseases would be widespread …. Therefore the only approach to the treatment of the health effects of nuclear explosions is primary prevention of such explosions” World Health Organisation
Most people in Scotland hold no truck with the UK government foisting nuclear weapons on them. The MOD and the government have chosen to put them all here, in Scotland. We are given no say in the nuclear weapons policy held by succesive Westminster Governments despite the expressed views of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood.
The Scottish view is often dismissed by the main Westminster politicians and the media they control as some nimbyist and parochial minority view. However, it is they who are in the minority. The Scottish Parliament and majority of citizens share the predominate world view. Only nine countries have governments that deploy nuclear weapons, but as of December 2014, more than seventy of the non-nuclear-weapons countries have governments that have made unequivocal statements that they support, and would sign up to, a ban that would outlaw nuclear weapons completely and consign them to history for ever
So let’s protest! Let’s ensure that the general election delivers a parliament with the will and the power to reverse the decision to replace Trident. For a start.
Demonstration 4 April George Square
If you are signed up to this list, you will be committed to building the demonstration in George Square on the 4th April As well as turning up with all your mates on the day, at this stage it is all about your face book friends and also getting flyers out at any events you are attending, sticking them up in local community notice boards and take aways. Once people see the information in six different independent locations they will start to feel it could be something big.
Blockade 13 April Faslane Nuclear Base
The blockade may be less familiar for you, especially if you are one of the hundreds of first time visitors who turned up to Faslane for the demo before Christmas, so maybe that needs a bit more information here. If you are an old hand at blockading, there may be useful points that you would like to chip in, and you might want to consider training as a trainer to help provide enough training workshops.
Non Violent Direct Action is an effective (and inspiring) tool for change, just think of Rosa Parks, Gandhi’s salt march or the suffragists. Preparation and training at a workshop in advance can make sure that you have the confidence and trust in the people around you to feel safe and be effective. Most people find participating at any level is a very powerful way of expressing what we think and feel. Direct action can build our capacity and help us to become more committed campaigners. It is ironic that being carried off by four police men is the best antidote to despair that many of us know!No one needs (or should) do anything that they are unhappy with.
The plan is to put our bodies in the gateways of the base to prevent access or exit (except for emergency vehicles in the event of their being required) and thus close it down. In tha past, people have chosen many ways of doing this, from simply lying down to locking themselves together with their arms in tubes to make it harder for the police to remove us. The police have said that on this occasion if they see anyone carrying something that looks like a lock-on tube it will be confiscated, so that requires thinking about!
If you take part, you can choose not to risk getting arrested. It is good to be part of a small group, either friends you already know or people you meet at a training workshop who agree to look out for one another. Of course it is important to make the decision about whether you are willing to risk arrest, or if you would come in a support role, but there are plenty opportunities to change your mind as you become more informed or the situation changes. Given that there will be large numbers requiring physical removal and accommodation in cells, from the police point of view, it may be unlikely that they would arrest anyone without plenty of warning. This, and other aspects of the process is explored in full at the training workshop. The workshop is also somewhere to get legal advice and look at what aspects of your life or your job might be affected before you make a decision.
It is also an opportunity to work with old friends or find new ones and explore everything from blockading techniques to legal implications, practical considerations around eating and drinking (and the consequences of drinking!) decision making in a tight spot, any fears or concerns, and to gain a shared understanding of the non violence guidelines. There will be training in Glasgow on the 12th, along with sleepover accommodation, and if you can plan a training in advance you will have more time to make any lock on devices, props, banners or anything you decide when you are training that you might like to bring. If you can host a training workshop, or suggest a time and location that you think people would attend, please get in touch with scraptrident.org as soon as you can.