Re Visiting Greenham Common
There are no fences, topped with razor wire, at Greenham Common now; no ugly, squat concrete buildings; no runways or silos; no convoys of lorries loaded with missiles…. No soldiers or MOD police or bailiffs or dogs. All those locked gates, named by women after the colours of the rainbow, have gone as well. It was outside each of those gates, that groups of warmly-wrapped and often dishevelled women set up camps. The sites were makeshift: a few “benders” made of plastic sheeting and a fire to provide warmth and cooking facilities.
Those fires were the soul of each camp, symbols of hope and determination. Again and again, the bailiffs would stamp then out and throw the blackened kettles and pans into their “munchers” – together with the women’s possessions. Time after time after time, the women would re-light the fires and start over. Some stayed for days, some for weeks, months, years. They did put them out and leave the camps until the Cruise missiles had been taken away and the American base, closed.
Now, trees and ponds and thickets extend in every direction. Birds and rabbits and deer have reclaimed their common. Even on a greyish, coldish day in February it is beautiful. The only remnant of the American army base is the Control Tower, looking harmless, even friendly – its door wide open. No longer do you have to smash a window and break in. Nobody arrests you, tries you in Newbury Crown Court or sends you to prison\. We just walked in!
There was something very familiar about the people crowded round two large tables in the café: thirty years older, and remarkedly clean and tidy, but recognisably these were Greenham women, some accompanied by friends and relatives. The atmosphere was joyful, affectionate, celebratory. We had come to see an exhibition of black-and-white photographs taken by Wendy Carrig while she lived at Blue Gate in 1985. Whoever could have predicted that it could ever be possible to hold such an event in the forbidden, the hostile, Control Tower? The photos are graphic, recording conditions and situations which might otherwise be forgotten and are backed up by informative written records, including one by Rebecca Johnson, who spent five years there. I was accompanied by a grand-daughter, who had never heard of the Greenham Common peace camps until breakfast-time that morning. Like it or not, we are history now.
There are other interesting exhibitions in this newly-friendly Control Tower. Along a passageway, extends a time-line which narrates events which have happened there over the centuries. Upstairs, is a room with aeroplanes and bombs and such things (numerous little boys and dads were in there). At the top, is a glazed viewing area, with wonderful views in all directions.
Afterwards, we went outside, lit a fire and sat round it, sharing food and talking. There was a lot of laughter. Easy to forget, for a short time, that nuclear weapons may have left Greenham Common but there are more of them than ever, spread around the world. And plenty of warlike presidents prepared to press the nuclear button.
1st March 1019
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Tower Hamlets CND Annual General Meeting 2017
Thursday 9 November 2017
Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Kingsley Hall
Come to our AGM 2017 – Listen to our guest speaker, Carol Turner (National CND Vice Chair and Chair of London CND). Meet others and bring your friends too. If you are not a member of TH CND then why not join up – membership is only £7pa.
• Wheelchair accessible
Tower Hamlets CND AGM at
Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, Bromley by Bow • London E3 3HJ
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Hiroshima Day 2017
On 06 August Tower Hamlets CND joined people from all across the country to commemorate the hundreds of thousands people that died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets – one of the world’s 161 Mayors for Peace – gave us this statement to be read out on his behalf: Mayor John Biggs Statement for Hiroshima Day
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UN negotiations for a global ban on nuclear weapons
Tower Hamlets CND members call on their MPs to ask the Government to participate constructively.
On 27 March, 130 countries assembled for the start of negotiations at the UN in New York on an international treaty to “prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination”. These negotiations were originally voted for at the UN by 123 countries, and opposed by 38 (mostly nuclear weapon states and NATO members). Significantly, though, three nuclear weapon states, India, Pakistan and China, abstained and North Korea voted in favour. Our Government is boycotting the negotiations. Labour’s shadow minister for peace and disarmament, Fabian Hamilton, however, attended as an observer.
The negotiations resume in June and end on 7 July. They are supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Pope Francis, an open letter by over 3,000 scientists and Nobel Laureates and by the European Parliament.
The utmost importance and urgency of these talks is underlined by the announcement at the beginning of this year in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that the Doomsday Clock has advanced to two and a half minutes to midnight.
