Newsletter Number 1, Speed the plough


International Groups
B-52 Bomber Publicly Disarmed
TP2000 News
David MacKenzie on the Coulport Weekend (10-12 April 1998)
Progress report on the Dialogue and Negotiation Team
September Launch of the 4th Trident submarine HMS Vengeance
Local group visits police station
Scottish Churches Against Trident
Changes to the Core Group
British government disarms Trident?
The August Disarmament Camp (11-25 August)
– What to bring to Camp
– How to get to Camp
May 2: Reports on Launch
London, England
Edinburgh, Scotland
Gent/Brussels, Belgium
Hiroshima, Japan
Gothenburg, Sweden
11th August Opening ceremony, 4pm, at Faslane, North Gate.
11th August Mass Demo at Faslane, Opening ceremony, 4pm, North Gate.
How to Help TP2000
What You Can Do
Wants List

Welcome …

to the first occasional newsletter from the Trident Ploughshares 2000 campaign! We now have over 600 supporters on our database and 71 people, so far, have signed both the Prevention of Nuclear Crime Pledge and the Nonviolence and Safety Pledge and are part of a trained affinity group. There are at least four more trainings underway, so we hope that by July 11th (the cut-off date for TP2000 Pledgers for the August actions) we will have over 100 global citizens ready for disarmament action.

We hope to bring you regular “updates” on the lists of Pledgers and their affinity groups. We will also publish updated lists of supporting organisations and ’celebrities’. We have decided that there should be a forum for lengthier discussion than is possible in a newsletter, over various organisational structures for the long-term health and vigour of the project. Hence we have set up an e-mail discussion board. If you wish to be part of this then please contact us at our email address (

In this first issue we will bring you a “round up” of news about the launch on 2nd May 1998 and also introduce the affinity groups, both in the UK and abroad.

International Groups

On the international front there are now support groups in Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, India, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the USA working to get organisations and Parliamentarians in their countries to sign the Petition of Support and also getting affinity groups formed. There are leaflets in Swedish and various materials in German, with French translations on the way. It is good to have a link-up with their anti-nuclear resistance work. At present there are three Swedish affinity groups and one Belgian affinity group.

B-52 Bomber Publicly Disarmed

On Sunday 17 May, five US Christian peace activists entered a Pentagon Air Show at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, DC, and made their way to a B-52 bomber on display.

As hundreds of people – who’d come for a family day out – looked on, the five “Gods of Metal Plowshares” activists proceeded to throw blood over the plane, hammer its bomb-bay doors and fuselage, and unfurl banners.

Eventually, military and civilian police placed the five disarming activists face down on the tarmac, handcuffed them and took them into custody.

They were released the next day, and have been charged with a misdemeanour charge (max one year in prison) – “wilful injury to government property”.

A trial date has been set for 22 September.

Messages of support to: Sr Carol Gilbert, Sr Ardeth Platte, Fr Frank Cordaro, Larry Morlan, Kathy Shields Boylan, c/o Jonah House, 1301 Moreland, Baltimore, MD 21216, USA (+1 410 233 6238 or 323 7200; email

Reports on TP2000 Launch

LONDON, England
It was a windy day in London Town where approximately 40 people attended the launch. There were representatives from five affinity groups: The Woodwoses (Norfolk); Pips for Peace (Sussex); Venus’ Birds (London); Adomnan of Iona (Scotland) and the Aldermaston Women. There was a considerable, but not hostile, police presence.

Speaking from the platform were Angie Zelter, Matthew Pelling (Treasurer, National CND) and Rupert Ticehurst (Barrister and Lecturer in Law at Kings College, London.) who gave an enlightening talk about Trident and Nuclear Law clearly demonstrating the illegality of the British Trident programme.

This was followed by a moving speech by Simon, a young man who had been an engineer on a nuclear submarine. He spoke about the strong personal commitment that the submariners were expected to make, to the idea of Trident as a “nuclear deterrent and protector of people”.

He said that TP2000 activists should not expect the military to understand what Ploughshares was trying to achieve, nevertheless, they should ’look them in the eye’ and carefully explain the purpose of the Ploughshares Campaign.

There followed an inspiring dialogue between Peter Lanyon (Woodwoses) and the ex-mariner during which Peter spoke about his own military service in Scotland and the misguided military ideals which can be so seductive to young people.

Some problems were encountered when the strong wind prevented 3 abseilers from completely unfurling the 90 foot TP2000 Banner from Westminster Bridge. In spite of this disappointment, there was much hilarity as the abseilers engaged in acrobatics to try to get all the words on the banner to appear at the same time and then struggled to rescue the banner as the wind dragged it under the bridge!

