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Leicester CND
About Us

Leicester CND campaigns against both nuclear weapons and nuclear power, often  with other groups such as Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International, linking with anti-cuts campaigns and green issues.

Leicester CND meets on the second Wednesday of every month in the meeting rooms of the Bishops Street Methodist Church in the Town Hall Square in the middle of the city where they also have an office and a store. There is a quarterly newsletter and email network; an annual garden party; regular stalls on Saturday mornings at the Market Cross in Leicester.

We participate in national CND & Stop the War Coalition marches and demonstrations in London, Aldermaston, Molesworth etc. We have stalls at the Freshers’ Conferences at the University of Leicester and De Montfort University and at local festivals; we are invited to a regular (biennial) public meeting with the army in Leicestershire to raise our concerns about uranium weapons with those who use them.

Events 2015

Religions for Peace with Leicester CND is holding a seminar for UK Faith Communities in Leicester on: Progress towards a world free of Nuclear Weapons on Tuesday 26 May at 7.00 pm at Quaker Meeting House,16 Queens Road, Leicester LE2 1WP (light refreshments provided).

For decades, discussions on nuclear weapons have been dominated by the few nuclear-armed states – states that continue to stockpile and maintain over 16,000 warheads. The humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons has prompted a fundamental change in this conversation, focusing on the actual effects of the weapons. Religions for Peace believes that religious and faith-based communities have a responsibility to inform themselves and others on the issues and to take action to address an existential threat to humanity.
Register your interest by e-mailing: secretary@religionsforpeace.org.uk or call 07825-189263 .

In the run-up to the General Election we have been holding street stalls for The People’s Ballot on Trident Replacement in each of Leicester Parliamentary constituencies in March and April and took part in the election hustings at the Secular Hall on 29 March as well as writing to all local candidates.

On Saturday 11 April we held a very enjoyable AGM and public meeting on ‘The Full Costs of Trident Replacement’ followed by a free meal and an evening of Music and Poetry for Peace.

Saturday 25 April 12.30-5.30 Friends Meeting House, Queens Road, Leicester LE2 1WD Launch of Leicester CND’s book: Memories in Conflict Collective, Uncovering Resistance: Leicester and Leicestershire in World War One Event will also include food, film, poetry, performance, and contributions from Emily Johns (Peace News). Spike (Veterans for Peace poet), Cyril Pearce (Writer and researcher on Conscientious Objectors) and Alan Betteridge (expert on Leics religious history).

Garden Party Advance Announcement.
We have agreement to move the Garden Party this year from the Elms Road gardens to the Garden and ground floor of the Friends Meeting House. This involves a change of day: to Saturday 5th September – NB NOT SUNDAY. Details are under discussion, but we expect usual stalls and events (without alcohol) and stallholders, tea makers, musicians and allied groups can expect to be asked to participate, plus some new events/surprises!

Contacts: Stalls: Sue Taylor 0116 235 6822;WW1 event: Penny Walker 0116 319 9487;AGM, newsletter etc: Richard Johnson 0116 225 0133. Email: richard.johnson61@btinternet.com

Events 2014

Leicester CND has been successful in getting Heritage Lottery Funding to look at WW1 issues.
The project, entitled 'Memories in Conflict : resistance to war before, during and after WW1 explored through Leicester's memories.' was launched on 13 April at a busy drop-in workshop with poetry and personal stories, a short talk on 'popular memory' and an opportunity for people to explore their own family memories and responses to war.
Events are an important part of this project with some ‘forum theatre’ in September as part of Everybody’s Reading Week with more to follow. By early Spring 2015 we will have produced a book and an educational resource of some kind. We are still looking for people to interview with family memories or a story to tell: contact Penny on penny.memoriesinconflict@phonecoop.coop.
or phone 07414 465695; see also: www.memoriesinconflict.wordpress.com

Wool not Weapons- aproject to link Aldermaston & Burghfield with a 7 mile-long knitted peace scarf on Nagasaki Day (August 9th) - has recruited enthusiastic knitters in Leicester, helped by ‘knit ins’. The next one will be on 9th July the Seamstress statue, Market Street by City Rooms.
Post Cards to MPS and candidates. Well before the May 2015 General Election we are showering local MPs – to be followed by candidates – with postcards about Trident Replacement. These express our concern with the replacement plan, calling it ‘morally indefensible’, with ‘high initial costs at a time when severe austerity measures are being imposed’. The MPs/candidates stance on this issue ‘will weigh heavily with me when I come to vote’. Once you have filled in the postcard we will deliver them to the constituency office etc, They will be available at stalls planned for each Leicester constituency in the coming months, and on request by post to members.

