Thousands of people, including campaigners, politicians and celebrities, are coming together to say no to a new generation of nuclear weapons. A huge rally in Trafalgar Square, organised by CND, will begin an historic weekend of action to stop the next generation of nuclear weapons being developed in the UK.
Speakers at the rally will be calling on the British government to stop the expansion of Aldermaston and end the nuclear hypocrisy. The rally will begin a four day march to Aldermaston which will be drawing attention to planned developments at Aldermaston’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, the UK’s nuclear weapons factory which will enable research into new nuclear weapons.
The rally will begin at 11am on the 9th April and the march will leave the square at 1pm. Speakers include Tony Benn, Bruce Kent, Jenny Jones Deputy Mayor of London, Roger Lloyd Pack, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Kate Hudson CND and Corin Redgrave.
Kate Hudson, chair of CND said:
“Planned developments at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston to research and test the next generation of nuclear weapons highlight Britain’s nuclear hypocrisy. The British government appears to be pursuing an aggressive policy of illegal pre-emptive war in which they are prepared to use nuclear weapons. They are claiming they are doing so to rid the world of WMD yet they are simultaneously planning to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons to use in further pre-emptive wars. The development of a new generation of UK nuclear weapons risks escalating the drive for other countries to develop their own WMD rather than encouraging them to disarm deadly weapons.
To comply with the articles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and follow the 13 agreed steps to nuclear disarmament the government must abandon pre-emptive war as an alternative policy for disarmament, stop research and design work on a new generation of nuclear weapons at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment and make an unequivocal statement that it will not replace the Trident nuclear weapons system when its current service life runs out.”
Tony Benn said,
“CND was the first campaign against Weapons of Mass Destruction and Britain should now get rid of its own nuclear weapons, close the American bases and develop a special relationship with United Nations.”
Roger Lloyd Pack said,
“I marched to Aldermaston forty years ago to say no to nuclear weapons. I will be joined by a new generation this Easter and we will be saying no to a new generation of nukes. Our government is prepared to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states and in illegal pre-emptive wars. I am fearful at the prospect of investment in a new weapons programme which only increases the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used. We must make sure people know what is happening and say no to new Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
Notes to Editor:
For further information please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
1. For interviews with speakers Tony Benn, Bruce Kent, Roger Lloyd Pack, (Trigger in Only Fools and Horses & one of the original Aldermaston Marchers), Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Pat Arrowsmith (organiser of the original Aldermaston mach in 1958) please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. For interviews with people who were on the first march and who are marching again, or for young people who have been inspired to march for the first time please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
3. For further information on the first Aldermaston March in 1958 including video footage and pictures please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
4. The rally will begin at 11am on Friday 9th April and leave Trafalgar Square at 1pm where they will march to Hyde Park and the official marchers will begin the march to Aldermaston
5. Speakers at the rally include: Tony Benn, Bruce Kent, Jenny Jones Deputy Mayor of London, Ernest Rodker – Vanunu Campaign, Roger Lloyd Pack, Jill Evans MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Mark Seddon, Editor of Tribune, Pat Arrowsmith, Organiser of first Aldermaston March, Kate Hudson – CND, Anas Altikriti – President of Muslim Association of Britain, Lindsey German – Stop the War Coalition, Kierra Box – Hands Up For Peace, Susannah York, Corin Redgrave, Nick Holtam – Vicar of St Martin’s in the Fields, Jeremy Hardy, Adrian Mitchell, and performance by Theatre of War (anti-nuclear activists and makers of the Bush statue)
6. Supporters include: Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, TGWU, FBU, RMT, CWU, Green Party, Pax Christi, Movement for the Abolition of War, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Red Pepper, Campaign to Free Vanunu and for a Nuclear-Free Middle East, Abolition 2000, Action for UN Renewal, Christian CND, Labour CND, WILPF, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and Musicians Against Nuclear Arms.
7. Aldermaston2004 is being jointly organised by CND, https://www.cnduk.org, the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp(aign) 07969 739812, and Slough4Peace: 0788 0941849 , Web site: www.aldermaston2004.net
8. Planned development at AWE, the UK’s nuclear weapons factory, include new state of the art facilities which will enable research into new weapons, and avoid the need for underground testing, banned under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to which the UK is a signatory. The recruitment of over 80 new scientists is also planned.
The AWE Strategy Development Plan outlines a new high-powered laser, hydrodynamics facility, supercomputer and associated laboratories. These enable research on nuclear weapons to continue without underground tests which are banned under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (signed and ratified by the UK Government). AWE is also offering scientists the opportunity for close co-operation with scientists working on the US nuclear weapons programme. However AWE has recently removed the Strategy Plan from its website.
To date, there has been no parliamentary discussion about the developments. The 2003 Defence White Paper flagged up a possible announcement about a successor to Trident warheads following the next election. The Government’s position is that the developments are needed ‘in case’ a decision is taken.
9. For further information on developments at Aldermaston please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859