BAIRNS NOT BOMBS – LET’S PROTEST!

Nuclear weapons constitute the greatest immediate threat to the health and welfare of mankind …. no health service in any area of the world would be capable of dealing adequately with the hundreds of thousands of people seriously injured by blast, heat or radiation from even a single one-megaton bomb … Famine and diseases would be widespread …. Therefore the only approach to the treatment of the health effects of nuclear explosions is primary prevention of such explosions”   World Health Organisation

Most people in Scotland hold no truck with the UK government foisting nuclear weapons on them. The MOD and the government have chosen to put them all here, in Scotland. We are given no say in the nuclear weapons policy held by succesive Westminster Governments despite the expressed views of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood.

The Scottish view is often dismissed by the main Westminster politicians and the media they control as some nimbyist and parochial minority view. However, it is they who are in the minority. The Scottish Parliament and majority of citizens share the predominate world view. Only nine countries have governments that deploy nuclear weapons, but as of December 2014, more than seventy of the non-nuclear-weapons countries have governments that have made unequivocal statements that they support, and would sign up to, a ban that would outlaw nuclear weapons completely and consign them to history for ever

So let’s protest! Let’s ensure that the general election delivers a parliament with the will and the power to reverse the decision to replace Trident. For a start.

Demonstration 4 April George Square

If you are signed up to this list, you will be committed to building the demonstration in George Square on the 4th April As well as turning up with all your mates on the day, at this stage it is all about your face book friends and also getting flyers out at any events you are attending, sticking them up in local community notice boards and take aways. Once people see the information in six different independent locations they will start to feel it could be something big.

Blockade 13 April Faslane Nuclear Base

The blockade may be less familiar for you, especially if you are one of the hundreds of first time visitors who turned up to Faslane for the demo before Christmas, so maybe that needs a bit more information here. If you are an old hand at blockading, there may be useful points that you would like to chip in, and you might want to consider training as a trainer to help provide enough training workshops.

Non Violent Direct Action is an effective (and inspiring) tool for change, just think of Rosa Parks, Gandhi’s salt march or the suffragists. Preparation and training at a workshop in advance can make sure that you have the confidence and trust in the people around you to feel safe and be effective. Most people find participating at any level is a very powerful way of expressing what we think and feel. Direct action can build our capacity and help us to become more committed campaigners. It is ironic that being carried off by four police men is the best antidote to despair that many of us know!No one needs (or should) do anything that they are unhappy with.

The plan is to put our bodies in the gateways of the base to prevent access or exit (except for emergency vehicles in the event of their being required) and thus close it down. In tha past, people have chosen many ways of doing this, from simply lying down to locking themselves together with their arms in tubes to make it harder for the police to remove us. The police have said that on this occasion if they see anyone carrying something that looks like a lock-on tube it will be confiscated, so that requires thinking about!

If you take part, you can choose not to risk getting arrested. It is good to be part of a small group, either friends you already know or people you meet at a training workshop who agree to look out for one another. Of course it is important to make the decision about whether you are willing to risk arrest, or if you would come in a support role, but there are plenty opportunities to change your mind as you become more informed or the situation changes. Given that there will be large numbers requiring physical removal and accommodation in cells, from the police point of view, it may be unlikely that they would arrest anyone without plenty of warning. This, and other aspects of the process is explored in full at the training workshop. The workshop is also somewhere to get legal advice and look at what aspects of your life or your job might be affected before you make a decision.

It is also an opportunity to work with old friends or find new ones and explore everything from blockading techniques to legal implications, practical considerations around eating and drinking (and the consequences of drinking!) decision making in a tight spot, any fears or concerns, and to gain a shared understanding of the non violence guidelines. There will be training in Glasgow on the 12th, along with sleepover accommodation, and if you can plan a training in advance you will have more time to make any lock on devices, props, banners or anything you decide when you are training that you might like to bring. If you can host a training workshop, or suggest a time and location that you think people would attend, please get in touch with scraptrident.org as soon as you can.

