The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will this Wednesday hold a demonstration welcoming President Obama with the message ‘Peace – Yes We Can!’, hours before his bilateral meeting with President Medvedev, expected to focus on nuclear issues. The march, assembling at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square at 2pm will march to a rally in Trafalgar Square at around 3:45.
The protest, co-organised by CND, the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative will echo the slogan of the US anti-war, anti-nuclear and social justice movements during the US Presidential election and use the message ‘Peace – Yes We Can’: End the siege of Gaza and free Palestine – Get the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan – Make jobs not bombs – Abolish all nukes – Stop arming Israel.
CND and Stop the War Coalition will also hold a presence near to the ExCeL Centre on Thursday from 11am, exact location to be confirmed.
Whilst not part of the central G20 agenda, nuclear weapons are to be discussed extensively by President Obama this week, with his first meeting with President Medvedev expected to discuss re-starting warhead reduction talks as well as lowering the operational readiness of thousands of nuclear weapons kept on ‘hair-trigger alert’, ready to fire at a moments notice. On Sunday, Obama is scheduled to make a major speech on nuclear issues and missile defence in Prague.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “We’ll be welcoming President Obama with the message that he must now follow-through on his election pledge to work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is vital that rapid progress is made to create a new arms reduction treaty before the START agreement expires in December. There are hopeful signs that this could include big cuts in warhead numbers and remove whole classes of weapons from a state of readiness which leaves the whole world perpetually hovering on the brink of destruction, where split-second miscalculations could cause total devastation.”
In a letter to be released to coincide with Wednesdays US-Russian meeting, CND, together with the Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, numerous MPs, MEPs and other campaigners have written to the US and Russian Presidents calling for them to ‘take the apocalypse off the agenda’ by lowering the state of operational readiness of some 2,300 nuclear warheads that currently stand ready to launch in less than two minutes. Full details of the letter are available on request.