The launch went well, nevertheless, and inspired all present to carry on with hope, towards the next stage of the campaign.


That “small groups and quiet processes” are the seeds of transforming events was clear on that sunny Saturday at the Mound, in Edinburgh, when 50 people gathered to declare why they will non-violently disarm, or will support the disarmers who have committed themselves to try to “take apart Trident”.

Representatives were present from the following affinity groups: Adomnan of Iona, Gareloch Horticulturists, Glasgow Peace Artists and the Woodwoses. Members of the Edinburgh Womens’ Drummers created an uplifting stir, and in the words of Margaret Bremner (Gareloch Horticulturists), “refused to be silent in the face of the violence of Trident”. Maxwell Craig, the General Secretary of Action of Churches Together in Scotland, and a member of the TP2000 Dialogue and Negotiation Team, pointed out that the overwhelming majority of the people of Scotland (87%) want to be rid of Trident, and the Scottish Churches have been campaigning collectively against Trident since 1988.

Members of the Adomnan of Iona Affinity Group said that the time has come for committed individuals to “put their bodies where their mouths are” and to highlight the will of the British people (62% – Nuclear Free Zones’ opinion poll).

Adomnan was the first churchman (a seventh century monk and biographer of Columba) to speak out for the rights of women and children in war.

When he realised that an injustice was happening, he rang a large bell, whereupon unfortunate things happened to the perpetrators of the injustice!

Members of Gareloch Horticulturists spoke of their gardening activities on the Gareloch, the planting of potatoes, flowers, and a whole garden overlooking Faslane. The Glasgow Peace Artists Affinity Group reminded everyone that while this new government has “multilateral nuclear disarmament” as one of its election planks, it recently voted against a multilateral motion at the United Nations!

The Adomnan of Iona group produced a beautiful banner, with all the then 62 pledgers’ names in colour.


On the afternoon of 4 May, the Forum voor Vredesaktie (War Resisters International Flanders) and Voor Moeder Aarde (For Mother Earth) called on their members to actively participate in the direct disarmament of Trident, and also to disarm other NATO nuclear weapons at a later stage.

“The demand for nuclear disarmament is not only driven by moral objections, but is also a legal obligation. Ploughshares actions aim to implement the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and to put into effect the wish of a majority of the world’s population for nuclear disarmament”, stated Eloi Glorieux from Forum Vredesaktie, at the news conference.

For Mother Earth (FME) activist and member of the TP2000 affinity group Titanic Trident, Pol D’Huyvetter, who had just returned from Geneva where he attended the Preparatory Conference of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, declared,

“For us as concerned citizens there is no other way but to start nuclear disarmament ourselves. By dismantling the NATO nuclear weapons systems ourselves we implement what our governments promised but failed to do.”

FME activist and Titanic Trident member, Krista van Velzen, said that,

“If the politicians continue to avoid taking their responsibilities seriously, and succumb instead to the interests of the military-industrial complex, then it is up to ordinary citizens to start nuclear disarmament. Our ultimate goal is the total dismantling of all nuclear weapons systems, a goal we wish to achieve in a strictly nonviolent manner.”

Peace camp and walk

FME and Titanic Trident are now organising an International Peace Camp in Brussels (3-11 July 1998) and a major walk (12 July – 9 August 1998) from the NATO HQ in Brussels to arrive at Faslane for our August Disarmament Camp. Participants will walk an average of 25km a day, six days a week and should be prepared to walk in all kinds of weather. A vegetarian/vegan mobile kitchen will travel with the walkers.

In the UK the walk is organised in co-operation with London region CND, Scottish CND and Greater Manchester CND. Supporters can register for all, or part of the walk; the walk starts at the Peace Camp near NATO HQ Brussels on 12 July and will arrive in Dover on the night of 16 July to start the English part of the walk. It will then proceed to Aldermaston (19 July), where the nuclear warheads are produced, to Derby, the location of a nuclear submarine construction site. From Manchester, which is a nuclear-free city, the walk will continue to Inskip, where a Trident related communications and intelligence post is located. Then through Sellafield (29 July) to reach the Scottish border where it will follow the Nuclear transport route to Faslane, to arrive at the action camp there on 9 August 1998.

To register for the walk, please contact : For Mother Earth, Gewad 15, 9000 Gent, Brussels, Belgium (tel +32-9-2334924/2338439; fax +32-9-2337302; email


TP2000 supporters in Japan held a Press Conference on 2 May where the launch of the campaign was featured on the national page of the Mainichi newspaper and was also covered in many other local papers. To follow this up, Ploughshares activists, Anja and Satomi, are planning a programme of lectures, video showings and concerts from July onwards, leading up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki days. We will bring you more news of them in our next issue.


