Abolition 2000 Edinburgh / Faslane Declaration Delivered to Faslane Base Commander’s Representative
Following a reception hosted by MSPs Bill Kidd and Patrick Harvie at the Scottish Parliament yesterday where the former Mayor of Hiroshima and Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba spoke, a dozen members of the international nuclear disarmament network Abolition 2000 made a declaration in support of a “Nuclear Free Scotland” leading the way to a “Nuclear Free World” at Faslane Naval Base today. Read the full text of the declaration here.
Abolition 2000 is a network of over 2000 organizations in more than 90 countries world wide working for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.
The Abolition 2000 Edinburgh / Faslane Declaration “From a Nuclear Free Scotland to a Nuclear Free World” was handed to Deputy Duty Officer Willie Allen, representing Base Commander Commodore Mike Wareham, at the North Gate of Faslane Friday 19 April, by Abolition 2000 member John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committe on Nuclear Policy. The interaction was very friendly, with Duty Officer Allen spending twenty minutes in conversation with the campaigners. The prominent international activists from about ten countries then symbolically blocked the entrance to the base for 20 minutes while the gate was closed during a shift change.
According to Alyn Ware, International Coordinator of the network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) the Declaration will “Affirm that nuclear weapons are unworthy of civilization and an unacceptable threat to current and future generations.” He added that it would “commend the non-violent direct actions undertaken at Faslane to expose the catastrophic threats to humanity and the environment and oppose the UK nuclear weapons” based on the Clyde and “support the efforts of Scottish citizens and legislators to establish Scotland as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and reject the nuclear weapons based on its territory.”
The network held its annual meeting in Edinburgh, before many of the representatives of NGOs head to Geneva for the Preparatory Committee meeting of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty beginning next week. According to Brian Larkin, Peace and Justice Centre Coordinator and a member of Abolition 2000 network group Trident Plouoghshares “The Abolition 2000 network chose to meet in Edinburgh to support the movements for nuclear disarmament here. Throughout the two days of meetings in Edinburgh delegates emphasized the hope that Scotland will be the first European country to reject nuclear weapons. That could lead to the UK being the first P-5 country to abandon its nuclear weapons, a step which could help pave the way for the global abolition of nuclear weapons.”
The issuing of the Declaration at Faslane and delivering it to the Clyde Naval Base Commander was the culmination of a week of campaigining against nuclear weapons in Glasgow, Edinburgh and at Faslane which began with the Scrap Trident demonstration in Glasgow and continued on Monday with the Big Blockade.
Amongst the conference delegates who visited Faslane were Aaron Tovish, Executive Director of the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, and Susi Snyder, Nuclear Disarmament Programme Leader for IKV Pax Christi in the Netherlands.
Faslane Naval Base is homeport to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system and was the scene of the Scrap Trident protest on Monday when 45 protesters were arrested for blocking the entrances.