_82121836_tridentsturgeonprotest1“The WHO (World Health Organisation) has calculated that would take 200 atomic explosions to create a nuclear winter, and in effect sterilise the planet. That is the number we have at Coulport.” Brian Quail has stepped up.

If you go roamin’ in the gloamin’ by the Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond at the right time, you’re sure to get a surprise. A long convoy comprising 4 Foden trucks (at 48 tons each is 4 tons over the legal limit), repair wagon, army escort, police vehicles, flashing lights, and cops on motorbikes will thunder by stunned tourists and locals as it tears along the Loch Lomond road, over the hill to Coulport on Loch Long. There they complete the long journey they began from Aldermaston in Berkshire, in South England.

They do this journey at irregular intervals when they take the H Bombs down to test them to make sure they really work, an exercise called – by an incredible piece of unconscious irony – “integrity verification”. The convoy regularly passes through built up areas and along busy roads. In spite of bland reassurances from the MoD, there have been several accidents. I personally witnessed the occasion when a convoy broke down on the slipway off the Erskine Bridge (18th May ’93). Smoke was pouring from the vehicle; it pulled up at the side of the road and lay helpless and vulnerable to the vagaries of passing traffic for four hours. Armed soldiers patrolled anxiously round the convoy in the growing dark.

Likewise, I was following a convoy (the way one does) up the M74 when smoke began pouring out from the rear of a carrier. The police hurriedly directed the convoy into the service station there, and waved the traffic on. These are only two of the many “incidents” which can be examined on SCND’s website www.banthebomb.org., where you can also view photos of the convoy.

When they first brought up the warheads, and the convoys were coming up regularly every six weeks or so, they were usually stopped at Balloch by the good folk of Faslane Peace Camp and supportive peace people. Now that the convoy movements are more erratic and less frequent, it is more difficult to track them. The splendid people of Nukewatch in England monitor Aldermaston and contact the network, though Nukewatch is weak in numbers in Scotland.

xmam14nte6xouakhevfas-qjhabssh-largeOn March 10th, I managed to halt the convoy at Balloch, by the revolutionary act of pressing the Pelican crossing button! I then lay on the road in front of the lead vehicle, was arrested, and taken to Clydebank police station, from where I was released several hours later. My pleading diet is on October 4th.

Likewise, on Thursday Sept. 15, Alistair Ibbotson, a young student from Stirling University, and myself peacefully flagged down and immobilised a convoy carrying H Bombs at Raploch in Stirling, We successfully delayed the convoy for 20 minutes, were arrested and taken to Falkirk police station.

Meanwhile, the government presses on with its programme to replace Trident with a newer, more advanced version. Thus, the considered judgment all the faith groups, the view of the STUC, and of all civic Scotland, are ignored and defied by the UK Government. The political voices of 56 Scottish Members of Parliament are rendered impotent by the collective forces of British nuclear nationalism. Never mind right and wrong, might has prevailed. This is democracy – Great British style. Rejoice, and be glad.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) has calculated that would take 200 atomic explosions to create a nuclear winter, and in effect sterilise the planet. That is the number we have at Coulport. Global nuclear suicide is not a rational defence policy. We may want to go on playing Russian roulette with the future of the planet, but the rest of humanity wants to live free from the threat of instant Armageddon.

An independent Scotland, as being first of the nuclear club to get rid of these, will play an absolutely crucial role in the international in the drive for a global treaty.

The Pope, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and 123 nations of the world have called for an International Treaty banning nuclear weapons, as articulated in the Vienna Initiative. This may be put before the UN in October. There are already in existence treaties banning Biological and Chemical weapons world-wide. Why not nuclear weapons also?

A treaty banning nuclear weapons, even without the participation of nuclear-armed states, will delegitimize and stigmatize nuclear weapons, because such at a law will be “ius cogens” (compelling law) that means that even states that do not agree with it will be compelled because it is the will of the overwhelming majority of humanity.

In the same way nukes can be outlawed even, if the 9 nuclear states don’t agree with this. In fact they must be. Extinction is forever. Either we have a future without nuclear weapons, or we have no future at all.

An independent Scotland, as being first of the nuclear club to get rid of these, will play an absolutely crucial role in the international in the drive for a global treaty.

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