10 March 2005: For immediate release
Anti-Nuclear Protesters from across the country are locked on to a 25 foot mock Trident nuclear Submarine outside the Scottish Parliament today. They are raising awareness of the UK’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to get rid of Trident. There are 17 people inside the submarine locked on including a member of the Scottish Parliament Rosie Kane MSP. They began their protest at 10.15 this morning. A number of MEPs have come outside the parliament building to show their support. There have been no arrests as yet although the protests will not move until their Trident submarine has been dismantled – symbolising the dismantling of the real Trident subs.
The protesters are taking their message to the Scottish parliament because Westminster has refused to listen. On the 10th October 2004 the same submarine was outside Downing Street with protesters locked on. The British Government did not dismantle the submarine, just as it refuses to dismantle Trident. In Scotland 70% of people oppose Trident.
Mell Harrison who is taking part in the protest said,
“We’ve taken Trident to the Scottish Parliament to show how easy it could be to dismantle Trident. We’re staying here till they’ve dismantled the model of Trident, as long as it takes whether that’s days or weeks. Over 70% of Scottish people don’t want Trident so we’re staying here until they show us that they can dismantle Trident. We want the Scottish parliament to put more pressure on Westminster to say this has got to happen. With the NPT review coming up in May we feel that it is extremely important for the nuclear weapon states to disarm, so that other countries won’t feel they have to develop nuclear weapons, because they won’t feel threatened by ours. These weapons are illegal and immoral and we will continue to use direct action until our voices are listened to.”
Rosie Kane MSP (Scottish Socialist Party, Glasgow Region) who is locked on,
“70% of the Scottish public say they are opposed to nuclear weapons. As an elected representative I represent more people sitting on the street than I do sitting in a debating chamber. We’ve raised this issue many times with the Scottish executive. We’ve asked that they speak out in opposition to Trident. We have asked that they take power from Westminster over these weapons of mass destruction but their ears remain closed. The Scottish Socialist Party, the Scottish Green party and the Scottish National Party as well as independents in the parliament are opposed to Nuclear Weapons. We are all united in asking the executive to take action. You can join us on our protests here and in the future. You can ask Westminster to pass power to the Scottish Parliament. We can refuse to have nuclear weapons moved on our roads so their hands are not tied. If they’re not going to do anything then could they explain to the tax payers why we have no money for hospitals, public housing and schools, yet we have money for Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament congratulated protesters,
“Trident is an illegal and immoral nuclear weapon of mass destruction and must be scrapped. Despite giving an “unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” in 2000 the UK government has made no progress towards disarmament. In fact in March 2002, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said that the government reserved the right to use nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear weapon states. Such a policy is a breach of our legal obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and highlights the nuclear hypocrisy of government policy. This year is the 60th anniversary of the nuclear bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We must abolish these immoral and illegal weapons now.”
There are members of Trident Ploughshares, Scottish CND, National CND and Theatre of War taking part in the protest.
Notes to Editor:
For further interviews and updates on the protest please contact Mel on 07760161755 or Emma 07748447224
For further information on Trident and the NPT please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference takes place in New York in May 2005. The Non- Proliferation Treaty opened for signature in 1968, and entered into force in 1970. A total of 187 parties have joined the Treaty, including the five declared nuclear-weapon states (US, UK, Russia, China, France). More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance. At the 2000 NPT Review conference the UK and the four other declared nuclear weapons states signed a final document in which they gave an ‘unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals’, one of 13 agreed steps for the systematic and complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The UK must comply with its obligations under the NPT and abolish all nuclear weapons. Under its international treaty obligations treaty obligations the UK government has made no progress towards disarmament in the past five years. In March 2002, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said that the government reserved the right to use nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear weapon states. Such a policy is a breach of our legal obligations and highlights the nuclear hypocrisy of government policy.
Link to content of 2000 NPT Conference agreement – http://disarmament.un.org:8080/wmd/npt/2005/index-PC3.html
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.