Nagasaki Day Protest at SNP Headquarters in Edinburgh
We joined our Trident Ploughshares friends early yesterday morning to bring our peaceful protest against nuclear weapons to the SNP Headquarters in Edinburgh. We chose to stage a peaceful “die in” on Nagasaki Day to highlight the absurdity and incompatibility of the SNP maintaining their anti-nuclear stance whilst opting to enshrine a pro-NATO stance in party policy.
We arrived at 8.30am with our colourful banners and song sheets. After a short time singing, we lay down on the ground as the dead, to honour the victims of Hiroshima and remind the SNP that their u-turn on NATO has ramifications with their foundations rooted in the murder of the thousands of innocent civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
NATO is a nuclear armed alliance with over 5,000 nuclear weapons under it’s control, many of which are stationed, through complex political and economic pressures, all over Europe in otherwise non-nuclear countries. This is creating a new nuclear arms race with Russia.
The SNP have admirable, long standing principled objections to nuclear weapons and involvement in aggressive foreign wars. Both of which have become the assumed raison d’etre of NATO in the wake of the reasons for it’s original inception being no longer relevant since the fall of the Soviet Union. NATO is the biggest force in illegal nuclear proliferation and has been engaged in an illegal war in Afghanistan for ten years killing thousands.
For the SNP to make moves that would commit an independent Scotland to full NATO membership, whilst maintaining commitment to their anti-nuclear stance, meaning they would remove Trident from Scotland, simply doesn’t make sense.
This move is leading the more cynical of us to believe that what we are witnessing is a not-so-subtle renege on their anti-nuclear stance and could be testing the political arena for a watered down approach to Trident removal in the event of independence (such as: a removal process that would take decades, and could even facilitate a due Trident replacement programme; or worse, could involve leasing the Faslane and Coulport naval bases to the UK).
In the run up to independence, we need to ensure that the political parties involved are committed to a vision of Scotland that it’s peoples want and not a Scotland created behind closed doors, driven by shady power deals and political underhandedness.
The SNP are planning to vote on their change of policy on NATO at their October conference in Perth. In the time between now and then it is crucial that we stand up and take measures to prevent this from happening. We want a nuclear free Scotland, we want a Scotland for Peace. Moreover, we want a nice wee Scotland that is shaped by the will of the people, not behind-the-scenes dealings for power and political control in international issues that are outside our remit.
To help ensure this NATO u-turn does not go ahead and for more info on NATO see the No To NATO Scotland Coalition website : http://notonatoscotland.org.uk/
or the facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NotoNatoScotland