Drone Watch Waddington 123 Throughout 2014 there will be a vigil at RAF Waddington near Lincoln on the 21st of every month between 1pm and 3pm.  There is a good train and bus connection. When possible we will skype young peace volunteers in Kabul from the main gate as it is Afghanistan which is being attacked from the base.
21 March was the Afghan New Year and more than 60 people joined us to fly kites as part of the traditional Afghani celebration, with a direct link not just to Kabul, but to demonstrators in other parts of the world and 21 May we danced round the Maypole. For details see Forthcoming Events
or contact Penny on 01163 199487/07414465695 email pennywalker@riseup.net .
Hiroshima Day, Wednesday 6 August  will be marked with a ‘wool not weapons’ walk from the Clock Tower to Peace Walk, beginning at 8am.

Bruce Kent’s No Faith in Trident tour came to Leicestershire in April, meeting with different Faith Groups to discuss the ethics and wisdom of nuclear weapons and especially of replacing Trident. He visited the Anglican Cathedral, Jain temple and Progressive Synagogue in Leicester, the Methodist Church in Birstall, the United Reformed Church in Loughborough and the Catholics in Coalville. We significantly failed to achieve a mosque meeting, but held a searching and successful open discussion at the Secular Hall instead.
Leicester CND committee meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the upstairs room, Methodist Church Rooms, 10A Bishops Street, Leicester.

Campaign Diary

Saturday 5 July
10.30am – 12.30pm Stall, Uppingham Road, outside Wilkinsons. Contact Richard 0116 2250133
Wednesday 9 July
12 – 2pm Wool not Weapons Knit-in and stall. Seamstress statue, Market Street by City Rooms.
Weather permitting. Contact Brenda 0116 2703070
Saturday 19 July
10.30am – 12.30pm Stall, Narborough Road, near Library. Contact Richard 0116 2250133
Monday 21 July
Drones Watch: ‘Grim Reaper’
1 – 3pm RAF Waddington, near Lincoln. Wear black or appropriate costume! Contact Penny 01163 199487
Wednesday 23 July
Leicester CND Committee meeting
7 pm. 10a Bishop Street, Leicester
Saturday 26 July
East Midlands CND Coordinating meeting
12.30 - 4 pm. 43 Cobden Road, Chesterfield S40 4TD
Saturday 2 August
Remembering World War 1 and ILP Resistance
2pm speeches at the Market. Check with Richard 0116 2250133
Wednesday 6 August
Hiroshima Day
8.00am vigil at Leicester Clock Tower, procession up New Walk, meeting at cherry tree on New Walk
3 – 5pm outside the Rolls-Royce Raynesway factory, Derby
for transport contact Richard 0116 2250133 or cndmiduk@yahoo.co.uk
Saturday 9 August
Wool against Weapons
Aldermastons to Burghfield – details to be circulated
Thursday 21 August
Drone Watch 123
1 – 3pm RAF Waddington, nr Lincoln
Sunday 7 September
Leicester CND Garden Party
Saturday 20 Septembers
East Midlands CND AGM
Derby: details to be announced
Saturday 20 September
International Day of Peace
1 – 3pm Drone Watch at RAF Waddington

Events 2013

The group raised over £1000 for campaigning and gave supporters a good time at the annual CND Garden Party in September. Like other groups in the region, it reminded our publics of the horrors of the nuclear bombing of 1945. The death of Japanese citizens was acted out at the Clock Tower at 8.15am followed by a pipe lament. The group carrying banners and headed by the piper processed up New Walk to the peace cherry tree on Peace Walk meeting a party from the Friends Meeting House. Cranes were hung on the tree and poems read. On the Tuesday after the Lincoln trial a meeting was held on ‘The Real Cost of Drone Warfare’ at a Muslim community centre in Highfields.  It was addressed by Maya Evan, Mary Dobbing (who works with Chris Cole) and Penny herself. The naming of victims in the Drones Quilt itself especially moved the Muslims attending.   

Bruce Kent’s Scrap Trident Tour of Leicester on Wednesday 17 April was a great success and hugely inspirational.  At 9.30am he joined a cheerful crowd at the Gandhi statue, before leafletting in the Town Hall Square, meeting with the Mayor, speaking at De Montfort University in the afternoon and then at a public meeting on the ‘Ethics of Nuclear Weapons’ in the evening. Next day he also spoke to students at Countesthorpe College before moving on to Derby.