BAIRNS NOT BOMBS

At noon on November 30 the Scrap Trident coalition held a mass public demonstration at Faslane. ‘Trident Still Has To Go – Now’. to demonstrate the size and strength of popular opposition to Trident and, to our absolute delight, the people of Scotland responded magnificently to our call. From every corner of Scotland they came – by bus, car and bicycle with their banners, flags and signs. The size of the crowd and the distances travelled to Faslane were topped only by the energy and enthusiasm that they brought with them and, even more remarkably, the whole day was blessed with unseasonably bright and sunny weather . It was truly a wonderful day.

This single wonderful day of protest, however, is merely the beginning, and this year we are planning to push onwards and to build a truly dynamic and sustained mass public campaign against Trident nuclear weapons.

As we approach the 2015 UK general election in which we choose the MPs who will vote on the £100 billion “Main Gate” Trident renewal decision in 2016, we will be ensuring that the electorate understand exactly what is at stake when they post their ballots this May. We will be setting the agenda and ensuring that our message “Scrap Trident and invest in our children and young people” is heard loud and clear.

Of one thing we are absolutely clear – the greatest threat to peace and our survival, nuclear weapons, are not acceptable to people across the world. In 2015, we must recommit to the action necessary to make this a reality. Let’s all take our arguments for peace directly onto the streets. First of all, join a mass national demonstration in Glasgow city centre on Saturday, 4th April.

A week later a chance to confrontTrident unrelentingly where it matters – at Faslane, the rotten heart of the UK establishment’s inhumane commitment to nuclear devastation. On Monday, 13th April, commit to” a mass blockade to stop work at Faslane naval base. As many people as possible need to be part of it, so please consider either taking part directly or in taking a support role. A blockade is a creative and peaceful way of resisting injustice everyone who decides to participate will be properly informed and can access training so we are all comfortable with our level of participation.

On our city streets and at the gates of Faslane, we can be unyielding in our opposition to Trident and unflinching in our commitment to peace. Each time we do this, we remind people that they can make a difference, that this time there really is an alternative. Our future does not have to be built around warmongering, resource competition and strife. It can be about compassion, nurturing, mutualism and care. If we choose to truly commit to it, this will be the Bairns Not Bombs election. Please join us and recommit to taking the action that will lead to a more peaceful world. For more details, please visit www.scraptrident.org or contact scraptrident@gmail.com

BURNS NIGHT and WRITING WEEKEND

For many years, Wiston Lodge has been hosting Burns nights that are very 04-tinto 079different, with an informality underscoring the real quality of the entertainment and the food. I have participated in a few, and always had a great time.

I would recommend arriving at the Edwardian Lodge in time for a walk amongst its trees and fields before night fall – the deep, country, starred darkness can help you leave the hectic life behind as you come indoors and settle down by a log fire.

This year, the Burns supper is part of a weekend writing workshop led by Gerry Loose who will propose the Immortal Memory. As usual, the meal with the traditional address to the Haggis, toasts, songs and recitations will be followed by dancing in the Big Lounge.Musicians of a high calibre contribute every year, and if you play an instrument, bring it along for the ceilidh.

The weekend of writing is intended for all ages and stages, led by Gerry Loose, “slow moving nomad, poet, writer and land-artist who works with subjects from the natural world” and is set in the magnificent location of Wiston Lodge. As a weekend away, it offers great value for money and you will have the warm glow of knowing that you are contributing to the life of a great project. I notice from the 2013 invitation to the Burns Supper that the price for that has remained the same for a few years! Note the 2013dates are different, this year it’s Saturday 24th at 6.00pm

I hope that you will be able to be part of this new venture, part of new 11-logo-webpageTinto Music and Arts, and that if you can’t manage the whole weekend but would like to come to the Burns Supper, that you will contact the Lodge and book early, especially if you want to sty over and have breakfast.

There will be camping space for those hardy enough!

Here are links to Wiston Lodge, with details of the events, and also for Gerry’s website.

http://www.wistonlodge.co.uk/events/public-event/writing-workshop-with-gerry-loose

http://www.wistonlodge.co.uk/events/fundraising/burns-supper-2015
http://www.gerryloose.com/