Constituent members of Tower Hamlets CND sent letters to Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse and to Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali in early March 2017. The full text of the letters can be found here: 2017 March 12 Letter to Jim Fitzpatrick
We had a positive reply from Jim Fitzpatrick telling us that he and the Labour Shadow Foreign Office Minister, Catherine West would write to the Foreign Secretary and ask about the UK’s role in the Conference and copy us into their response. This was followed by a reply from Rushanara Ali, responding to a reference in our letter to the recent failed Trident missile test, expressing her concern about this, whilst ignoring altogether the UN negotiations and our request; she ignored our two follow up letters. But we will continue to press our political leaders for action on Nukes!
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Remember Chernobyl & Fukushima
April 26th marked the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster which led to thousands of deaths, destroyed communities, and caused far-reaching environmental damage.
A month before we remembered the Fukushima disaster from 2011 – and all the while the British government is planning to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.
Join us at a special CND conference in London on Saturday 17 June where we will explore ow to build a world without nuclear power and what roles renewable energy could play in a safer future
Experts will discuss a number of topics including what’s wrong with nuclear power; the politics of nuclear power; energy demand, energy efficiency; and the scope of renewables in the UK.
For more details and to book your online ticket click here.
Read here about previous actions by Tower Hamlets CND
We held our 2016 AGM on 09 June with guest speaker Daniel Blaney (Vice Chair of National CND). Daniel lead a discussion about Trident in the context of the upcoming EU Referendum and the current political landscape that is shaped by the Labour leadership under Jeremy Corbyn. Issues that were highlighted included the need to continue working on developing and strengthening new leadership across the political parties and civil society paired with the ongoing need for more political education around the impact of a potential Trident renewal. Daniel also emphasised the importance of continuing the discussion around the fear of jobs related to Trident should the renewal plans not go ahead.
We discussed ways to influence the Labour Defence review in a public Tower Hamlets CND meeting on 14 April: We were pleased to have speaker, Carol Turner, Chair of London Region CND and Vice-Chair of Labour CND to give us a presentation about the practical arguments against Trident renewal which is included in The Labour Party’s review of their Defence Policy. Carol also informed us how we can each – whether member of the party or CND or not – help influencing the review by sending a submission with our views to the chairperson overseeing the review. As Carol Turner said, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime to influence the policy of a political party which could become the next government in 2020. Please use your chance“. More details can be found here.
We remembered: on 06 August it was 70 years since the catastrophic bombing of Hiroshima. To make the day London Region CND invited Londoners to a commemoration ceremony; our treasurer Phil Sedler was there and wrote this report:
On August 6th every year the London Region of CND holds an event in Tavistock Square to mark the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. On this occasion, the rally clashed with a tube strike, so pessimists like me thought that the attendance would be poor.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Perhaps it was the fact that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing, and therefore is somewhat special. Maybe it was because a certain Jeremy Corbyn was down as a speaker (he normally acts as compere). Whatever it was, where normally there are maybe a hundred of us present, this time the numbers at least doubled and maybe tripled.
This is a really worthwhile event. Bruce Kent compered, we had present the Mayors of both Camden and Islington – we must ask our new Mayor at least to send a message next year as he is after all a Mayor for Peace – Jenny Jones from the Green Party, a contribution from the Battersea Peace Pagoda, as well as a singer and a choir. Oh yes, and the aforementioned Jeremy gave a barnstorming speech.
Several Tower Hamlets CND members were there, while one of our members, Belle Harris, provided the ingredients for an excellent picnic.
Put it in your diaries for next year. I think August 6th will be on a Saturday, so there can be no excuses.
Tower Hamlets CND’s AGM took place on 11 June 2015 with guest speaker Kat Hobbes from CAAT/Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Every other year the ExCel Centre in Newham hosts one of the world’s largest and certainly most pivotal arms fairs. The next one will take place in September this year and CAAT in collaboration with ELAF/East London Against Arms Fairs is preparing a series of events which Kat informed us about; check CAAT events 2015 for details and updates.
Tower Hamlets Question Time was a public event for Tower Hamlets residents to debate with their Parliamentary candidates a week before the General Elections on questions concerning Trident/nuclear disarmament, international trade, environmental issues and the NHS.
Initiated by Tower Hamlets CND in cooperation with Tower Hamlets Keep our NHS Public, Save Our Surgeries, Hackney and Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth, Tower Hamlets and Jenin Friendship Association and 38 Degrees Bethnal Green & Bow.
On 29 April Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and TUSC candidates presented their parties’ views in response to questions from the host organisations and the audience in a lively debate at Oxford House attended by nearly 100 people.
