Pictured left with Scottish CND Chair and Labour Party member Arthur West and right at Leeds University, Francis Daehoon Lee toured the UK in May representing People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a south Korean NGO which he helped found in 1994. In London, Scotland and Yorkshire he had the same clear message for everyone he met: the peace process on the Korean Peninsula must continue.
Francis held meetings with Shadow Peace and Disarmament
Minister Fabian Hamilton and Shadow International Defence Minister Alex Norris in
Westminster and a cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians in Edinburgh, briefing
them on the Trump-Kim talks. He met academics, students and activists for a
round-table discussion at Leeds University (pictured right) and joined local
activists for a demonstration at the gates of Menwith Hill spy base. Former
Labour MEP Glyn Ford, author of Talking
to North Korea: ending the nuclear standoff joined Francis on the platform
of a public meeting in London.
With Korea back in the news again, London CND offers a unique opportunity to hear a first hand account from a Korean perspective. Francis Daehoon Lee is touring the UK as part of CND’s Nuclear Dangers initiative. Check out the Scottish and Yorkshire CND websites for details of other public meetings.
When we heard Westminster Abbey was planning a ‘Service of Thanksgiving’ to mark 50 years of Trident, it was hard to believe. But yes, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson thought we should give thanks for Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
It was such a bizarre idea that there was considerable mediacoverage. Over 200 Anglian clerics wrote a letter of protest, asking for the service to be cancelled.
On 1 May, just two days before his big chance to schmooze with Prince William, Williamson was sacked for a security breach. The ‘Thanksgiving’ went ahead with his replacement Penny Mordaunt in the lead.
Led by Christian CND, hundreds gathered across the road from Westminster Abbey. While the service was held inside the Abbey, there was a die-in on the pavement outside, in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
When the service finished, the congregation streamed out and across the road for a reception, while the Abbey bells pealed joyously. For a full half hour, royals, military top brass, parliamentarians and a smattering of the establishment filed by the protest.
BBC news that evening reported Prince William was booed and heckled. In fact, some protesters shouted ‘Stop Trident’. He needed to hear that not everyone was celebrating.
Great to have a stand-alone Labour Women’s Conference this year, after a long absence – and with Labour CND women making their presence felt. Our committee member Karen Robinson (left) is picture here with two Sheffield Halam delegates who submitted a defence diversification motion (download below), sadly not chosen for debate. Karen drew huge applause at at a fringe meeting when she spoke about her experiences as a Greenham Common peace camper and why she’d rejoined the party again when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. Jeremy was given a standing ovation when he took to the rostrum to address conference.
Jeremy Hardy’s tragic death last week has upset many of us who knew him and worked with him.
Not only was Jeremy a significant voice in stand-up comedy who inspired many other performers to address political issues, but he played a major role in the #JC4PM tour (see clips below) as well as performing for Stand up for Labour.
We know that Jeremy would have wanted us to carry on putting on fundraisers for the Labour Party and our shows will all be a tribute to him.
So far 69 states have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and 19 ratified it. The Church of England General Synod has welcomed the Treaty and asked the UK government to publish a plan for the elimination of its nuclear arsenal.
Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith, on the other hand, recently said Trident replacement ‘is not a decision we are going back on’. Here’s a resolution for local Labour Parties, suggested by a supporter in London who successfully steered it through her branch.
Women’s annual conference is a two day affair this year, to be held in Telford on Sat 23-Sun 24 February. And thanks to the Democracy Review, two resolutions will go forward to Labour’s annual conference in September. Resolutions, delegations and nominations must be in by Monday 14 January. Please consider submitting a resolution in defence of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, after Trump’s announcement he intends to withdraw. We’ve provided an explainer to help you argue the case.
CLPs can appoint 2 delegates (one of whom must be a disabled, BAME or LGBT woman) and nominate 3 CLP reps to the Women’s Conference Arrangements Committee. Jean Crocker and Teresa Clark who’ve done a great job so far, are standing again.
Labour CND’s annual conference in February promises to be a blinder, with Fabian Hamilton, Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament talking about how he’s developing a peace doctrine for Labour, and speakers from the NEC, NPF, the trade unions, and Scottish Labour where scrapping Trident’s already a commitment. Put 2nd February 2019 in your diary now.