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Towards a nuclear-free future:
building change from the grass roots

Thank you to everyone who came to our annual conference in Bristol and contributed to the discussion of how we rid the world of nuclear weapons amid increasing global threats and an unstable political situation. Check back soon for a report and photographs from the weekend, and feel free to get in touch with any feedback.


CND AGM & Policy Conference

Saturday 20th October

Our AGM and policy conference, on the Saturday, is where members decide our overall direction for the coming year, so we urge as many groups and members as possible to come along, contribute to the discussion, and vote as you see fit!

The AGM & Policy Conference will include elections for Officers and directly elected Council members. The review of campaigning activities and finances will be taken at the AGM.

Following on from the AGM on Saturday morning and into the afternoon, there will be policy and strategy debates centred on motions submitted by groups and members. There will be an evening drinks reception at the end of conference.

Agenda

9.30am, Registration opens

10.30, AGM & Policy Conference

10.35 Conference opens with AGM
Welcome from Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire

10.45, Steering Committee Report

10.50, Elections: Hustings for officer posts

11.15, Campaigns presentation and questions

11.50, Tea break

12.10pm. Treasurer’s report and questions

12.40, Auditors

12.45, Fundraising Appeal

End of AGM

1.15, Close of ballot for officer election and directly-elected places; Close of ballot for emergency resolutions

1.40, CND Conference policy debates

3.15, Afternoon break

3.30 Conference re-opens, policy debates continued

4.45, Announcement of Officer election and Council direct-election results

4.55, Chair’s closing remarks

5.00, Close of conference

5.30-6.30, Evening reception


Public conference

Sunday 21st October

Our public conference on the Sunday will include a series of workshops and plenaries focusing on grass roots activity for peace, as well as a peace history walk.

We will be working with the local group Remembering the Real World War 1 to understand the reality of war in this centenary year, as well as paying tribute to conscientious objectors.

The day will be an opportunity to learn from past and present campaigning techniques, in discussion with other activists, while we look to our future work.

If you’d like to register in advance for Sunday’s open conference, you can do so for free at Eventbrite. But it’s not required – feel free to turn up on the day!

Agenda

10.00am Registration

10.30 Welcome: Molly Scott Cato, SW MEP

10.35 Opening Plenary: Protest and resist: Lessons from history

Speakers:

  • Lois Bibbings, Professor of Law, Gender & History at University of Bristol
  • Colin Thomas, local writer and filmmaker

The plenary, “Refusing to Kill”, will link the responses to World War 1 of Walter Ayles and Harry Patch. Walter Ayles, Bristol’s most prominent opponent of WW1, told his court-martial that ‘Slaughter Was No Remedy‘ before he was imprisoned as a conscientious objector; Harry Patch (who helped build the Wills Memorial Building), the last surviving soldier to have fought in the WW1 trenches, said that ‘war was organised murder‘. This talk, illustrated with video, photographs and re-enactment will map the wartime context in terms of recruitment, conscription and conscientious objection and tell their stories.

Also in the plenary, “Taking a Holiday” will be performed. This is an Otherstory puppet show about resistance to WW1, focusing on conscientious objectors. Based on historical research, the story starts in Bristol and ends in New York. (Please note that the puppet show will take place in another part of the building and entrance cannot be guaranteed due to limited space)

12.30pm Lunch

1.30 Workshops

  1. Building change from the roots up

Speakers:

  • Kim Holroyd, Hereford CND Peace Council,
  • Janet Fenton, Scottish CND
  • Jacqui Burk, Greater Manchester & District CND
  • Ellie Kinney, Youth and Student CND

Join local groups, regions and specialist sections to hear about their recent innovative campaign activities including Hereford CND Peace Council’s ‘Peace Train’ action , Scottish CND, Manchester CND and Youth and Student CND as well as a chance to share your own experiences.

  1. Winning the defence diversification argument

Speakers:

  • Molly Scott Cato (SW Green MEP)
  • Alex Kempshall (Trade Union Liaison Officer, Bristol CND)
  • Alison Allan (Labour Party activist)

This session will provide an overview of the defence diversification argument in the Trade Unions and what we can do to create support within them. A local Labour Party activist will share their story of pushing for defence diversification action within the local and national agenda of the Labour Party. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West will discuss green employment alternatives.

  1. Nuclear power: Challenging Hinkley Point and the nuclear solution to climate change

Speakers:

  • Dr Ian Fairlie, independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment
  • Brian Jones, CND Cymru
  • Allan Jeffery, Assistant Co-ordinator Stop Hinkley

Dr Ian Fairlie will discuss whether nuclear energy is the answer to climate change. CND Cymru will share details of the Hinkley Mud campaign to halt the disposal of mud from Hinkley Point into Cardiff Bay as well as Stop Hinkley discussing their campaigning activity and what our focus should be next.

  1. Non Violent Direct Action: Strategies and stories

This workshop is an introduction to Non-Violent Direct Action blockading skills. Be inspired by testimonies from experienced activists. Get to grips with the skills of working in teams, decision-making, mutual support, Legal Observing, and safety. Practice using common blockading equipment and building your dream team. A golden opportunity to skill-up and be awesome.

  1. Walk: Protest and Resistance

A chance to see the places and faces of Bristol that have challenged the status quo and played a part in Bristol’s famous radical history.

3.00pm Tea break

3.15pm Closing plenary – Reflecting on the afternoon workshops. Can you share your experience through one word?

4.00pm Close