The campaign was launched officially on 2 May with a public meeting in Gothenburg and a press release to the media. There was also a meeting held with the British Consul to explain why Swedish people are prepared to go to Scotland to disarm Trident.

There are three affinity groups in Sweden with a total of 11 activists and many more are involved in different kinds of support.

One of the affinity groups is called Corpus Christi, which is the name of an American Trident submarine. In the Bible, Corpus Christi, the body of Christ, is a name for the people of God.

As a Christian ploughshares group Corpus Christi is reclaiming the name. Their special focus is to make the campaign known in the churches and to get support from them.

David MacKenzie on the Coulport Weekend (10-12 April 1998)
’Georgina’s Field’ ….. I took the term ’field’ rather literally and in prospect had a picture of a flat green field, knee high in grass and ragwort and sodden with April rains. I could imagine us Affinity Group representatives and Core Group members huddling miserably in dripping tents. Why couldn’t we, I thought, simply spend the weekend in a community hall somewhere?

Well, it wasn’t a field, it was a delightful secretive wood where bluebells in thousands were gathering for the May parade and the morning sun glowed through the delicate fans of new birch leaves, dangling round the early fire-smoke like Chinese lanterns. The site had been well prepared at considerable effort and we got down to the business of sharing our common commitment and thinking ahead.

The diversity among the twenty or so folk gathered there was very rich (campfire singing on Saturday night was in five languages) and I found the identity of purpose in the middle of all this variety thought-provoking and moving. A highlight was the session in which the different Affinity Groups gave their history, characteristics and ambitions.

A session with lawyer Angela Mullane on Scots law and its unpredictable practice was illuminating. Being at Coulport also meant that the visible reminders of the reason for our action were all around us, from the Mordor-like scale and deadly purpose of the installations themselves to the unsubtle surveillance of the MOD police.

As a result the whole impression of the weekend on me was to give me a deeper understanding that we were involved in a serious enterprise to which more and more people were committing themselves with real intent.

Progress report on the Dialogue and Negotiation Team

“Believe that change is possible”.

“Believe that change is possible.” It is on this basis of hope that government policy not only can change but will be changed by the will of the people, that the negotiating team was formed. They are a committed team of 12 people, some of whom have particular expertise in government defence policy, international law, local authority and nuclear free zones campaigns.

In their initial letter explaining their position they urged the government to live up to its election manifesto by taking significant steps towards disarming Trident now. The letter lays out all the justifications under international law for their actions, detailing the threat Trident presents to the world, and giving clear criteria for the government to respond to in order for them to call off the action. Copies of this letter and the criteria are available from the TP2000 office.

The letter requests a meeting with people in authority to discuss the steps towards disarming Trident.

Copies were sent to the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for Defence, the Commander of the Base at Faslane, the Lord Advocate, and the Lord Chief Justice.

So far the response has been minimal. A polite, official letter from the Prime Minister’s office noting that the letter had been received, and that they did not want a meeting as they intend to retain Trident.

Where next?

The team have sent off copies of the letter to about 70 MPs known to be sympathetic, asking them to urge a meeting. The Scottish Church leaders are putting together a statement to send to the government, not directly linked to TP2000 but raising the question of Trident.

A further letter has been sent to Robin Cook and to George Robertson pressing the urgency of a meeting, and the team are ready to respond to the Defence Review when it is made public.

As part of the launch on May 2nd and as demonstration of open accountability a further letter was sent to Blair with the names of the 62 people then pledged.

The TP2000 negotiating team believes that it is vitally important to dialogue with government, so would ask supporters to write to their MPs asking why no meeting has yet been arranged and asking them to sign the petitions of support. Petition forms are available from the office.

September Launch of the 4th Trident Submarine HMS Vengeance

It is expected that the fourth UK Trident submarine – aptly named Vengeance – will be launched at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in Cumbria sometime in September, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed (it was going to be 22 August). Cumbria and North Lancashire CND have already started planning for the event with a public meeting on the eve of the launch and a colourful and noisy demonstration on the bridge opposite the building where Vengeance will appear and the glorification ceremony will take place.

CND will be asking them what message this event sends to India and Pakistan and all those gathered at the Conference on Disarmament.

CND are calling for physical support in Barrow at the launch, and messages of support if you can’t be with them.

Overnight accommodation is being organised in/around Friends Meeting House’s in the area.

