Rally in support of nuclear weapon ban treaty planned for 'the site of our national shame'

International speakers announced the ‘Nae Nukes Anywhere’ rally at Faslane on 22 September

THE SCOTTISH CAMPAIGN FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT has announced that international campaigners against nuclear weapons from at least six countries will be speaking at the ‘Nae Nukes Anywhere’ march and rally at Faslane this September, in an “expression of global solidarity for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

The demonstration aims to highlight the strength of support from many United Nations member states for Scotland’s recognition of the TPNW, which has been endorsed by a majority of Scottish MPs and MSPs, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has signed a pledge in support of the groundbreaking international agreement.

Recognising the importance of the TPNW at the SNP’s 2017 conference, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We will never accept that a limit should be placed on the contribution Scotland can make to building a better world. Strong voices for peace and justice are needed now more than ever.

“We say ‘no’ to weapons of mass destruction. We say ‘no’ to nuclear weapons on the River Clyde, or anywhere else.”

“Our hearts are warmed by the readiness of folk from across the globe to come our site of national shame, to encourage us to continue the struggle against nuclear madness.” Scottish CND vice-chair Janet Fenton

The treaty is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively rid the world of nuclear weapons. Adopted by the the United Nations on 7 July 2017 and signed on 20 September that year, the treaty’s success led to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) being named as the collective recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

There are currently 53 nations listed as signatories of the treaty, though the UK is not among them.

Under current constitutional arrangements, Scotland cannot fully become a party to the TPNW, but the upcoming rally hopes to demonstrate the determination of Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners to make their voice heard and re-assert their vision for Scotland “as a land free of weapons of mass destruction and energetic in our support for their removal from the UK and the whole world.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon signs pledge in support of Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

Confirmed speakers at the 22 September rally include Sharon Doley, Founding director of the Israeli Disarmament Movement; Professor of International Relations at Ural Federal University Ekatrina Earsalovna; Anthony Donovan, writer, organiser and documentary maker on peace and disarmament from New York; Emad Kiyaei, an Iranian political, business and civil society consultant; Maaike Beenes, a campaigner with PAX in the Netherlands; members of South Korea’s People’s Democratic Party, who visited Scotland as part of their Peace Expedition; Allison Pytlak, who was awarded, along with Ray Acheson, the UN Women’s Champion for Change status this year for their advocacy in the campaign for the TPNW; and Timmon Wallis, the National Co-ordinator of NuclearBan.US. Attendants from Kazakhstan and France are also expected.

Commenting on her involvement in the rally, Ekatrina Earsalovna said: “Since I already belong to the generation of those who do not know what war is, and future generations are already getting mythological pictures about the war, I want future experts, diplomats and politicians to be on the side of peace, understand its fragility and value.

READ MORE: Janet Fenton: The Scots in Oslo making their mark in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning fight against nuclear arms

“I do not like the modern rhetorical discourse by Russian diplomats around nuclear weapons. Some Russian experts call nuclear weapons a gift given to us by God. It is not right. I see my role in destroying these myths, in working out a critical view of nuclear weapons by teaching and popularization of peace studies. That’s why it is very important for me to understand how civil society and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom works in Scotland.”

Janet Fenton, vice-chair of the Scottish CND and Scottish liaison for ICAN added: “Our hearts are warmed by the readiness of folk from across the globe to come our site of national shame, to encourage us to continue the struggle against nuclear madness, and to let us know that we in our turn offer hope to the worldwide movement with our rejection of nuclear weapons and our potential to move the UK towards disarmament.”

More information about the ‘Nae Nukes Anywhere’ march and rally can be found here.

Picture courtesy of Scottish CND

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