The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will hold two protest events in the next few days:
Tonight at 7pm a rapidly called vigil will gather outside the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers at Lancaster House – where the US and Czech governments are expected to sign a treaty on the planned US Missile Defence radar base near Prague.
On Saturday thousands are expected to march through central Manchester past the venue of Labour Party Conference. Campaigners will highlight the human costs of the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and protest against policies backed by the Brown government that make the sudden and catastrophic spread of war more likely: British support for NATO expansion into the Caucasus and for the deeply destabilising US Missile Defence scheme.
Tonight (Thursday) NATO Defence Ministers will meet at Lancaster House in Mayfair for discussions said “to focus on the political challenges of NATO reform and to give ministerial direction and leadership to the transformation agenda”. The meeting is also expected to discuss the situation surrounding Georgia. Full details in NATO press release in Note 3. The demo will be at the junction of Stable Yard Road/Cleveland Row.
It is expected that the US and Czech governments will sign the ‘Status of Forces Agreement’ at the meeting – a key treaty governing the legal framework under which US troops who would build and staff the proposed Missile Defence radar base near Prague would operate. The deal is far from confirmed as it is subject to ratification in the evenly-split Czech parliament. The Shadow Foreign Minister of the Czech Social Democrats will be lobbying British Ministers at Labour Party Conference to oppose Missile Defence. He will speak at CND’s fringe meeting [details in note 4] and is available for interview on Monday.
On Saturday in Manchester, thousands of campaigners will assemble for the ‘Troops Out – Stop the Spread of War’ demonstration organised by CND and the Stop the War Coalition. Coaches from 35 towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales will bring the anti-war message to the Labour Party Conference. Protesters will march from Cavendish Street (M15 6BH) at 1pm, through the city centre and past the venue of the Labour Party Conference to the Castlefield arena (M3 4JL) for a rally from 2pm. The march will pause to make a ‘wall of noise’ outside the conference venue whilst a petition is handed in to a Labour Party representative.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “A majority of British public opinion opposes the continuing occupation of Iraq. A majority also believes that the US missile defence system will put us at greater risk. It is time the government listened to the views of the British people on questions of war and peace. If the government had the courage to act for policies of peace, the world would be a safer place.”
Notes to Editors:For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.
CND Fringe at Labour Party Conference: Opposing US Missile Defence: A European Perspective
Speakers: Lubomir Zaoralek MP, Tony Benn, Katy Clark MP, Alice Mahon, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Kate Hudson, CND Chair, Chair: Ann Cryer MP
Time: 7pm, Monday 22nd September
Location: Novotel Hotel, Dickinson St, Manchester
Lubomir Zaoralek MP – Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the CSSD – the Czech Social Democratic Party will be available for interviews on during Monday. He speaks perfect English. Contact Ben Soffa on 07968 420859 to arrange a time.