The Mayor of Tower Hamlet’s statement for the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings on 06 & 09 August 1945 can be read here: MoTH Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombings 2014.
Wrap Up Trident
Together with some 3,000 other anti-nuclear activists some of us from Tower Hamlets CND joined the initiative to wrap up the Ministry of Defence in several miles of pink scarf – parts from the 7 mile artwork created for Wool Against Weapons (see below). This marked the beginning of CND’s election campaign to remind the political parties that Trident does matter and a large number of the people that will vote in May oppose spending billions of pounds to replace it. Read more about it on the CND website and iTV news.
Wool Against Weapons – Action Day on 09 August 2014:
On 09 August 2014, Wool Against Weapons and CND organised a national Action Day to commemorate Nagasaki Day with a very special very fluffy campaign: for over 24 months prior to this Wool Against Weapons has called on people to knit, crochet, weave, patch-work or embroider pink pieces of 100x60cm size to contribute to a 7 miles long scarf to be rolled out from the village of Aldermaston to the village of Burghfield.
Both villages host factories that produce nuclear warheads as part of the UK Government’s Trident programme. The current government proposes to spend over £100 billion in renewing this programme – and Wool Against Weapons says No! to more nuclear weapons and No! to spending public money on nuclear arms instead of vital public services affected by large-scale cuts.
09 August was the roll-out day: pink pieces crafted by over 5,000 knitters from the UK, France, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, the Middle East, parts of South America and elsewhere were joined and stretched along the road from one AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) to the other one. Tower Hamlets CND members were among the knitters and were excited to be part of the action day: it was amazing to see the level of dedication, passion, creativity and craftiness that went into this shared message. Whilst we hope you’ll enjoy looking at some of the photos and video footage of the day here – we also hope you’ll support spreading the message: No! to spending public money on the production of weapons that cannot be used against an enemy that doesn’t exist!
Safer World Without Nuclear Weapons
(c) images by ArtZone
On 15 April 2014, CND Vice President and former priest Bruce Kent brought his national tour No faith in Trident to Tower Hamlets. Set up as an interfaith platform, this evening was hosted by the London Muslim Centre and co-chaired by Kate Hudson, the CND’s General Secretary.
The evening was opened by Shaykh Abdul Qayum, Chief Imam of the East London Mosque. He reminded the audience – largely made up by men who had attended the evening prayer at the mosque – that valuing ‘life first’ is inherent to the Muslim faith which respects ‘the sanctity of all life’. He added that in line with that ‘no faith will recommend the production of such [nuclear] bombs]’.
The Shaykh then urged the audience to create public awareness and encourage political dialogue – e.g. by writing to our MPs – about the government’s intention to produce nuclear warheads at high public costs at a time when ‘public spending is at an all time low’.
He ended with the important but controversial observation that ‘if you allow some countries to produce [nuclear weapons] and others not, this is injustice’.
Shaykh Abdul Qayum’s address was followed by a speech by Bruce Kent, who highlighted the shared values among people of faith and that faith ‘encourages us to consider ourselves trustees of the world, not owners’. Which runs counter to the UK government’s current defence strategy which relies on creating threats and ‘depends on young men [being] willing to commit mass murder’. Further than that. with the renewal of trident we are ‘multiplying our risks and extending the possibilities of danger to ourselves’. Bruce appealed to the audience to get active saying ‘we need more people who are prepared to say no to this insanity’.
In the consequent Q & A sessions a range of ideas were circulated that can help to move beyond this situation of ‘insanity’ which included first and foremost Bruce Kent’s suggestion ‘to build more trust’ and build ‘little tiny bridges – because we can all build bridges’. He also pointed out the importance of trying ‘to bring people with you, move with people in ways they can feel with you – don’t do things that alienate people’ as well as being visible about your activism and ‘never shy away from opening up conversations.
On a very practical level there are two things people can commit to straight away:
Wednesday 11 June, 12 noon -6pm Join the No faith in Trident lobby of parliament event, more info here
Sign the Rethink Trident petition here
13 February 2014: Dr Swee Chai Ang has been our special guest at the Tower Hamlets CND AGM. The founder and patron of Medical Aid for Palestine spoke about “What Change for Peace in the Middle East?”.
