A group of Labour MPs say they will support a major anti-Trident demo set to take place in central London this month.
The MPs have spoken in support of the Stop Trident demonstration, which has been called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in response to government plans to replace Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system. A vote on the Trident proposals is expected later in the year.
David Lammy MP said “For me the renewal of Trident is inextricably linked with the lack of resources and austerity we see across the country.”
“The closure of care homes, the closure of children’s centres, no new services and chronic shortages in housing. I could not in all conscience vote for renewal worth £31 billion or more when this happening. And it’s for these reasons why I support the demo.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon are expected to address a mass rally at the end of the demonstration in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 27th February.
Clive Lewis MP said “Do we want to play a positive role in the world or do we want to continue along a negative path that I think we so often have in terms of foreign affairs? That’s why I will be supporting the Stop Trident demo.”
Kate Osamor, Jo Stephens, Ruth Cadbury, and Dennis Skinner were also amongst the group of Labour MPs who spoke in favour of the demonstration.
Cadbury said “[Trident] won’t help Britain’s position in the world and in fact will probably make Britain more unsafe.”
On Friday 19 February, representatives from twenty seven national organisations backing the demo will gather at Friends House with musician Brian Eno, writer Tariq Ali, and other campaigners for a public rally and mobilising meeting.
Organisers say that the signs point to the 27th Feb demo being the largest anti-nuclear weapons mobilisation in a generation. Thousands have signed up on social media, transport to carry protesters has been put on from than 60 locations across the UK, and a mass poster campaign to advertise the event was unveiled last week on buses in several cities, as well as London tube stations.
Earlier this week the PCS union invited its 250,000 members to support the demo and announced it would organise additional transport to the event from its regional and national offices.
Stop Trident national demonstration
27th Feb 12 noon Marble Arch, LondonFollowed by rally at Trafalgar Square after 2pm
Speakers: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Leader; Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland; Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru Leader; Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party; Christine Blower, NUT general secretary; Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary; Roger McKenzie, Unison assistant general secretary; Tariq Ali; Bruce Kent, CND vice president; Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition convenor; Giles Fraser; Shakira Martin, NUS; Vanessa Redgrave; Reiner Braun, International Peace Bureau; Francesca Martinez; Danielle Tiplady (student nurse); Sharon Dolev, Israeli Disarmament Movement; Bishop Stephen Cottrell (faith bloc representative); John Boulton (Veteran for Peace); Sam Fairbairn, People’s Assembly Against Austerity