Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:53
Lib Dems re-open Trident debate
The future of Trident is back in the spotlight after former Lib Dem Defence Minister Nick Harvey said at a conference fringe meeting "all sorts of alternatives" to Trident looked credible. These are set to be revealed in the Trident Alternatives Review now being led by Danny Alexander. CND's Kate Hudson blogged for Lib Dem Voice ahead of the conference, while The Guardian says "hats off" for "taking Trident out of the political freezer".
Kate Hudson: An opportunity to direct the debate
Guardian Editorial: A well-made argument in a necessary debate
Labour set to discuss Trident
CND is hosting a high-profile Cut Trident fringe meeting at Labour Party Conference on Monday 1st October where we will be joined by representatives
from Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff and the party's executive committee.
An official report to the conference says the party will formally discuss Trident next year, when the Trident Alternatives Review reports, as Kate Hudson explains.
Kate Hudson: Labour's Trident Policy is a Cold War Relic
Disarming Trident report launched
CND has this week launched Disarming Trident, as reported in The Guardian, as a practical guide to de-activating and dismantling the Trident nuclear weapon system.
Coinciding with the party conference season, we hope it will be a useful tool for political activists explaining how Britain can step down the nuclear ladder to complete disarmament. You can read the full briefing yourself on the national CND website.
Disarming Trident report
A new war in the Middle East? Is a nuclear weapon-free zone possible?
CND International Conference
Building towards a nuclear weapons-free Middle East:
Civil society input for a new Helsinki process
Saturday 13th October 2012
UCL, 30 Guildford Street, London WC1
With speakers including: Ambassador Pekka Huhtaniemi of Finland, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Leanne Wood AM and experts and activists from Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain
In December of this year, Finland will host a conference in Helsinki on behalf of the United Nations, with the goal of making progress towards a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.
The initiative is led by Finnish Minister Jaakko Laajava who has called for civil society input to the conference. To support this important development, CND is calling an international conference, drawing together anti-nuclear activists from Britain and the Middle East to discuss input and raise the profile of the crucial issue.
More info and advance registration go to CND website.
This event is part of CND's National Conference – 13th/14th October for which we have not yet got any delegates. If you are interested in going please contact me asap as we are already out of time but a phone call received from Nat office would suggest they would accept a late booking. Reasonable expenses would be paid.
Letter writing campaign
This month please write to your MP. asking her/him to support this initiative and to urge the Foreign Secretary to do so at the Helsinki conference.
A conference on a WMD-free zone in the Middle East was suggested at the 2010 NPT review conference. In December Finland will host the conference on
behalf of the United Nations in Helsinki. We should promote support for this under-reported project now, as an alternative to disastrous military
Some points you could make:
- Such a zone would not only be a huge step towards nuclear disarmament. It would be a brilliant example of diplomatic, non-violent solutions in a
- tinderbox of international conflict.
- It would also be a powerful precedent for non-military foreign policy.
- Despite the highly dangerous risk of war in the region, with incalculable consequences, this alternative to military a_ction is little discussed,
- while the 'need' to attack Iran is often repeated.
- Tell her/him that expert international speakers will discuss this vital issue at CND's public International Conference Building towards a nuclear
- weapons-free Middle East: civil society input for a new Helsinki process in London on Saturday 13th October and suggest that they consider attending.
Our visit to RAF Waddington on 23rd Sept went very well. We joined Helen John at her caravan on the A15 Sleaford Road opposite the base. We displayed our banners along the roadside and decorated the fence. There will be a Drones Week of action from 6th to 13th Oct. During this time a group of activists will walk from various drones sites finishing at RAF Waddington on the 13th.
Chris Cole from the Drones Network will be the speaker at our AGM on Nov 21st.
Next meeting: 17th October 7-30 QMH
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 19:00
WHAT CUTS? MOD PLOUGHS £5BN INTO ATOMIC WEAPONS ESTABLISHMENT
The Ministry of Defence has announced spending of £5 billion at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire.
This means that AWE Management Limited, which is a joint venture consisting of Lockheed Martin, Serco and Jacobs Engineering Group, will receive £1bn a year for the next five years.
This is the second time in six months that the MoD has announced spending on AWE, which develops and maintains the nuclear warheads for Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.
