News from around the movements

Bath Iron Works  From: Nonviolent Resistance Network

On April 1st nine activists were arrested at Bath Iron Works in Maine during a “christening” of a destroyer outfitted with “missile defence” systems.  The group blocked the entry gate and were charged with trespass.  The demonstrators alleged that the destroyer belongs to a class of destroyers currently being deployed by the Pentagon to help encircle Russia and China as the US moves to put in place global first-strike attack capability. The protest called for the conversion of BIW to build commuter rail systems, solar, wind turbines and tidal power systems. This kind of sustainable technology development would employ many times more people than building warships does.  

women cross dmzWomen of 40 Nations urge Trump to Seek Peace in Korea
From: The Sunflower: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Women Cross DMZ recently sent a letter to President Trump, signed by women from over forty countries (including both North and South Korea), urging him to stop military threats and pursue peace negotiations in the Korean Peninsula. Recognizing the tough process that lies ahead, supporters recognize diplomacy is the only means to ensure peace and that “peace is the most powerful deterrent of all.”

March to help save the planet. From: Culture of Peace News Network
Two major events for the March to Science took place in the United States and Canada on April 22nd, as events took place simultaneously in Scotland. The People’s Climate March happened one week later, with a quarter of a million people turning up to raise awareness of our responsibility to preserve the planet.

14 people cited in Mother’s Day demonstration at Trident nuclear submarine base From: Ground Zero Centre for Nonviolent Action

On May 13th, 14 demonstrators attempted to block the main entrance into the Trident nuclear weapons at Bangor, Washington, on the Pacific coast of the United States. They were arrested and cited by Washington State Patrol. Six demonstrators entered the highway carrying a large banner stating, “THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER—TREAT HER WITH RESPECT”. Later, eight other demonstrators entered the highway with a full-size replica of a Trident D-5 missile and were removed by the Washington State Patrol.  

Photo: Nukewatch

Photo: Nukewatch

Nuclear Warhead Convoy Breakdown Reported by Nukewatch UK

 On the M40, a nuclear warhead convoy broke down for forty-five minutes. The next day –  the 16th May – after travelling on the M74, M80 and the M9, it proceeded to Balloch after driving on small country roads. Having these weapons travel throughout Scottish communities, knowing the vast majority of citizens oppose Trident and its subsequent renewal, is not only wrong but dangerous. Normalising such incidents and failing to stand up against them only serves the interests of those in power.

Iyad Burnat: Practicing Non-Violence. From: Edinburgh Action for Palestine

On the 4th May, Iyad Burnat – a founding member of the Bil’in Popular Committee – held a talk at the Quaker’s Meeting House to tell his story. Formed in 2004, the group sought to thwart raids on their village in the West Bank by Israeli forces. As a leading proponent of nonviolent peace protest against the Separation Wall, he has used his photography to capture the pain of occupation and the violence experienced by Palestinians.

stop arms tradeOccupation by peace activists of offices European Commission

In the run up to the NATO summit, a group of ten peace activists occupied the offices of the European Commission for half a day and denounced the European Union starting a military research programme carried out by the arms industry. No arrests were made. Next morning activists entered the offices of the European Commission, occupied the building and set up tents. The EU has recently started subsidizing the arms industry with a military research programme. Initially the funding will amount to 90 million euro. The European Commission’s long term objective is to set up a European Defence Research Programme worth EUR 3.5 billion over 2021-2027.

Air Pollution Campaigning From: Friends of the Earth Scotland

On the 2nd of May, Emilia Hanna and Anna Heslop were invited to speak to the Scottish Parliament’s air quality inquiry as part of the second panel of expert witnesses. Emilia spoke of the lack of progress Scotland has made towards achieving goals set for both 2005 and 2010. Emilia considered it a public health emergency. The health impacts are evident in the 2000 early deaths every year from fine particles. Much of the air quality damage was pointed to the use of cars as a means of transportation over bicycles.

International Conscientious Objector’s Day

Photo credit: Brian Larkin

Photo credit: Brian Larkin

From: Network for Peace and Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre

On Conscientious Objector’s Day ceremonies were held in London, Edinburgh and six other UK locations. The London event included guest speakers including Sir Mark Rylance and Nick Jeffrey, a Vietnam War draft resister. Participants were invited to bring flowers and photographs, and call out the names of conscientious objectors as they laid a flower.

Bruce Kent and Mark Rylance

Bruce Kent and Mark Rylance

About 50 people attended the Edinburgh CO Day vigil. Protest in Harmony shared songs including Jane Lewis’s Tell Me the Names with the reading of the names of COs and others who resisted the First World War and those of contemporary COs from Israel, Turkey, Ethiopia, Somalia and other countries. Historian Dr. Lesley Orr spoke about First World War conscientious objection and opposition to the war, folksinger Calum Baird performed, and Andrew Barr, Meagan Davies and Andrew Farrar, descendants of WW1 COs recalled their ancestors war resistance.

Greenpeace Lancashire Demonstration From: Greenpeace Edinburgh Greenpeace held a demonstration at Caudrilla’s fracking site near Blackpool, in Lancashire in May. They blocked entry to the site as part of a campaign to prevent fracking across the UK. Protesters have been delaying works from taking place since January.

Mancunians show their spirit in the aftermath of terror

From: Edinburgh Against the Racist SDL Facebook Page

Following the attack on Manchester Arena in which twenty two innocent lives were lost, EDL protesters opted to hold a display on the 23rd of May. Their racist comments and xenophobic beliefs meant they attracted lots of counter-protesters, who were quick to highlight that their views were not shared by the majority of Mancunians.

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