A giant peace symbol built by Bristol anti-war activists begins a tour of the UK on Monday ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Faslane Peace Camp.
The 3-metre-high logo – a brightly-coloured “Ban the Bomb” symbol – departs from St Augustine’s Parade at 10.30am on Monday, June 6, for a 400 mile journey to Glasgow where it joins peace activists from across the UK for the weekend of June 11-12.
June 12 marks 40 years since the first protest camp was set up outside Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, known as Faslane, the base of the UK’s Trident nuclear submarines.
Camps have existed at the site continuously since 1982 and groups like Trident Ploughshares and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) have used them as staging grounds to launch direct actions against the naval base, blockading access roads and infiltrating the base on occasion.
On its way to Faslane the peace logo stops in Knighton, Todmorden, Carlisle and Gretna Green on the Scottish border. Upon arriving at Faslane, the symbol will be used as a stage backdrop for rallies with local politicians and peace campaigners. Both the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Greens oppose Trident.
The logo will be present during demonstrations and protests throughout June, touring the nearby Coulport naval base where the UK stockpiles many of its nuclear warheads.
Hannah Tweddell, chair of Bristol CND, said: ‘The terrible crisis in Ukraine has made it clear that not only do nuclear weapons not prevent war, they increase the likelihood of aggression from the countries that have them. We must oppose nuclear weapons and call on the government to sign up to the United Nations Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.’
Dr Rowland Dye, of XR Peace Bristol, who holds a PhD in nuclear physics, said: ‘Speaking as a former nuclear scientist I know too well the risks to people in this country of manufacturing and maintaining nuclear weapons. Added to this is the ruinous financial burden – this money would be so much better spent on the NHS, feeding hungry children, or combating the urgent catastrophic problems of climate-change.’
The logo was seen touring Bristol last August for a four-day peace gathering organised by XR Peace.
A Facebook event for the tour can be found here.
Feature image: Luke Salaman.