Last weekend’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) annual conference was held in the run-up to the organisation’s 50th birthday celebrations next February.
Today’s global tensions suggest the threats of nuclear warfare are as great as ever.
The conference workshops focused upon increasing militarisation, with speakers detailing the use of depleted uranium-tipped munitions and “Daisy-Cutter” macro-bombs.
Many discussions centred upon the threats to invade Iran, with analysis of the build up of military hardware and US fleets off the country’s coastline.
In an impassioned speech, Arielle Denis, the vice chair of the French peace movement, le Movement de la Paix, said, “We will not let President Sarkozy line up Europe alongside the US in military and economic dominance of the Middle East.”
Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown’s governments have been determined to keep the US-owned Trident missile system and to find £76 billion to replace and renew nuclear submarines and warheads.
The question of how to force parliament to scrap Trident was a central debate. Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke of the military thinking that dominates Westminster.
Dr Alan Mackinnon, the chair of Scottish CND, spoke of the large majority opposition of MSPs to Trident. The conference emphasised the need for joint alliances with the Stop the War Coalition and other organisations.
A series of motions put CND against nuclear power and aligned the organisation with investment in sustainable energy production.
Speakers emphasised the need for CND to “open-out”, gain a wider membership and allow a new generation to own the campaign against nuclear weapons.