CND, 162 Holloway Road, London N7 8DQ (tel 0171 700 2393; fax 700 2357; email

Local Group Visits Police Station

On Wednesday 24 June, members of the Woodwoses affinity group went to Norwich police station to inform Chief Constable Kenneth Williams of their intentions to accountably and peacefully disarm Trident.

They weren’t able to see the Chief Constable but did get to see an Inspector Fowler, who admitted that he’d already seen the video and read the handbook.

The group said that he should either arrest them there and then – if he thought they were conspiring to commit a crime – or should support and help them – if he agreed that they were planning to prevent a crime.

The Inspector signed a document saying that he had talked with the group.

The Woodwoses all agreed that it was a very worthwhile venture and would strengthen their defences in any future court cases.

For further details: Woodwoses, c/o 42-46 Bethel St, Norwich, NR2 1NR.

Scottish Churches Against Trident

In 1986 all the Scottish Churches united in signing what became known as the “Balmoral Letter”, which was sent to the Queen and all MPs pointing out the immorality of nuclear weapons.

In 1988 a great procession of 300 leading clergy signed a declaration against nuclear weapons. On 5 May 1998 the Justice, Peace, Social and Moral Issues Commission of A.C.T.S. (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) held a special study day on “The Illegality of Trident”.

The meeting was addressed by John Ainslie, Secretary of Scottish CND and Lord Murray, recently retired as a leading Scottish judge, who is strongly in support of the World Court Project.

Somehow it seemed to give even more strength to the churches’ opposition, to have the legal system as well as moral law behind them.

A further strong statement against Trident will be made by the Scottish Churches this summer.

Changes to the Core Group

The Core Group has had to say goodbye to Tracy Hart who is too unwell to continue working for us. Thanks to her for her support, work and willingness to take the risks of conspiracy charges so early on in the campaign, when we had no idea how the ’authorities’ would react.

We now have three new members of the Core Group and welcome them. They are Morag and David from Scotland and Rachel from England.

The full list is now : Morag Balfour, Sylvia Boyes, David Mackenzie, Ellen Moxley, Brian Quail, Rachel Wenham, Helen Steven, Ian Thomson and Angie Zelter.

British Government Disarms Trident?

The British government has unofficially announced that it is probably going to officially announce that it is going to roughly halve the number of nuclear warheads carried on its Trident submarines. Each nuclear submarine might soon(ish) carry approximately only 48 warheads instead of the currently alleged – but never confirmed or denied – 96.

Whether this is a cynical window-dressing and cost-cutting exercise to prolong its own nuclear longevity or represents a genuine window-dressing and cost-cutting move remains to be seen.

The Ministry of “Defence” is unofficially decidedly unhappy about these alleged Foreign Office pacifist panderings. If the cuts go ahead, Britain will only be able to unleash the equivalent of 1152 Hiroshima bombs upon its enemies instead of the hitherto-planned 2304.

This vulnerable act of disarmament will still leave Britain with three times the nuclear firepower it enjoyed at the height of the Cold War.

Britain’s fourth and final Trident submarine – HMS Vengeance – is due to be launched sometime in September. It will join three nuclear siblings – Vigilant, Vanguard and Victorious.

Reprinted from Peace News, July 1998

The August Disarmament Camp (11-25 August)

Camp address: TP2000 Camp, next to phone box on Shore Rd, Peaton Glen Wood, Ardpeaton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland (Public) phone box number is 01436 850220.

The camp at Georgina’s wood is in the final stages of planning. The structures are well under way with Tams carpentry handiwork and marquees and an office caravan being borrowed for the fortnight’s duration.

A group of TP2000 supporters have volunteered to set the camp up so all will be in place for TP2000ers to “move in” from 9th August. It would be good for us to get to know each other before the 11th August Demo.

At the camp will be an information and initial welcoming tent for activists and people visiting the camp. Volunteers are needed to person this probably on a rota basis, also volunteers (non arrestable!) are needed to engage in police liaison and to person the First Aid tent. If you are a first aider please let us know now or when you come to the camp – so we can come to you for help in the event of a nasty occurrence.

Because of the running costs of the ’office’ i.e. continual press releases/liaison, hiring a telephone line for arrest notification etc, transport and other expenses (too long a list to bore you with!) there is to be a sliding scale of donations to the camp so pay as you can.

Visitors will be asked to sign an acknowledgement form of their understanding of NVDA and respect for the request not to take illegal drugs and alcohol whilst staying at the camp.

WHAT TO BRING TO CAMP (this may seem a bit obvious but…..!)

