The Scottish Referendum and the Yes Campaign highlighted an issue close to my heart: Nuclear Disarmament. At last years Autumn Green Party Conference a few of the Falkirk Greens went to the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament fringe event, I left this event with the intention of affiliating Falkirk Greens with Scottish CND and supporting the establishment of Green CND within the wider Scottish Green Party. Since them the weekly Falkirk Green stall has had the CND Bairns not Bombs leaflets and the weekend before the Trident Renewal vote in August there was Falkirk Green members at both the Glasgow and Edinburgh gatherings the weekend before the vote.
The first political act I remember making was to join Grangemouth CND when I was around 14, almost 35 years ago. Living in Grangemouth, next to the BP oil refinery, during the Cold War period I was more than aware that my town was a target for Russia missiles, Due to the concept of mutually assured distraction, we would be obliterated no matter which side launched a nuclear strike, either intentionally or by mistake. I can still remember young people my age talking about what they would do during the Three Minute Warning while walking to school or playing in the school playground. I think the screening of Protect and Survive, the 1970’s civil defence film made by the BBC but immediately banned from transmission as it was feared there would be a public outcry to the reality of a nuclear attack, was the only meeting of Grangemouth CND but I have probably worn a CND badge every year since.
Around 2008 I joined Stirling CND after I watched a video about their cafe at the Anti-Trident blockades at Faslane, where the UK nuclear submarines are based on the Clyde. On around four occasions I made the 5am journey to Faslane to set up and provide hot drinks and food with Stirling CND’s “Jelly Peace Cafe”. After the early start the cafe could shut before lunch time as the majority of protestors would be arrested at the submarine base North gate and taken away to be processed at local police stations.
It took me a bit longer than I expected to take the proposal to affiliate to CND to the Falkirk Greens monthly meeting but as of August 2016 Falkirk Greens are now affiliated. Before the end of the year I hope to organise a meeting to explore the nuclear issue either with a guest speaker or with a film, maybe even Protect and Survive.