Nearly 3,000 people demonstrated in Edinburgh last Saturday against the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons.
Demonstrators filled the Royal Mile with banners and placards saying no to Trident, calling to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and opposing an attack on Iran.
The demonstration began at the Scottish Parliament. When the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its leader Alex Salmond won the Scottish parliament elections in May one of their promises was to oppose Trident renewal.
Many demonstrators were outraged at the sums spent on weapons while public services are being cut – as the SNP led Edinburgh council tried to do this summer.
Lisa Paton, a voluntary worker in Edinburgh, told Socialist Worker: “Salmond should put his money where his mouth is. Lots of people voted for him because of Trident. He should make the link between the money for Trident and the council cuts in Edinburgh.”
Colette Hall is one of 270 day care workers in Glasgow currently striking against pay cuts. She told Socialist Worker, “It’s a disgrace that the Labour government is thinking of spending £76 billion on Trident but won’t support us.”
Demonstrators also pointed out the hypocrisy of Britain’s lecturing Iran about nuclear weapons.
Amnah Rashid, a dentistry student at Glasgow University said, “How can you trust our country with nuclear weapons. After all the damage we’ve done in Iraq and Afghanistan we should start thinking – not talk about attacking Iran.”
The demonstration finished with a rally in Princes Street Gardens in the centre of Edinburgh. There were speakers from the Muslim Association of Britain, the Scottish TUC and a message from Alex Salmond.
The biggest cheers came for Patrick Orr of School Students Against the War. He spoke about the days of action against war on Iran planned for Thursday 22 and Saturday 24 November.
Patrick said, “How many more lies must we be told about nuclear weapons? We should be shouting ‘Troops out of Iraq’ and ‘No war on Iran’. We’ve been shouting ‘No nukes’ for 50 years. It’s time for them to go.’