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Today’s Aldermaston protests brought bishops, anti-nuclear protestors and nobel prize winners together. See this news zone I created earlier in the day on the U.S. based website Helium: Nobel Prize Winners join blockade of Aldermaston nuclear factory.

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Whilst Westminster politicians continue to dither over the sense (or non-sense) of spending huge amounts of cash on Trident replacement – Genny Bove and other members of Wrexham Peace and Justice Forum and Wrexham Women for Peace  (in North Wales) have been out on the streets asking people on the ground what they think.

Genny Bove is quoted in the  Wrexham Leader as saying: “Shoppers, workers, students and pensioners were among those who took part in the survey, which invited people to suggest ways in which the money earmarked for Trident could be more usefully spent by ticking their choices or making their own suggestions on a large wall chart and on survey sheets.

“The most popular suggestion was to use the money on health services, with education, jobs, the environment and public transport not far behind.

“Other popular suggestions were pensions, housing, benefits and childcare.

“One group of students felt strongly that there was a need for more spending on social care for disabled people; several people mentioned the need for more funding for residential care and home care services, and there were many comments along the lines of ‘Anything but Trident!’.”

For the full report as published in the Wrexham Leader (and to add your voice to the Wrexham Leader’s poll on Trident) see this link:

War and peace repeat themselves as themes here. Global nuclear disarmament? What’s the state of play and how are we to understand what is happening right now? In Britain the recession and changing public opinion cast doubt on the future of the Trident submarine system. See this report.

The British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament warmly welcomed the suggestion that: “the Government is to delay the ‘Initial Gate’ decision on replacing the Trident nuclear weapons submarines, pending the outcome of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in May 2010. Previously, the Government planned to move on to the next stage of the replacement process during the Parliamentary recess in September”.

In the U.S. Barack Obama has pledged to lobby hard to realise the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Do such developments mean the case for global nuclear disarmament is gaining ground? Associated Press reported today on some of the hurdles Obama faces which include securing enough sympathetic votes to sway the Senate. Read the AP report here.

Meanwhile it’s only a few weeks since anti-nuclear activists walked into the military base at Faslane where the Trident submarine is sited. They entered the base unchallenged. What does this say about the so-called safety of nuclear arsenals? See this Trident Ploughshares link for details of the latest citizen action.

Remember Hiroshima - Street stall - Chester - Triden Ploughshares

Trident Ploughshares engages with the general public. Chester City Centre. Photo by Frances Laing

 It’s 12.30 on a hot afternoon in the centre of Chester and Trident Ploughshares supporters are holding the anti-nuclear fort with a street stall. Some people consider this way of communicating ‘old hat’ but judging by the response stall members got today, it’s still a vital way of speaking directly to the general public, even in our digital age.

This sort of stall can have an immediate and global reach, especially in Chester. The two people on the left of the picture are visiting the city and signed petitions. They’re from Iran – they’re wearing the famous green armbands, sharing experiences of repression and resistance and showing their support for international nuclear disarmament.
Trident Ploughshares Banner. Photo Frances Laing

Trident Ploughshares Banner. Photo Frances Laing

Trident Ploughshare posters. Picture by Frances Laing

Trident Ploughshares posters. Picture by Frances Laing