by David Mackenzie, Secure Scotland
The current situation in Ukraine has made so many more people aware of the dangers of nuclear weapons. Here, David Mackenzie gives details of an event you may want to share in your own networks. The contacts for the peace camp in June are Pax Christi Scotland member Brian Quail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Angie at email@example.com
A gathering of people to peacefully confront the UK’s ongoing addiction to the possession and deployment of horrific and illegal weapons of mass destruction.
At and around the Faslane/Coulport nuclear weapon complex in western Scotland.
10th to 17th June 2022
Faslane and Coulport are the deployment sites for the UK’s nuclear weapon system, comprising the base for its 4 nuclear-armed submarines and storage for its nuclear warheads, now estimated to number 255 – each capable of 8 to 10 times the destructive power of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our resistance to this ongoing criminal activity must be made visible and tangible and we will be building on the strong popular and political opposition in Scotland to having such a launch pad for mass murder on their land and in their waters.
The Ukraine crisis has made it plain that not only do nuclear weapons fail to prevent war they increase the likelihood of aggressive behaviour by those states that possess them. It has also shown people that the risk of nuclear war is at a very high level and that such an outcome is horrifying beyond imagination. And then there is the other vital segment of the big picture. Comment on the impact on climate rescue of Ukraine crisis is almost exclusively focussed on energy substitution, missing the point that sane global co-operation is vital and that our necessary pre-occupation on the conflict has put that on the back burner. For the climate crisis and the nuclear crisis both, the message is clear: we co-operate or we perish.
All of this is grim but it has given us a window of opportunity that we must not miss and to build on the growing awareness of the menace. We must share the long view that while arms control can temporarily mitigate the threat of nuclear war we will keep coming back to the crisis point until one day our luck runs out, unless we can achieve the total elimination of these weapons. And we now have the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – now established as international law and regularly attracting the support of 130 plus countries at the General Assembly. The first Meeting of States Parties to that treaty takes place the week following our gathering and this will help confirm the perspective that the UK’s WMD are but a part of a toxic global problem that now has a potential global solution.
On a practical level the hope is that people coming to the gathering will make their own arrangements (for travel, accommodation, sustenance and material for protest and nonviolent direct action), but there will be camping space at Peaton Wood, close to the Coulport base, and there will also be some common legal support and media work.
Our peaceful confrontation may take many forms, including blockading, entering the bases, and “redecoration”. All of this we can enhance by good preparations, good networking and sharing of ideas and some common planning here and there.
And in all of this, adhering to the principles of nonviolence. The gathering will also give us the opportunity to reflect in the miniature the mass nonviolent movement that is essential for reversing the fatal and destructive direction of humanity and showing the path towards a good future.
David Mackenzie is a retired schoolteacher and education officer and presently involved as a volunteer in the nuclear disarmament movement via Trident Ploughshares, Nukewatch and Scottish CND.