Camping gear, tents, sleeping bags – make yourself as luxuriously comfy as possible, if you can please bring extra tat for other campers comfort as well.

Plates, cutlery, and don’t forget that special mug.

Books, games, toys, your teddy bear…..

Toiletries – loo roll, etc.

Cooking gear, saucepans, frying pans, woks, chef ……

(Bumblebee will be cooking communally for those groups that wish – at roughly £1.50 per meal.)

First aid box, though there is to be a first aid tent please be as self sufficient as possible.

Musical instruments – most important.

Swimming gear.

Action gear.

Midge repellent – the midges are (I’m sincerely assured) an absolute nightmare. Bring vats of the stuff to prevent yourself being on the 24 hour midge cafe menu!

Legal Support Number throughout the camp: 01899 850 302 (H) or 850 228 (W);

BY BUS: the bus leaves from the stop opposite Helensburgh Railway Station and from opposite Faslane Peace Camp every hour during the day. It takes about 45 minutes from Helensburgh, passing Faslane Peace Camp, through Garelochhead and then right around the Rosneath penninsula. Ask the driver to drop you off at the phone box at Ardpeaton, where you will find the TP2000 Disarmament Camp… Welcome… Kettle’s on…

BY CAR: Take the A82 to Dumbarton and then the A814 to Helensburgh. Continue through Rhu, at the first roundabout (Faslane North Gate) turn right. Go straight through the next two roundabouts. At the next roundabout (Coulport Main Gate) turn left. After about a mile you will find the camp site on the left next to the telephone box.

11th August Mass Demo at Faslane, Opening ceremony, 4pm, North Gate.

“With my hammer I’ll break the chains – I will not remain in silence; I will stand and I will defend my right to fight against violence…”

The commander of Faslane and Coulport Naval Bases has been cordially invited to meet with TP2000 representatives to discuss his ceasing the criminal operations being carried out under his charge. If he declines this invitation to engage in negotiations then we shall go forward to demonstrate our protest with the opening ceremony.

Taking part and making the opening ceremony a beautiful and empowering event will be SHE BOOM! – the Scottish all woman drummers – and Theo & Shannon – the writers of the Hammer Song (quoted above). Leon Rosselson, protest songwriter, will be singing too. A travelling concert pianist will be bringing her piano on a truck!

A wonderful symbolic enactment of the quote “beat Swords into Ploughshares” will be hammered out by blacksmith Jo Butler. During the ceremony Jo will change a metal model of a Trident Sub into a peace symbol! Jo has also offered to be there for several days to change any offensive implements into symbols of peace or things for peaceful usage.

There are other symbolic actions in the pipeline so bring along your ideas, invite all your friends, banners and voices.

Legal Support Number throughout the camp: 01899 850 302 (H) or 850 228 (W);

Camp address: TP2000 Camp, next to phone box on Shore Road, Peaton Glen Wood, Ardpeaton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland”

There is a (Public)’phone box on Shore Road, the number is 01436 850 220.

What You Can Do…

Continue to write to MPs, MEPs to ask for their help and support. Ask them what is their position on the Trident programme.

Find out the fax and E-Mail numbers for your local press and other publications that we can put on the press release list. Please send these asap to the TP2000 office.

Publicise around your local area – leaflets, petition forms, info, videos, badges etc are available from the TP2000 office or email

Write to anybody asking for support – famous people, celebrities, rock/pop groups, friends, organisations. You never know who would support an anti-nuclear action if only they knew about it. The more names the better.

If you think of anything do it and tell us so we can try it as well!

Songbook compilation: send words of singable short songs for a book for August.

TP2000 Wouldn’t it be great if we had a….

Wants List

This is not a definitive list, if you think of something useful, please bring it along to lend for the 2 weeks or donate for long term use. Don’t bring precious family heirlooms or things that you will spend all your time worrying about, or things that will be a struggle to bring and you’ll wonder why you bothered if they don’t get used ’cos who knows exactly what will be needed on the day. This list is to get you thinking… the large tent/marquee is the desperate need…

There will be a temporary office at the camp but equipment is also needed for the permanent office (in Norwich at the moment)

First Aid Equipment
Large Marquees, Spare Tents, Tarpaulins etc.
Ropes to hold up Tarps
General Camping Equipment
Dried/tinned food
Bolt Croppers
Cold Chisels
Angle Grinders
Computer (486 or better with enough memory to run Eudora e-mail package
and be reasonably fast)
56K Modem for computer
Printer for computer
Telephone Answering Machine
And finally donations towards funds are always needed!

Thank you for your support.