Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner
Since our last newsletter in March 2012 TP members have been active in the UK and overseas. A brief account of these activities is given below but we begin with our immediate plans.
Coming up . .
TP is playing a full part in Action AWE (Atomic Weapons Eradication). This is a grassroots campaign of nonviolent actions dedicated to halting nuclear weapons production at the Atomic Weapons Establishment factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield. The purpose is for groups and individuals to undertake autonomous actions and events from February 2013 onwards to raise awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. A special contribution is the TP Burgfield Disarmament Camp 26th August to 7th September 2013 ( http://tinyurl.com/d7lx8h5). At a time when the UK’s WMD are regularly in the news in relation to defence cuts and the appalling costs of Trident maintenance and renewal it is vital that there is a strong focus on the factories where the warheads are developed, made and serviced.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, TP is a key member of the newly formed Scrap Trident Coalition which is organising the Scrap Trident weekend from 13th to 15th April. There will be a large Glasgow demonstration on the 13th but most of the TP effort will go into the non-violent blockade of Faslane naval base on Monday 15th. The key message behind the campaign is “let Scotland lead the way to a nuclear free world”, based on the fact that if Scotland bans Trident it will make it impossible for the UK to rehouse the nuclear weapon submarine facility and its attendant bombs store, currently at Coulport. The further hope is that this could lead to a benign “domino effect” and free the jammed process of global disarmament (scraptrident.org).
We hope that you can contribute to these events, either by your active physical presence, by spreading the word where you are, by donating some of the essential funds or just by simply registering your support in principle.
And now for last year’s story . . .
In London the indefatigable Muriel Lester affinity group visited the corporate headquarters of Lockheed Martin (global manufacturers and key contributors to the Trident system) no less than three times in the year. They handed out leaflets as well as holding a large sign saying “Lockheed bomb makers” which drew a lot of attention. This is all part of the process of unmasking all the various elements implicated in Trident-related criminal activity and of showing that nuclear weapons are as much a corporate as a state fixation.
TP members were fully involved in the celebration of Faslane Peace Camp’s thirty years birthday. Perhaps the highlight was on the 2nd July when nine activists from Faslane Peace Camp and Trident Ploughshares attempted to enter Faslane. Some were stopped just at or inside the gate but four of the activists slipped past guards and got well inside the base, hiding in shrubs and wooded areas and under sheds, eluding base police for about half an hour. The day of action was organised by TP affinity group Rise Up Singing and the previous day there was a lovely afternoon of singing and dancing. The Rise Up Singing Group paid another visit to Faslane in September for three days of music and creative resistance.
TP members Barbara Dowling and Janet Fenton were sentenced in March for painting slogans inside Dumbarton Sheriff Court following a 2010 trial when they were incensed at the court’s failure to take any account of international law in relation Trident. Barbara was given three months in prison and did time in HMP Cornton Vale. Janet was given 120 hours of community service. The whole process underlined yet again how the courts support the illegal nuclear weapon activity of the British state.
In August TP members in Scotland combined a peaceful Nagasaki die-in commemoration with a protest against the SNP plan to become a pro-NATO party (a decision confirmed later in the year). The protest attracted front page coverage. TP was been instrumental in forming the No To Nato Scotland Coalition which later morphed into the Scrap Trident Coalition.
Overseas . .
In April 8 TP members took part in the NATO GAME OVER action when over 800 European peace activists from more than 10 European countries protested NATO’s warmongering policies outside the western military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
In South Korea the navy is building a new base just 300-miles from the Chinese mainland which will become a port for U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers fitted with the missile defence systems that are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. The 400-year old Gangjeong fishing and farming village on JejuIsland is being destroyed to build the base. Endangered soft-coral reefs offshore will also be destroyed when the seabed is dredged to make it possible to bring U.S. warships into the port. The US warships will be equipped with Aegis missiles which have a missile defence capability.TP founder member Angie Zelter spent some weeks early in the year taking part in the courageous resistance to the construction. The struggle there continues. (http://savejejunow.org/)
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Download March 2013 Newsletter as Word doc