Thousands of protesters are set to descend on Westminster tomorrow (Saturday 24 January) calling for Trident to be scrapped and its £100bn replacement cancelled. This is the biggest anti-Trident protest in London since the 2007 vote on Trident replacement. (Full details below).
Wrap Up Trident, organised by CND and Action AWE (a grassroots campaign of nonviolent action against Trident), will see protesters “wrap up” the Ministry of Defence in a peace scarf knitted by over 5,000 activists from around the world, before marching past Parliament to demand an end to plans to spend £100bn of taxpayers’ money replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
‘The Parliament elected in May will take the final decision on Trident replacement in 2016. With the former head of the Armed Forces describing Trident as “completely useless” to the threats we face – this Cold War relic is an anachronism in the 21st Century. It’s time we consigned nuclear weapons to the dustbin of history.
‘Just this month we’ve seen Trident costs spiralling out of control – as another quarter of a billion was added to the bill – followed by a heated debate on Trident replacement in Parliament. Trident is set to be a huge election issue. People are sick of being told there’s no money for public services while seeing billions squandered on a weapon which provides nothing but the illusion of security and simply encourages the vicious circle of nuclear proliferation worldwide.
‘The full scale of the crisis in the NHS is starting to emerge – with A&E departments posting the worst waiting times in a decades. But the £2bn funding gap facing the NHS is cast in a grim light by the £3bn spent just running our current Trident system in the same period. This is a crisis of priorities and nothing else – and all MPs standing for election should take stock of the public mood or pay the price at the ballot box.’
Rebecca Johnson, Action AWE, said:
‘Britain joined 157 nations in Vienna last December to discuss the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. Scrapping Trident will increase our security, save our money, and enable the UK to join multilateral negotiations on an international nuclear ban treaty.
‘We want to wrap up Trident so that Britain can get on with the serious necessity of developing real security policies. It’s time to recognise our interdependence with other nations, negotiate a global treaty to ban and eliminate all nuclear weapons, and work together to tackle climate destruction and other shared threats.’
Details of the event: Saturday 24 January (see full map of route here)
12:00: Protesters assemble outside Ministry of Defence (assembly point on map)
13:00-13:30: Encircle the Ministry of Defence and other government buildings with the peace scarf
13:45 (approx.): March from MoD to Old Palace Yard (past Parliament)
14:00-15:00: Rally at Old Palace Yard
Speakers include: Jeremy Corbyn (Labour MP); Julie Ward (Labour MEP); Shahrar Ali (Deputy Leader, Green Party); Kate Hudson (CND); Bruce Kent (CND); Heather Wakefield (UNISON); Lindsey German (Stop the War); Khalil Charles (Muslim Association of Britain); Rebecca Johnson (Action AWE & former advisor to the Blix Commission); spoken word artist Potent Whisper; Ben Griffin (Veterans for Peace).
More info: Wrap Up Trident event