In November 2011 an extra £2bn spending was announced to pay for new facilities for warhead assembly/disassembly and high-explosives testing, among other projects.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stated: ‘At a time of massive spending cuts to vital public services, it is disgraceful that the government keeps ploughing money into a redundant Cold War weapons system. The government isn’t listening to over 60% of the British public who want to see Trident scrapped. A decision on whether or not to replace Trident is not due in Parliament until 2016. But the scale of spending on nuclear weapons, which we are frequently reassured is simply routine investment, suggests that the MoD is trying to force Parliament’s hand by making Trident replacement a fait accompli. This is unacceptable, shadowy decision-making which is economically unjustifiable, strategically wrongheaded and morally bankrupt. And worst of all they’re paying for it out of the pockets of people who oppose it.’
NO TO NATO
A NATO summit will be held in Chicago on 20/21st May The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance of the USA, Canada, the UK and other states, set up after the Second World War to oppose the USSR. The ‘Communist Bloc’ disintegrated twenty years ago, but NATO lives on, a dangerous Cold War dinosaur.
On the occasion of NATO’s Summit Meeting, we should protest against NATO’s Strategic Plan and against UK membership of this aggressive alliance….
NATO is recruiting new member states year by year, encircling Russia, threatening Iran and even China. Finland and Sweden are being courted, so as to control the resources opening up in the melting Arctic. There is talk of Israel joining. NATO now accounts for 75% of global military spending and seeks to control the world in the economic interests of the USA and other rich states.
War-prone and worldwide: NATO’s founding mission is ‘defence’ of the North Atlantic region. So why is it sponsored by the UN to fight an aggressive war in Afghanistan? Why does it need a Rapid Deployment force capable of despatching fighting units worldwide within days?
Militarizing the European Union:
NATO wants an increasingly militarized European Union as its ‘strategic partner’. Predicting ‘cyber wars’, it foresees greater ‘military-civilian co-operation’ in the name of ‘counter-insurgency’, further threatening our civil liberties.
Under NATO’s ‘nuclear sharing’ agreement, US nuclear warheads are stationed in European member states. It is NATO policy that strategic nuclear weapons, including the UK’s Trident system, be retained and modernized. The USA is going ahead with its new-model ‘missile defence’ antiballistic space shield, despite popular resistance to its installations. We should say ‘No to NATO’ for all these reasons. Email David Cammeron now!
The Natural History Museum will host the official Farnborough Reception in the Museum on July 9th. Arms dealers will enjoy cocktails in the shadow of the museums famous Diplodocus. The organisers say the reception is ‘THE most important event during the Farnborough week exclusively attended by senior level figures, international delegations & exhibitors – a must attend unparalleled networking opportunity’. In 2010 international delegates included Libya, Bahrain, Algeria, China & Saudi Arabia. Government officials guided buyers from Libya round the fair – 7 months later the UK was condemning the country for the murder of civilian protesters & preparing for missile strikes. Ask the museum not to support the promotion of arms sales – email or write to the Museums Director today!
We have invited the Lord Mayor to attend our Hiroshima Commemoration outside the Town Hall on Aug 6th and our Nagasaki Peace Picnic in Meersbrook Park on Aug 12th. We hope to produce a selection of poems & writings for the picnic so put pen to paper & send your work to Kath. Please put these dates in your Diary and support us on the day. We need much more practical help for all the upcoming events.
We have stalls booked at Peace in the Park and The Green Fair
Menwith Hill July 4th – Book your place on our coach now!
Waddington – Sept 23rd Picnic at the base. Let Kath know if you would like to join us so that transport can be arranged
Dates for your Diary
June 9th – Peace in the Park
June 30th – Green Fair
July 4th – Menwith Hill
Aug 6th – Hiroshima Day
Aug 12th – Nagasaki Picnic
Sept 23rd – Waddington
Contacts: Secretary - Kath Cripps 2680726
Treasurer: Stewart Kemp - 89, Rustlings Road, Sheffield S11 7AB
Next meeting June 20th QMH 7-30pm
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:45
ACT NOW TO CREATE A WMD-FREE ZONE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
This is the message from supporters of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who will this weekend chair the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee in Vienna.
Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, will deliver personalised messages from CND supporters to Ambassador Woolcott, calling on the conference to take 'concrete action' towards a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East, and make further progress on global disarmament. In 2010, 189 countries voted at the NPT Review Conference for steps to be taken towards implementing a WMDFZ in the Middle East. The result was the scheduling of a landmark conference, convened by Finland, to take place in late 2012. This conference aims to bring to the table all states in the Middle East in order to start face-to-face negotiations towards outlawing nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East.