01 April 2013: “Stop Fooling with Nuclear Weapons” was a protest organised by CND to highlight the ongoing development of the government’s Trident nuclear weapons programme at AWE Aldermaston. Thousands went to demonstrate from all across the country including a group from Tower Hamlets. Read here what the BBC reports about the event.
7 February 2013: Liam Geary Baulch from Stop the Arms Fair Coalitionhas been our guest speaker at the Tower Hamlets CND meeting in Tower Hamlets. He updated us on the current campaign to stop the world’s largest arms fair held every 2 years in East London. One of the coalition’s aims is to make this a bigger issue again for people of East London and to highlight that the arms industry is not, as the Government likes to make us belief, a guarantor for urgently needed jobs in this country. Research by another campaign group, Campaign Against The Arms Fair (CAAT) shows that the number of jobs in arms exports has decreased consistently over the years and continues to do so. In 2012, arms trade jobs employed only 0.2% of the total UK workforce and comprised less than 1.2% of UK exports. CAAT argues that the valuable engineering skills of arms industry workers could be redeployed in the growing renewables industry… (for more see here)
To find out more how you can get involved in the campaign to stop the world’s biggest arms fair you can get in touch directly with Stop the Arms Fair Coalition by email (info[at]stopthearmsfair[dot]org[dot]uk) or check out their website for upcoming events.
Correspondence with MoD: Tower Hamlets CND has been in communication with the Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology with regards to the Government’s investment plans into the UK’s nuclear weapons programme.
Read our letter to Minister Peter Luff here: Tower Hamlets CND to MP Peter Luff 24.07.2012
Read the response from Minister Luff to Tower Hamlets CND here: Response by MP Peter Luff 20.08.2012
Read the response from Shadow Minister of Defence Jim Murphy here: Response by Jim Murphy 10.10.2012
And see here a recent Guardian poll from October about people’s views on Government plans regarding Trident replacement.
Hiroshima Day 2012: Tower Hamlets CND run an information stall at Kingsley Hall Peace Festival on 5th August in commemoration of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945. Aside from information we offered visitors the opportunity to learn how to fold origami paper cranes in the tradition of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Mayor’s Olympic Statement: Tower Hamlets CND has worked with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to publish a statement as a host borough of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and as signatory to the Mayors For Peace campaign.
Read the statement of the Mayor of Tower Hamlet’s here: Mayor’s Olympic Statement June 2012
Read the responding letter from the Mayor of Hiroshima to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets here: Letter to Mayor Rahman from Mayor Matsui
No Missiles in our Community: Members of Tower Hamlets CND joined a protest march organised by Stop The Olympic Missiles on 30 June in Tower Hamlets. The march was well attended by a wide range of different people and covered in a lot of national and international media – but the Ministry of Defence has gone against the expressed wishes of residents and politicians and confirmed its decision to place surface to air missiles in residential sites in the 6 Olympic boroughs.
Read here for more information.
Click here to watch the speech of Len Aldis, chair of Tower Hamlets CND, at the march.
Stop the Olympic Missiles: Members of Tower Hamlets CND attended a public forum hosted by Stop the Olympic Missiles in Bow following the announcement of the UK government’s plan to deploy surface-to-air missiles on residential buildings including Bow Quarter in Tower Hamlets.
The meeting was hosted by vice chair of Stop The War Coalition, Chris Nineham, and addressed by a panel of speakers including MP Rushanara Ali, Cllr Rania Khan, Respect member Abjol Miah, and Bow Quarter resident and journalist Brian Whelan – who is now threatened with eviction for having gone public with his objections to both the Government’s plans of militarising a residential community and the lack of consultation with the local residents about it.
According to Chris Nineham the UK’s 2012 Olympic security operation will cost more than what China spend to secure the Games in 2008, and will include ca 48,000 security personnel (including 1,000 armed US troops patrolling my borough Tower Hamlets), helicopters and buildings with snipers, 11 miles of electric fence around the Olympic park, a military-grade Long Range Acoustic Device to disperse crowds, the Royal Navy’s biggest warship stationed in the River Thames, Typhoon jets ready for action in the air, and the surface-to-air missiles.
All speakers unanimously expressed their disapproval of the lack of consultation of local residents and local council, and their concern about the likely safety threats posed by the missiles: from their known incompatibility with poor weather and their 20% failure rate, to the impact of an explosion of missiles with a 3-5 mile radius in one of London’s most populated neighbourhoods, and the danger of falling metal and debris as the missiles were launched, speakers were united in their desire to persuade the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to review their decision.
