2010 DECISIVE YEAR FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Welcome to the New Year and a year which is going to bring us the best chance yet for meaningful negotiations towards reducing and ultimately abolishing nuclear weapons. In May this year the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York will provide a crucial opportunity for CND to push open the door which Obama, the first American president ever to do so, has just unlocked. Nothing, however, will happen if things are left solely to politicians. There needs to be a strong push from below and support for disarmament from people themselves. In Britain we look to CND to represent us at that Review Conference, fortified by the knowledge that they have the support of the majority of people in Britain.
President Obama accepts the Nobel Prize for Peace
Britain’s role is crucial, both because it is one of the few states to have nuclear weapons and because it has an active anti-nuclear movement.
John Loretz who chairs the US based International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War takes the view that Britain with its strong disarmament movement could be the champion among the nuclear weapons’ states to achieve a real breakthrough. There are small signs that the Government is wavering over the issue of Trident replacement. If the renewal of Trident were cancelled, not only would billions of pounds be released back into the economy but we would be delivering a strong message to the Conference that we were backing the US in its pursuit of nuclear weapons reductions.
CND’s campaigning is therefore crucial. It is engaging in the most intensive lobbying it has been involved in for years – on many fronts. Not just in preparation for the New York meeting but also for the coming general election campaign – and it needs money. Kate Hudson, our chair, is taking a year’s unpaid sabbatical from her university post, to devote her time to this work. Money is needed to produce many thousand of leaflets and postcards, information packs, lobbying material, web banners and newspaper adverts. Please consider, therefore, making a donation, large or small, to support this important campaigning.
SEND DONATIONS TO
NATIONAL CND, 162 HOLLOWAY ROAD, LONDON N7 8DQ
You can also donate online.
On 15th February, starting at 7am there will be an all-day blockade of Aldermaston AWE. It is organised by Trident Ploughshares with other groups, including CND. The aim is to stop workers entering to research, develop and manufacture nuclear weapons. Different groups will be blockading each of the seven gates of the factory and the overall aim is to highlight and oppose the production of nuclear weapons in Britain.
The central focus will be the blockade and this will involve risking arrest. However there are plenty of roles for people who do not wish to get arrest- ed. To make the action succe- ssful there is also a need to be a simple presence at the gates, holding banners, placards or flags, and engaging in a dialogue with the workers who might be held up. Legal obser- vers and gate support are also needed. Jill is going by car to the blockade on 14th February and staying overnight so as to be at the gates by 7am. Please contact her (01277 216712) if you are interested in coming.
MAYORS FOR PEACE
The Mayor of Lewisham is the second London Mayor recently to become a “Mayor for Peace”. Lewisham Council passed this resolution:
‘This Council acknowledges the current danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and recognises the achievement of Mayors for Peace in coordin- anating more than 3,000 towns and cities in 134 countries to promote the total abolition of nuclear weapons and pursue lasting peace in the world.
This Council pledges its sup- port for, and undertakes to join, the other local authorities in the UK and globally who are mem- bers of the international Mayors for Peace movement, and pledges to give an annual donation to support the work.”
What are the chances of getting the Mayor of Brentwood to sign the pledge? Anyone willing to give this a try??
GENERAL ELECTION NEWSPAPER AD
One of the main events of the Spring is going to be the General Election. CND is preparing campaigning mat- erials and we in Brentwood will hopefully be a presence on the High Street and will also be questioning the candidates’ views on Trident renewal. One other thing we can do is to run a half page or full page ad in a local newspaper. For this we shall need money so, if when you are paying your sub you would like to send a little extra, please do! We shall be in touch with you again once we know the date.
NUCLEAR POWER – AND NUCLEAR WASTE
By the year 2000 it was estimated that the nuclear industry had created 201,000 tons of highly radioactive fuel rods. Britain alone has the equivalent of three Albert Halls full. The plutonium in them will remain dangerous for up to 240,000 or 12,000 generations and require it to be isolated from every living thing and the water land and air in which they live. Here is what Ed Miliband said on revealing the sites of the ten new nuclear power stations (including Bradwell). On waste management, the government is satisfied that on the basis of scientific and international experience, effective arrangements to manage and dispose of the waste…can be put in place. What experience? That of the last 50 years in which no safe place has beenbuilt? And dispose of it? It cannot realistically be done. Either someone is lying to him or he is lying to us. If a secure place is to be built, it will take decades to build and in the meantime it will have to be kept on site at the power stations, subject to leaks and the possibility of terrorist attack.
Thanks to Southend CND for this information.
Just imagine (thanks to Private Eye) how nuclear events in Britain might be reported in Tehran:
The British leader, Ayatollah Gordoni, yesterday stepped up his plans for his country to maintain an independent nuclear deterrent capability, despite strong pressure from Iran and the increasing doubts of his own people at home.
Gordoni, however, is adamant that Britain’s nuclear missiles are there for peaceful purposes, and that Britain has no desire to threaten its neighbours. The hugely expensive nuclear programme is fast bankrupting the country.
Sunday, 17 January 10 – 5pm.
Conway Hall London CND conference – speakers Ken Livingstone and Bruce Kent.
15 – 17 January Nottingham
Peace News winter gathering
Tel 020 7278 3344 for info.
23 January 10.30 – 3.30
Conway Hall Labour CND conference – open to all
28 January Protest at the international conference on Afghanistan organised by Gordon Brown. Tel 020-7278 6694 for info.
16 February 7.30 Hinde St Methodist Church nr Bond St MANA concert for peace.
Tel: 020 8455 1030