'The vision of a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East can only be realised through a combined approach of constructive debate and concrete action,' said Kate Hudson. 'The timing is critical. Tensions in the Middle East have heightened amidst speculation over Iran's nuclear ambitions, and this has not been helped by aggressive rhetoric.'
'Meanwhile, nuclear weapons states are ignoring their own disarmament obligations and are ploughing ahead with replacing and modernising their nuclear arsenals. This only serves to encourage further proliferation and make the world a more dangerous place.' 'WMD-Free Zones have been implemented in other areas of the world such as South America and Africa, and there is currently no more crucial region for this to come about than the Middle East. We must act now or consign future generations to a lifetime of insecurity.'
LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
A NATO Summit will be held in Chicago on 20-21 May. The G8 Summit, with which it was intended to coincide, has been moved to the high-security venue Camp David because extensive protest demonstrations are expected - the plans for policing are alarming. The agenda will include an explicit discussion of nuclear deterrence for the first time since the end of the Cold War as well as missile 'defence' and the Middle East. See details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Chicago_Summit.
There are several issues we can usefully raise in our letters this month:
- In today's world, NATO must review its objectives in the light of the UK 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which prescribed moving on from
- Cold War thinking. The Lisbon Summit statement "as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear power" needs revising; it prevents progress towards the disarmament required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Articles I & II) and its hypocrisy feeds the proliferation which the UK and NATO claim to deplore.
- Sharing our nuclear technology with other states directly contravenes the NPT. The US tactical nuclear weapons which remain in Europe - Belgium,
- Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey - against the wishes of some of the "host" countries, should be removed.
- Trident, militarily useless, should be scrapped instead of being replaced at immeasurable cost.
- Discussions of the Middle East should concentrate on negotiations for a WMD-Free Zone in the area, which the 2010 NPT Review Conference has taken
- steps to pursue, and which has been overwhelmingly voted for by the UN General Assembly since 1974.
- Please write to Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA. Email via http://www.number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us
- using the link (though a letter may get more attention). Please send a copy to your MP.
Kath has copies of the new report. We will be visiting on the 4th July
After our successful visit to Waddington on April 1st we have decided to go again on Sept 23rd to commemorate UN International Day of Peace. This will be a Peace Picnic hopefully with some entertainment. Please put the date in your diary now and if you can contribute some music or poetry etc please contact Kath.
Next Meeting May 16th QMH 7-30
Monday, 02 April 2012 21:40
On 1st April, groups from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Leicester and Nottingham demonstrated our opposition to and raise awareness of the new reaper drones (unmanned aerial aircraft) which are to be based at RAF Waddington. The Reaper Drone, as it’s name implies, is an attack drone. By mid- 2012 there will be 44 Reaper crews operating 3 UK Reapers flying 24/7. In April 2011 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced it had completed 20,000 operational flying hours over Afghanistan. In September it had carried out the 200th British drone strike. It is very hard to get information about Drones and their activities as the UK MoD says this information must be kept secret, but in July 2011 the MoD confirmed that in March 2011 a British Reaper had mistakenly killed 4 Afghan civilians and injured 2 others. It is estimated that hundreds of civilians have been killed in the 200 drone strikes. This must not continue. For more information go to http://dronecampaignnetwork.org.uk/
where you will find a draft letter to send to your MP.
The Budget announcements have underlined the skewed priorities of the government.
While public services are being dismantled the government refuses to discuss the £100bn+ it is committing to maintaining and replacing Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system. At CND’s Budget Day Demonstration MPs from Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party signed a statement arguing for Trident to be cut and personalised their own CND placards.
Activists dressed in nurses' scrubs, academic gowns and mortar boards and firefighters uniforms and bore the weight of a huge nuclear missile to show the burden of Trident on public sector workers.
1. CUT TRIDENT BALLPOOL
Following the Budget day protests, Nat CND launched an interactive webgame which allows users to explore just how many cuts could be spared if Trident was axed.
The Cut Trident Ballpool webgame uses innovative graphic representation of public spending cuts in an HTML5 physical environment: pull the cuts out of the Trident submarine and see just what could be saved.
Dip into the ballpool at: http://www.cnduk.org/cuttrident
NB: This webpage is HTML5 and therefore only works in HTML5 compatible browsers, e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer 9 (for IE9 you must have Windows 7 or Vista).