MoD representative had been invited to the meeting but decided to withdraw from attending on very short notice. The reason they gave was that they thought it untimely to consult with people before the final decision was made; the MoD also argued that this matter only affected the residents of Bow Quarter and they therefore did not see the need for attending a community wide meeting.
The meeting was attended by ca 200 people from different areas of London and very different walks of life – but all agreed with the speakers that the MoD’s plans will lead to the militarisation of the Olympic Games and London in general, which will have a profound impact on the communities and residents living here.
The meeting voted unanimously against these plans and expressed the need to keep up the pressure needs through campaigning and protesting: “we need to be out there raging” as one local resident put it.
An opportunity to do so and tell the Government that we do not agree with their plans is on Saturday 30 June: a demonstration against the missiles is scheduled to assemble at Wennington Green (Mile End Park) on Roman Road and march to Bow Quarter.
For more information click here.
Tower Hamlets CND was pleased to have guest speaker Vijay Mehta introducing his latest book “The Economics of Killing” to us on 3rd May: His book gives a fascinating insight into how the famous military industrial complex works and links it with the current financial crises and how Western governments contribute to perpetuating conflict.
Vijay explained to us how his research got him to understand that the infamous military industrial complex is an expression of our war economy: an economy based on the power of global elites and obsessed with war and military spending, that contributes to the perpetuating violence, militarism and inequality in a globalised world.
Vijay argued that a different world is possible, based on policies of disarmament, demilitarisation, democratisation and sustainable development. What is needed, and what is actually possible now, at this historic moment when economic systems are crumbling and people lose faith in them, is “to get out of our military mindset” and restructure the current systems that make us far too dependent on military spending – and invest instead in sustainable technologies, alleviation of poverty, leadership and new values & ethics. “Peace is our birth right: we should claim it” (Vijay Mehta).
Hinkley Point Demonstration
Member of THCND were happy to join a full coach of London opponents of nuclear power for a demonstration at Hinkley Point on 10 March. Hinkley Point – in the middle of nowhere – saw about 1,000 people descending on it from all over the country in a protest against the Government’s plans to expand nuclear power. The protest was timed to commemorate the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Nuclear power after Fukushima – Public meeting with guest speaker Dr Ian Fairlie on 02 February 2012
Tower Hamlets CND was very pleased that Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, spoke on the role and risks of nuclear power after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in March 2011; the talk was followed by our AGM.
Nearly a year after a very heavy earthquake and a subsequent tsunami hit Japan causing one of history’s worst nuclear disasters, the area is still just “on balance” as Dr Ian Fairlie told Tower Hamlets CND in a public meeting on 2 February.
In the days immediately after the disaster 3 of the 4 reactors experienced a full meltdown through steel and concrete. As workers struggled to cool and shut down the reactors, several hydrogen explosions occurred in the reactors. TEPCO, the Company that maintains the plant is currently just about managing to keep the temperature stable to avoid further catastrophe – and according to Dr Fairlie they might have to do that for the unforeseeable future.
Dr Fairlie spoke about the reactions to the disaster in Japan – where the disaster and the way it was managed provoked huge anti-nuclear demonstrations (over 80,000 in Tokyo in May and over 60,000 in September 2011) – but also in other parts of the world, in particular Germany. According to Dr Fairlie, Germany now has the biggest renewable resources in Europe even though it has geographically the least potential for renewable energy; currently some 350,000 workers are employed in renewable technologies in Germany as opposed to approximately 15,000 in the UK. Dr Fairlie expressed his frustration about the UK Government’s dependence on nuclear energy, “it is almost a religion that they have” despite a large proportion of uranium coming from politically unstable countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia and Niger. Equally worrying is the trend that in the UK – as opposed to most Central and North European countries – the public opinion over the past years has shifted strongly towards considering nuclear energy as a safe source of energy. While Japan is still on the edge of a catastrophe the UK seems determined to ignore all lessons learnt from the disaster – Dr Ian Fairlie closed his presentation with George Santayana quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
Dr Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment
Peace In The Middle East – Public meeting with guest speaker Dr Swee Chain Ang
Tower Hamlets CND was recently greatly honoured that the distinguished local surgeon Swee Chain Ang, founder and patron of Medical Aid for Palestine, joined us at our meeting on 1st December at Kingsley Hall, E3 3HJ to share her hopes and fears about the situation in the Middle East with us.
