Campaign Update – Spring 2018

Not only is 2018 is a very special year for our movement as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, it is also the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, a milestone in global attempts to get rid of nuclear weapons. On 23rd April representatives from almost all states, including the UK, met in Geneva to discuss the future of the Treaty. CND joined the ICAN team at a Campaigners meeting and found that many countries are ready to sign up to the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

Parliamentary CND has launched EDM 1122 calling on the UK Government to inject new life into the NPT process and make real progress towards a world without nuclear weapons – please ask your MP to sign this important EDM.

But the events of the last few months have demonstrated ever more urgently how close we are to nuclear catastrophe. The recent airstrikes on Syria by the US, UK and France conducted before due consideration of evidence are in defiance of international law. Kate Hudson said: “They will only increase the likelihood of this terrible conflict spilling over into the wider Middle East and potentially beyond that….. We also condemn Theresa May’s decision to bypass parliament which demonstrates a contempt for the necessary democratic process. She has also disregarded public opinion in launching these strikes; polls indicate that only 22% of the population support this bombing campaign. CND works for the prevention and cessation of wars in which nuclear weapons may be used and there can be no clearer example of such a situation than that which we are currently facing. Diplomatic and political solutions must be sought. Nuclear escalation poses consequences too terrible to contemplate.” So our campaigning must also be focused on the Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty which opens the door to the total elimination on nuclear weapons.

Nationally CND has arranged an extensive programme of events to celebrate and commemorate six decades of campaigning, activism and our never faltering dedication! All the local CND groups in the East Midlands are putting on special events to mark the anniversary and promote our work for peaceful solutions. EMCND organised a coach from the region to the event at Aldermaston to mark the 60th anniversary with the huge iconic symbol now touring the country on its first public display.



Leicester CND have organised an exhibition called ‘The Art of Protest, 40 years of campaigning for peace by people in Leicester illustrated through the work of local artist Anna Cheetham.’ It ran from February 28th until March 13th and will now be held in the local Records Office. As well as acknowledging the peace work of local people over the years it also presents the issues in a way to educate and inspire others – nuclear weapons, war, refugees, drones, the law etc.
Concerned that young people are growing up in a society that glorifies violence and in which violence is shown as the only way to resolve conflict as is evident on television, in film, through video games and by the Government’s use of military force, they have drawn up an anti militarisation charter to be launched in Leicester on International Conscientious Objectors’ Day on 15th May 2018. They have already had some success in their campaign in that the City council have stipulated that the army must not let children under the age of enlistment handle guns and that they give due notice of their presence. They will also be at the Riverside Festival in June.

Derby CND have worked closely with a group of local progressive individuals and organisations to organise a Peace Week in Derby with musical and spoken word events, debates and workshops promoting peace and social justice from April 23 – 28th  . The messages which brought a diverse group of campaigners together were: ‘Build homes not bombs; Say no to racism; Welcome refugees; Invest in renewable not nuclear  weapons’ Exceptionally well attended events saw Derbyshire folk standing against the forces leading to nuclear war, against injustice and persecution, as part of the wider movement to promote greater understanding and acceptance of all people. The huge commemorative CND symbol was installed outside the Multi-Faith Centre for the 25th Fair Trade lunch and concert and an important debate was held: ‘From Trident to What? Defence, Jobs and Diversification’ with Chris Williamson, Hilary Wainwright and Dave Webb. The finale was a concert featuring Martin Simpson at St Peter’s Church Centre.
On Saturday June 23rd there will also be the Derby People’s Festival ‘The Silk Mill Turn Out’ in which CND will join the march & rally for the future of our NHS, Education, Jobs and Homes. Derby CND are also planning a protest bike ride from the Rolls Royce factory in Derby (where Trident Nuclear Submarines  motive power is made) to Alveston on the 7th of July and from the 3rd to the 30th August there will be an exhibition of paintings by the survivors of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki & Hiroshima entitled ‘Now more than Ever’

Chesterfield CND  will again take part in the traditional May Day Gala & Rally on Monday 7 May carrying the CND banner on the march round town and with a stall with the other peace groups who form part of PropeaceChesterfield.  The huge ’60th’ commemorative CND installation will outside the iconic Crooked Spire Church on 13th September to coincide with Well Dressings in the town. The PropeaceChesterfield exhibition about local Conscientious Objectors continues to tour local libraries and schools & there will be a celebratory event in the summer. A White Poppy wreath, in memory of all the victims of war, will be laid at the war memorial attended by a representative of the Council and accompanied by the Clarion choir on ,PeaceOneDay 21st September. CND have also been invited to lay a wreath at the Unitarian Church on 11th November to commemorate the ‘collateral damage’ of war.

Nottingham CND:  In February a public meeting was arranged by Stop the War Coalition on ‘Why we need an Anti War Government’. Speakers included Chris Williamson MP Derby North, Maz Saleem, Stop the War Coalition & Professor Paul Rogers, Bradford University.  March the 60th anniversary was marked either outside the Council House with singers, banner, stall etc. And in March Kate Hudson addressed a meeting about her book which provides detailed coverage of the inside story of six decades of CND. As well as the regular street stalls they plan more joint activities with like minded organisations and are planning to have a week for peace from the 15th to 21st September to mark 60 years since the formation of CND and 100 years since the end of World War 1 which was supposed to be the war to end all wars!!.

Northhampton: A new group has just been created and has set up a CND facebook page  and is planning a programme of some initial events and activities including supporting 60th anniversary of CND and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Let’s be part of building a more peaceful world and move away from the default position of a military first response.

A decade and a half of ceaseless wars – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen – have brought the world to the utmost point of danger where nuclear armed states are hurtling towards confrontation, not least in the case of Korea. People everywhere are crying out for a new approach to international peace. The crises of our times demand a paradigm shift in thinking about security, countering ‘deterrence’ with a common security approach.
The notion of ‘deterrence’ is based on fear, suspicion and an obsession with the threat from ‘potential adversaries’ Today, mutually assured destruction has transmuted into a search for predominance beyond challenge, an absolute security through Full Spectrum Dominance. Nuclear weapons it is claimed are a necessary ‘insurance’ against an ‘aggressive Russia’ or a ’mad North Korea’.  But security cannot be achieved by making others insecure. Nations hold security in common & the common security approach commits states to joint survival rather than a threat of mutual destruction and annihilation. This year, the 11th of the 11th 2018, marks the centenary of The Declaration of World Peace. Among the many significant anniversaries this year this is one we should try to mark by making it the date when our Government agrees to join the rest of the world by signing up to the Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

President Trump wants to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal, opening the door to nuclear proliferation and military conflict. This is a tragic misuse of power. The world faces enormous existential global challenges, like climate change negotiation. It removed the prospect of war and nuclear weapons development and replaced it with cooperation and the possibility of real constructive engagement. Rather than seeing this as a model for future engagement, as a way forward for solving complex problems like that of the Korean peninsula, Trump is on the path to war.: this is the time for states to work together, to cooperate, not to take unilateral, confrontational actions that risk reducing our planet to a radioactive wasteland.
The Iranian nuclear deal was a remarkable achievement which shows just what can be achieved through painstaking diplomacy. Protest & Survive!