Menwith Hill Report
At our March meeting Dr Steve Schofield presented his report Lifting the Lid on Menwith Hill. This is the first report of it’s kind to investigate the role of Menwith Hill since the European Parliament resolved that the electronic surveillance breaches the European convention of Human Rights in 2001. It sheds light on the work of the US base which is run by the National Security Agency under an informal and secretive lease agreement with the UK government. Important questions are raised within the report regarding the bases accountability to Parliament. Copies of the report are available and more information can be found online at www.yorkshirecnd.org.uk
Letter Writing Campaign
In South Korea the navy is constructing a massive naval base for aircraft carriers, submarines & destroyers with ballistic missile launchers on Jeju Island, a UNESCO heritage site & biosphere reserve. The base is "motivated by the United States' urge to encircle China with its Aegis anti-ballistic system – something China has called a dangerous provocation." (onearth magazine) 94% of the island's population fiercely oppose the base, and police have brutally intimidated protesters.
Though news of all this has been suppressed, since the Jeju International Peace Conference in February where CND’s Chair Dave Webb and Angie Zelter (Trident Ploughshares) spoke, wider support for the protest is increasing. With preliminary work on the base already starting we should do all we can to call an immediate halt to this dangerous project.
Please sign the petition at http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_jeju_island/?fMOXjbb&pv=28 and find more information at:
Please write to President Lee Myung-bak, c/o The South Korean Embassy, 60 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ.
Some possible points:
- The opposition of 94% of the population of Jeju has been brutally suppressed, violating their human rights.
- A UNESCO heritage site is being destroyed.
- United States use of this base will increase tension with China, with ensuing regional & global military insecurity.
It is important to increase public awareness of this issue so please write to your MP with your concerns and, if at all possible, inform the local press. You might say that we should not support such developments which counter a foreign policy that seeks a non-military solution to international affairs and enables moves to disarmament.
May 7th - May Day in Chesterfield
June 9th - Peace in the Park
June 30th - Green Fair
July 4th Menwith Hill
Contacts: Secretary - Kath Cripps Phone 0114 2680726 email address
Treasurer - Stewart Kemp - 89, Rustlings Road, Sheffield S11 7AB
Next Meeting: April 18th 7-30 at QMH
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 20:59
This year conference was held in Bradford and this meant a better representation of the northern branches. Sheffield were there proudly representing you with five attendees: 3 delegates, one observer and one individual member. On Saturday morning the AGM took place with elections to officer posts and the council members ballot. In the afternoon policy debates on Trident and in the afternoon policy debates continued on Anglo French Agreement, Nuclear Power & Radioactive waste, NATO & Libya, Missile Defence & militarisation of space, Missile ‘defence’ in North East Asia, India, Pakistan, and the CTBT, Peace in the middle East, Criminality of Nuclear Weapons, and CND campaigning. A list of policy resolutions adopted and election results are available on the CND website.
On Sunday around 70 conference delegates and supporters joined together at Menwith Hill for a Day of Action. This included a demonstration, peace picnic and walk around part of the base to view the radomes. CND Chair Dave Webb handed in a letter to the RAF Base Commander (whose role is 'to provide advice to the US Base Commander' there). Anne Lee, a long-time dedicated and knowledgeable activist against the base, told how the different areas of the base were used. On many occasions she has managed to break into the base and gather useful information about its secret workings.
Nuclear Power Post Fukushima
Those of you who had the good fortune to attend the panel on this subject held during the national Green party Conference in Sheffield (8-12 September) of which Sheffield CND was joint organiser – will know that there was a fierce debate with Prof. Neil Hyatt who teaches about nuclear waste management at Sheffield University. Professor Hyatt has since made the very positive move to invite CND and Green Party members to attend his lectures on the subject. These would be held on 21st November. Please get in touch with David Garlovsky at
who has agreed to liaise. An evening event is also suggested.
Peace and Craft Fair
We will be having a stall as usual at this event in the Town Hall on Nov 12th from 10-30 to 4pm. If you can spare some time to help on the stall that would be very welcome.
November 19th Quaker meeting House 2pm to 6pm. We are holding an event to commemorate 30 years since the founding of the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common. Helen John has been invited to tell us of her recollections of Greenham and tell us about the camp now being established at RAF Waddington to protest against the use of drones - unmanned aerial vehicles. Bring along anything you would like putting on the fence at Waddington as we hope in the future to arrange to visit the camp there. Cynthia Cockburn, feminist academic working on Gender & Anti Militarism has also been invited.
We have changed our usual AGM meeting date from November to January this year when we hope to have a Scottish CND member to talk to us about the implications of Scotland’s anti nuclear policy. The probable date will be Jan 18th. However your membership (still only £6/£8) renewal will still be due from November's meeting please send to Stewart Kemp or bring along to the meeting.
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