Inspired by her words Tower Hamlets CND has sent a letter to our local MPs Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick as well as to Dr Caroline Lucas (MP) and Jean Lambert (MEP), to suggest the idea of organising a meeting in Parliament with Dr Swee Ang to help raising awareness of the plight of Palestinians: “The fear of being accused of anti-semitism should not prevent a wider appreciation of the true situation in Israel-Palestine”.
Meeting with International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal
Hashida Dave on behalf of the International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal (ICJB) joined Tower Hamlets CND for our meeting on 3 November to talk about a local campaign against Dow Chemicals. Dow Chemicals is one of the US companies that manufactured Agent Orange and Napalm which were used with such devastating effect in Vietnam; Dow Chemicals also owned Uniona Carbide which has been responsible for the world’s worst industrial disaster in 1984 in Bhopal, India. ICJB has been formed to help bring justice for the survivors in Bhopal.
Dow Chemicals has been awarded the contract to make a curtain of 336 panels of 25×2.5 metres to surround the Olympic Stadium in East London which will then be used fo advertisements.
We discussed plans for a local campaign in 2012 to highlight the links to Dow Chemical’s role in Bhopal and Vietnam. ICJB is also organising a Survivors Tour from Bhopal coming to London in September 2012. For more information click here: http://bhopal.net/
10th anniversary of the world’s largest arms fair at London’s Excel Centre – we joined the protest
Silent candle light vigil
Tower Hamlets CND has sent the following press release to the local newspaper:
Ten-years ago this month at the Excel Centre in East London, the world’s largest Arms Fair opened, the date 11 September 2001. During the day when the deals were being done to sell/purchase the latest weapons, reports came through of two passenger airliners had crashed into the Twins Towers in New York resulting in the deaths of over 3,000.
Despite this tragic news, the buyers and sellers continued, not even a minute’s silence was held. Since that tragic event many wars have taken place, some still continue to this day, Afghanistan is one, Libya another, countless lives have been lost, thousands left crippled. And the sales of weapons continue, as they will on 13th September.
Coming to purchase there weapons of mass destruction will be buyers from regimes who will not hesitate, as we have seen, to use them on their own people. On offer will be the very latest killing machines that money can buy, and the money is there. Companies such as BAE, Lockheed-Martin will display their top Buy of the month, Nuclear Submarines, the very latest Drones that can and has killed men, women and children, daily we have read and seen these in action on our TV screen, steered to their targets by people sitting in their bunkers thousands of miles away. How about Depleted Uranium tipped shells, ideal for leaving a legacy of abnormal births. The latest high tech Tanks, Destroyers, Typhoon planes. Such will be the weapons on offer and these will be bought.
In the coming months as we read of more wars be they a country invading another, or civil wars, the weapons sold at ExCel will be those used. The time to end this evil trade is long overdue and I hope that the reader will join with many of us who will be protesting at ExCel during the four days and also outside Parliament calling on our MPs to stop the Arms Trade.
Len Aldis, Chairman Tower Hamlets CND
On 6th August 2011 we commemorated the 66th anniversary of Hiroshima Day.
We particularly enjoyed folding paper cranes with young people at the V&A Museum of Childhood,and telling them about the story of Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes…
On 26th April 2011 we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
We are particularly moved by the powerful work of 2 local artists that tell their own story:
Tower Hamlets CND encourages Mayor Lutfur Rahman to sign the international “Mayor for Peace” campaign
Tower Hamlets Council has signed up to the Mayors for Peace initiative founded by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an effort to prevent any other city going through what theirs suffered.
Atom bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the US air force, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the devastating consequences of radiation poisoning affecting subsequent generations.
To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have sought to tell the world about the impacts of nuclear weapons urging them to be abolished.
The Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the initiative.
Len Aldis, Chair of Tower Hamlets CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) along with colleagues John Rowe and John Pemberton met with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman and Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Cllr Ohid Ahmed on April 4 to present them with two books donated by Shoso Kawamoto, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “The Mayors for Peace Initiative is a good example of leaders coming together and speaking out for nuclear disarmament and a nuclear weapons-free world.”
Mr Aldis added: “I am very pleased the Mayor is supporting Mayors for Peace with its aim to end to all nuclear weapons by 2020.”
So far more than 150 countries have pledged their support for the campaign. To find out more visit http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/
April 6, 2011, East End Life