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Additional Campaigning work -
Opposing Nuclear Weapons
Below, you will discover information about our ongoing lobbying campaign urging MPs to take action to change the government's stance on nuclear weapons. You can also find a direct link to email your MP, making your voice heard.
Further down this page, you'll find details about past events organised by Conscience to champion the cause against nuclear weapons, along with links to insightful blogs authored by our Campaign Worker.
As part of our work we seek to raise awareness about the dangers and cost of nuclear weapons and to campaign against them. We are proud to be a partner organisation of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
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We are asking you to contact your MP to change the government’s stance on nuclear weapons.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine reminds us of the horrifying danger of nuclear weapons. The conflict risks snowballing into nuclear war between Russia and western nations. Russia and Nato have over 12,000 nuclear weapons between them and just one of these warheads could cause over a million casualties. The threat of nuclear war is at its greatest in decades and it is vital the UK, a member of Nato, does its part to avoid it.
In July 2017, over 120 countries voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In October 2020 the 50th country ratified the Treaty which meant it became international law on 22nd January 2021. Not only does it prohibit the use of nuclear weapons but also related activities such as developing, testing or manufacturing nuclear weapons and assisting others with any prohibited activities. To date, the UK has neither signed nor ratified the Treaty.
In March 2021 the UK government announced that it was going to increase the ceiling on its stockpile of nuclear warheads by more than 40%, from 180 to 260, by 2025. This is contrary to the UK’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
We believe that nuclear weapons are immoral and illegal. And that they are irrelevant to tackling the major threats to our society – pandemics and climate change. They use up precious resources when we desperately need investment in our health service, in tackling climate change and in building green infrastructure.
Moreover, spending money on nuclear weapons does not bring about the peace we all crave. It means fewer resources to direct towards conflict resolution and tackling the causes of war.
Lobby your MP about Nuclear Weapons
£5.2 billion is such a huge amount of money it is difficult to visualise or comprehend.
We physically counted this sum of money outside the Ministry of Defence in protest at the UK’s ownership of nuclear weapons and this terrible use of taxpayers’ money. We demanded that the £5.2 billion is spent instead on addressing the climate emergency.
Each note was worth £500,000. We counted 10,400 x £500,000 notes. We counted for hours. There were two or three people counting at any one time.
With the massive Ministry of Defence building towering over us, it was a sobering experience. The notes started in a briefcase marked ‘Nuclear Weapons’.
They were counted on the table and put into £10 million batches. The batches were then placed in a crate marked ‘Trees’.
Conscience organised this action as the London companion event to the international Count the Nuclear Weapons Money action which took place in New York throughout UN Disarmament Week (24-30 October).
At the international action in New York they counted $1 trillion – the amount being spent to modernise the nuclear arsenals of nine countries over the next 10 years. They counted the $1 trillion by hand, in $1 million dollar notes. It took them 7 days and 7 nights.
The international campaign, ‘Move the Nuclear Weapons Money’, has posted a blog about our London companion event. Click here to read their blog.
Huge thanks to all who joined us; folk from Conscience: Taxes for Peace Not War and our colleagues from the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF-UK), Right to Refuse to Kill, and Labour CND.
/Standing outside Faslane nuclear weapons base
In November / December 2019 we hosted the 15th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Edinburgh.
On the last day of the conference a group of us went to the nuclear weapons base at Faslane. The people in the group were from five countries.
That evening Karen Robinson, Campaign Worker, wrote:
“Still feeling quiet, and part of me frightened and frozen inside. Went to HM Naval Base Clyde today, where submarines carrying the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons are based. Almost impossible to take in the horror, alongside the beauty.”
In her blog our Campaign Worker, Karen Robinson, described her personal reaction to seeing, and standing outside, the base.
Read the blog here:
Our blogs on nuclear weapons
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