Thousands of anti-war and anti-nuclear campaigners are gathered outside the US embassy to greet President Obama and the G20 leaders and to convey the message that the overwhelming majority of the British people call for a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, for the abolition of all nuclear weapons, for justice for the Palestinians and an end to the arms trade with Israel.
CND also warmly welcomed the statement released by Presidents Obama and Medvedev, with Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament saying “This is a very significant day for nuclear disarmament. The announcement by the US and Russian presidents on restarting warhead reduction talks is something we have waited for for over a decade. Obama is totally correct when he links the need for disarmament by major nuclear states with efforts to counter the spread of these appalling weapons to further countries. This is a lesson Gordon Brown should take on and scrap the £76bn replacement of Trident, spending the money on supporting peoples jobs, homes and public services.”
She continued, “There is an urgent need to see concrete results from the US/Russia talks, which we hope will replace the pious rhetoric that has afflicted arms reduction negotiations for years. This is a very good start which must pave the way for the global abolition of all nuclear weapons through a process that brings in the UK and other nuclear powers.”
CND, together with the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative have just handed in a letter to President Obama at the US Embassy reflecting the demands highlighted above.
Campaigners will shortly march to Trafalgar Square for an ‘alternative summit’ rally including MPs, campaigners, trade unionists and celebrities. Speakers will include Tony Benn, Bianca Jagger, Vivienne Westwood, Arthur Scargill, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Daud Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain, together with musical performances.
CND and Stop the War will also hold a demonstration on the Western Gateway approach to the Excel Centre tomorrow from 11am.