Wales says ‘NHS not Trident’ ‘People not Trident’

Welsh campaigners from across the country will be taking part in demonstrations in Newport (Gwent) and in London this Saturday to voice their concerns about British nuclear weapons and the demise of the NHS. They will call on the Government to meet the real needs of people, by cutting Trident – not jobs, health or education.

Campaigners will be travelling to London from Gwynedd, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Wrexham, Powys and Ceredigion to take part in ‘Wrap up Trident’. Westminster Government and Parliament buildings will be encircled with a “peace scarf” knitted by thousands of ordinary people. Many of the knitters of this scarf are from Wales. Recently it was ‘draped’ at events in Knighton, Aberystwyth and at a protest against spending on weapons at the entrance to drones testing site ParcAberporth. In July, campaigners from Wales took the scarf to a ‘7 mile long’ demonstration between AWE Aldermaston and AWE Burghfield; factories where nuclear weapons are manufactured and refurbished.

At the same time in Newport (south east Wales) members and supporters of Newport CND will be standing in solidarity and calling for ‘NHS not Trident’, outside the Royal Gwent Hospital. They will be showing their support for the NHS and sending a clear message to MPs that Trident must be scrapped, not replaced.

The NHS across Britain is currently experiencing the worst A&E waiting times in a decade. NHS Wales alone is dealing with a recently announced £2.5bn funding gap. Despite this, the Westminster Government is planning to spend £100bn on a new, lethal and unnecessary Cold War nuclear weapons system to replace the current Trident system. Already £3.3bn is being spent in the “Assessment Phase”, while £2-3bn continues to be spent each year in maintaining and deploying the current Trident system.

Dr John Cox, Chair of Newport CND commented:
“It is of particular concern to those taking part in these events that the Westminster Government has just announced £261 million of extra funding for new nuclear weapons. That is less than 0.3 per cent of the total cost of replacing Trident. Scrapping the project would save over £100 billion pounds in the longer term: money which could be spent on health, education and a fairer society.”

Jill Gough CND Cymru National Secretary said today:
Nuclear weapons and theories of deterrence and ‘mutually assured destruction’ have never made any sense. Nuclear proliferation, especially at this point of history, risks an unprecedented global catastrophe. Campaigners do not want mainstream – or indeed any – political parties to bring back the Cold War.”

Peace campaigner from Llandeilo Sue Davies, one of the many travelling to London for the January 24th protest commented:
“Nuclear weapons are not an effective way of defending ourselves in today’s world. The enormous sums of public money spent on them by the UK Government could better be used to pay for the NHS, build affordable homes or end child poverty. And if nuclear weapons are ever used, or there is a nuclear accident, then they could cost us the earth!”

LONDON Saturday 24th January 2015 12pm – 3pm
Ministry of Defence, Horseguards Ave, London
Nearest tube: Charing Cross/Embankment/Westminster
RALLY SPEAKERS: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Julie Ward MEP, Shahrar Ali (Deputy Leader, Green Party), Kate Hudson (CND), Bruce Kent (CND), Lindsey German (Stop the War), Heather Wakefield (UNISON), Khalil Charles (Muslim Association of Britain), Ben Griffin (Veterans for Peace) and spoken word artist Potent Whisper. t: 020 7700 2393

NEWPORT Saturday 24th January 2015 11am – 1pm
Royal Gwent Hospital NP20 2UB
Meeting at 10.30 on the pavement at Cardiff Road / Belle Vue Lane corner, outside the Royal Gwent.

More information from John Minnion (see below)

Interviews and contacts
John Cox (Newport CND and CND Cymru) e: t: 01495 773 495 m: 07940582593
Duncan Rees (Wrexham) e: m: 0777 426 8371
Brian Jones (Swansea) e: t: 01792 830330 m: 07765498072
Angie Zelter (Knighton) e: m: 0745 658 8943
Sue Davies (Llandeilo) e: t: 01558 824 017
John Minnion (Newport Gwent) e: t: 01633 211368 m: 07899 997457
Phil Steele (Bangor) e: t: 01248 490 715 m: 0790 889 5986
Jill Gough CND Cymru t: 01239 85 11 88 e:

The Westminster Government is pushing ahead with new research and funding before the scheduled 2016 parliamentary decision on Trident replacement, in an attempt to create a fait accompli. This Tuesday afternoon, 20 January 2015 the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the SNP will be leading a debate at Westminster on this issue, in order to enable a democratic process:

Costs of Trident:

Vote on Trident 20th January :

Forthcoming Events