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No Trident replacement demonstration against nuclear weapons
London,February 27, 2016
Report provided by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary
The largest demonstration against nuclear weapons in the UK in a generation took place in London on the 27th February. As many as 100,000 people from all around the UK, and representing disarmament groups around the world, took part in a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) organised event supported by a large number of disarmament groups, faith groups, political parties and trade unions.
The demonstration comes amidst an expected Parliamentary debate on whether the UK should replace and upgrade its four Trident nuclear weapon submarines later in 2016. The current submarines are reaching the end of their operating life and significant preparatory work has already been approved on a replacement programme.
The demonstration started in Hyde Park and travelled on to the Westminster Parliament before concluding with a rally in Trafalgar Square. A key part of the demonstration was highlighting the large costs of Trident replacement - which would run into tens of billions of pounds - at a time of austerity in the public sector.
Parliament before concluding with a rally in Trafalgar Square. A key part of the demonstration was highlighting the large costs of Trident replacement - which would run into tens of billions of pounds - at a time of austerity in the public sector.
Speaking at the rally were the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Green Party Nathalie Bennett and the Leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood. A message of support was sent by the Chair of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities, who were a supporting organisation of the event.
The Parliamentary 'Main Gate' decision which would give final approval of full Trident replacement is now expected in late summer / early autumn.