Drones remain an important focus for us. Having heard Dave Webb give a talk in Leicester earlier in the year about the significance of drones as an integral part of US-led Space Wars, linked to the radar stations at Menwith & Fylingdales, we learnt that the Watchkeeper drone will continue to be made at the Thales/Elbit Scudamore Road factory. About 80 workers will remain for this when the rest of the workforce move to Crawly, due to declining orders. The factory assembles the drones and sends them to be tested as ‘flat pack’ to be tested at Aberporth in Wales. The Watchkeeper can be assembled in 15 minutes! See: Campaigns Robot Warfare

Saturday 27th April protest  march and rally at RAF Waddington: Ground the Drones.
Stop Britain being a launchpad for killer drones.
This spring, the UK will double its number of armed Reaper drones in Afghanistan and will for the first time begin operating drones over Afghanistan from the new facility at RAF Waddington near Lincoln. Over the past four years, the US has launched hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, with reliable reports showing thousands of people have been killed, including hundreds of children. In Afghanistan where the US and UK have launched over 1,500 drone strikes, it is simply not known how many people have perished in these strikes. In Gaza too, many Palestinians have been killed by Israeli drone strikes.
March from Lincoln to a rally outside the base at 2pm on Strurday 27 April. For up to date information check www.cnduk.org or www.dronecampaignnetwork.org.uk"

Events 2012

In 2012 we were excluded from our usual participation in Freshers’ Conferences, either because the fees were too high or because we were ruled ‘too political’, but instead we held two particularly successful open-air stalls at Leicester University’s main gate and next to the De Montfort Students Union. We renewed contact with a lively group of Muslim women and with journalism students and met up with Archbishop Tutu who was giving a talk on the Leicester Campus.
Mahatma Ghandi is honoured by peace campaigners as an exemplar of non-violent protest, so we felt it appropriate to start one leg of our October Peace Walk between drone sites (see below) from there and it is now one of the venues for our regular Saturday stalls (see Campaign Diary)
The Thales factory, which makes the Watchkeeper drone, seems to be having problems and is moving  much of its production to its factory in Crawley, Sussex, in July.  It says the reason for the move is because of a fall in orders for military equipment but about 80 workers are staying at the factory to continue with drones production.  Their loss of revenue may be because they are paying for the rent of the Hermes 450 from Israel which Britain is currently using in Afghanistan while it waits for the Watchkeeper to be ready for service.
Meanwhile an All Party Parliamentary Committee has been set up to look at drones amid the growing concern about them.  Let's hope it manages to clear the huge cloud of secrecy which surrounds drone use by the British military. For more information go Campaigns: Robot Warfare or visit www.droneswars.net . There is a petition about this at http:/tinyurl.com/ct8767k

On 23 November we held a ‘Vigil for Gaza’ with Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Amnesty at the Clock Tower, where we shared our anger at Israel’s disproportionate responses and disregard for Palestinian lives, distributing white Peace Poppies.

On Human Rights Day, 10 December, CND and Amnesty held a candle-lit event outside Leicester railway station, drawing attention to the 2 million deaths from 32 years of war in Afghanistan

The autumn demonstration organised by Leicester CND was an incredible walk which set off on the 8th October from the Elbit factory in Shenstone (which makes the engine for the Watchkeeper drone) to RAF Waddington near Lincoln from where the armed Reaper drone will soon be controlled.

Our 3 aims for the 90 mile, 5 county peace walk, were to walk in solidarity with those killed or harmed by drones, to protest at 3 drone sites, and to talk to lots of people in the towns and villages along the way. We did all that!

For the full report go to Campaigns: Robot Warfare. and a http://tinyurl.com/dronespeacewalk

Our demonstration on July 25th was a picnic with clear signs saying 'summer picnic - in a different country we may be attacked by drones',bringing attention to the civilian deaths and the frequency of mistaken identity with drones. We also drew the outline of a man, woman and child along a roll of paper with the words 'collateral damage'. The police put up bollards to ensure there are no parked cars to stop Thales workers seeing us on the opposite verge. We get an increasing amount of support from passing drivers, bus passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.


Leicester CND  work with other groups, linking cultural events with and local campaigning. On Tuesday 26 June we held a lively evening to promote awareness for the victims of torture in conjunction with Amnesty International and Zimbabwean Association on International Day for the Victims of Torture. Speakers included peace activist Maya Evans about taking the government to Court over Afghan detainees and members of the Zimbabwean Association speaking of torture.

Leicester Garden Party on Sunday 2 September.
Click here for photos

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Joining Leicester CND

The yearly subs are waged £5, family £7.00, unwaged £2.50. We keep subs very low hoping for donations. If at all possible we ask members to pay by Standing Order which makes our membership work much easier. The details you will need to take to your bank to start a SO:

Our bank is the Leicester branch of the Co-operative Bank
Sort code: 08-90-77
Account name: Leicester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Account no. 50120985
Once you have set up the SO please would you email to let us know: cndmiduk@yahoo.co.uk or let us know at the address below. You will only need to do this once. Thank you!
If you prefer to pay by cheque please send this to:
Membership, CND, 10A, Bishop Street, Leicester. LE1 6AF.
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