20 September 2006: for immediate release

Tens of thousands of people from around Britain will gather in Manchester this Saturday, 23 September, for a national demonstration to tell Tony Blair and the Labour Party that the people do not want a new generation of nuclear weapons in the UK. Demonstrators will also call for “Don’t Attack Iran,” “Troops Home from Iraq,” and “Hands off Lebanon.” Coaches have been organised in scores of towns around the country, and a train has been chartered to take demonstrators to Manchester from London.

Up to 100,000 people are expected to gather in Manchester’s Albert Square at 1 pm on Saturday before setting off on a march through the city centre at 2 pm, passing the site of next week’s Labour Party Conference.  Speeches will take place in Albert Square prior to the march, as well as afterwards, and speakers include: Gemma Tumelty, NUS President; a message from Walter Wolfgang; Tony Benn; Tony Woodley, TGWU; Brian Eno; Rose Gentle, Military Families Against the War; Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith; Billy Hayes, CWU; Richard Horton, Editor, The Lancet; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; Keith Sonnet, UNISON; Jeremy Corbyn MP.

CND’s 4 metre tall ‘No Trident Replacement’ missile will be in Albert Square on Saturday to remind people of the enormous costs, both financial and in terms of global non-proliferation efforts, of any Trident replacement.

Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said:

“People are increasingly seeing the reality of the situation that replacing Trident will start a new nuclear arms race.  If Britain insists that it needs nuclear weapons to ensure its security, other countries will conclude the same, leading to increased proliferation.”

“Numerous religious leaders, including most recently the Pope and the Archbishop of Wales, have spoken strongly against replacing Trident. Last week the TUC voted overwhelmingly to oppose Trident replacement. A poll in July showed that 59% oppose Trident replacement at a cost of up to £25 billion (1), and the majority is increasing as more people become aware of the facts.”

“It is time Tony Blair and the Labour government began listening to the people, the overwhelming majority of whom are demanding the full public and parliamentary debate which was promised by John Reid last year.”


Notes to Editor:

1. For a full copy of the July 2006 ICM poll, please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859

2. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859

3. 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.