UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Mayday message from Scrap Trident

The Scrap Trident coalition would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters and activists who attended May Day celebrations around Scotland this weekend. The turnout in Glasgow was particularly good and it all helped to keep our message uppermost in the public mind and to remind those in power that the majority of people in this country oppose nuclear weapons:

That last statement, on the overwhelming public support for our cause, might raise the question of why the Scrap Trident campaign needs to exist at all. The answer to that is this – despite the opposition of the vast majority of the public, despite the opposition of the majority of MPs from Scotland and the majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament, despite the opposition of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, despite the opposition of the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Muslim Council of Scotland; despite all this, Trident nuclear missiles are still in place at Faslane and Coulport. Indeed, the current Westminster government, and the official opposition, intend to replace them at a cost of £100 billion.

This situation is an affront to democracy, it is an affront to justice, it is an affront to freedom and it is an affront to peace. Our campaign, today, stands in line with the great workers’ movements of history. On May Day, as we look back upon that proud record of defiance, struggle and perseverance, we say this – as long as a single nuclear warhead exists anywhere in the world, as long as a single child is growing up in poverty, as long as a single person of peaceful conscience finds them-self ignored, belittled, sidelined and disdained we will keep on going and we will never give up.

Today, we say thank you to all those who stand with us, and we say welcome to those who would join us. The menace of Trident has been with us for too long. We now have a unique and unmissable opportunity to end our complicity in the active deployment of these abhorrent weapons. To that end, ordinary people who hope for a peaceful world have to keep the pressure up and ensure that this issue is at the forefront of everyone’s mind as they decide on the future of Scotland.

Over the next few years, we will be mobilising in every corner of Scotland to create a mass movement, extra-parliamentary insurance policy to ensure that the political establishment has the impetus to act definitively on Trident removal. Our campaign is broad-based and will take many forms. As well as putting pressure on the representatives of parliamentary democracy we will be taking direct action, raising public consciousness and working to empower the public. We must never forget that the power in the political struggle lies, not in the legislative bodies, but in the people. Political rights do nor originate in parliaments, they are forced upon parliaments from without. History teaches us that a promise from parliamentarians is no guarantee of security.The only security we can provide is when an idea becomes the will, and the ingrown habit, of the people. This is the task in front of us. For the sake of justice, freedom and peace we must persevere in the face of all opposition, and in the face of all establishment power, until the day we win.