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19th July 2016

Bad News on Trident, Better News on Peace Tax

More updates on our Time to Bin Trident and Taking a Stand themes.

Time to Bin Trident

First the bad news: MPs voted to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system last night (18th July).  While the result was not a shock, it was saddening to see the scale of support from MPs for spending officially £40billion (in reality over £200bn) on weapons of mass destruction.  Perhaps even more worrying was the unequivocal statement from the Prime Minister that she would be prepared to use these weapons, even if it meant killing hundreds of thousands of people (as it certainly would).

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition against Trident renewal or took part in other actions: while the vote was lost, hope for a future in which we invest in peace-building instead of nuclear weapons remains strong.  Over 120 countries around the world have already signed their support for the idea of a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons (just as chemical and biological weapons are.)

And the organisation pushing for that ban – the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) are holding a meeting in Birmingham this Saturday, to challenge the convoys carrying the trident warheads past our city:

Nukes of Hazard, 10:30-13:00 Sat 23rd July 2016 at St Martin in the Bullring – sign up for this event.

So now is the time to pick ourselves up, and keep working for peace!

Taking a Stand

Some more sad news about Chelsea Manning, whose story we highlighted as an inspirational modern day conscientious objector.  On Wednesday, Amnesty International released this statement:

“We are deeply saddened to hear that Chelsea Manning tried to take her own life.

She would have preferred to keep this news about her health to herself, and focus on recovery, but the government decided to violate her privacy and release information about her hospitalisation.

So, she wants to let all her friends and supporters know that she is okay, ‘glad to be alive’ and ‘will get through this’.”

You can send Chelsea a message of support via Amnesty.  At Peace Hub we wish Chelsea well, and continue to stand alongside her in taking a stand for what she believes.

Peace Tax Bill

Finally, some positive news about the Peace Tax Bill, which we highlighted as a way of Taking a Stand in the 21st Century.  MP Ruth Cadbury gave the first reading of the bill via the ten-minute rule in parliament today, with the formal support of 11 MPs.

The bill, which would allow people to conscientiously object to their tax being spent of war, and ask for it to be spent on peace-building instead will now progress to a second reading when parliament returns in the autumn.  Visit Conscience (Taxes for Peace not War) for more information, and to ask your MP to support the bill.

 

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