The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will today stage a post-budget demonstration with the slogan ‘Cut Trident: not jobs, health and education’. Protesters will march from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street and will also highlight the rapidly rising £30m cost of Britain’s bombardment of Libya.
CND will join with the Stop the War Coalition and other organisations to protest over the vast spending on Trident and war whilst at the same time huge cuts are being made to the basic services that citizens rely on.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “Whilst the Government claims it needs to impose savage cuts on almost all areas of our public services, billions are still being poured into huge military projects that have no relevance to the defence of Britain. Over £2.2bn a year is spent maintaining the current Trident nuclear weapons system and the costs of just the ‘concept phase’ of its replacement are budgeted at £905m. How the MoD can blow almost a billion pounds on the ‘concept’ of the new submarines – before the work starts on designing, let along building them – is beyond belief. ”
“Our message to the Chancellor is simple: cut your spending on nuclear weapons and war and instead protect the basic services that every man, woman and child in this country relies upon. People will rightly be questioning why their communities are facing very painful cuts when there seems to be a bottomless pit of money for war-fighting. £4.5bn will be spent this year on the war without a purpose in Afghanistan and the Royal United Services Institute estimate the bombing of Libya could amount to £100m within just four to six weeks. Police, schools and the NHS are all being cut, yet when it comes to missiles, drones and bombs there seems to be no question of limits on spending.”
Date: Wednesday 23rd March
Location: Trafalgar Square, followed by a march along Whitehall to a rally opposite Downing Street.
To drive home the message to MPs, the billboard site opposite the Portcullis House entrance to Westminster tube station is currently occupied by a giant CND graphic showing the proposed cost increase of spending on nuclear weapons due to the Trident replacement programme.
After Wednesday’s protest CND will be preparing to take its message to the TUC March for the Alternative demo to be held this Saturday, 26th March. CND is organising a specific anti-nuclear bloc on the demonstration including a giant model of a Trident missile.