South Korea is hosting an International Fleet Review on its Jeju Island Naval Base in Gangjeong Village from 10 October, the biggest event since the base was constructed, when warships and fighter aircraft from 45 countries gather there for a military exhibition. The ‘Kick Out US Bases’ campaign has mounted a strong opposition to the base, which is seen as a US-led project that’s destroying the environment in order to provide a strategic military outpost for Nato and the United States in the East China Sea.
Registration for CND UK’s annual gathering closes this Friday, 12 October. CND’s annual bash takes place in Bristol this year, on the weekend of Sat 20 and Sun 21 October. The AGM is Saturday – your chance to vote on policy for the coming year and elect national representatives including some from Labour CND – followed on Sunday by a day of discussion and campaigning.
‘The world order has been turned into a global free-for-all,’ Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary said in her speech to conference. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, however:
‘we will never as a party go back to supporting illegal, aggressive wars of intervention with no plans for the aftermath, and no thought for the consequences, whether in terms of the innocent lives lost or the ungoverned spaces created within which terrorist groups can thrive’
‘we must and will lead the world in promoting human rights, in reforming the arms trade, in pursuing an end to conflict, in supporting not demonising refugees, and in turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’
‘turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’.
Labour CND was out in force at Labour conference, visible throughout at CND, Momentum and other fringe meetings, distributing our newsletter and contact card, and helping staff the CND stall where we signed up dozens of new subscribers to our e-news updates. Our daily meet-up sessions proved popular too, chatting to delegates and visitors over coffee.
Hello. My name’s Karen Robinson. I’m a new member of the Labour CND Executive Committee. I’ve just got back from Labour Party Conference. It was an exhilarating and inspiring five days, my third annual conference since re-joining Labour in late 2015. I re-joined, as so many did, after Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.
I was very active in the peace movement in the 1980’s, including taking part in many nonviolent protests against nuclear weapons. I had heard Jeremy speak at countless CND demonstrations over the decades, and was absolutely delighted when he was elected. I watched the interview when he was asked if, as prime minister, he would press the button to launch a nuclear weapon. His answer was a simple and very powerful ‘No’. He received ferocious criticism. It was then I decided to re-join.
Over the three conferences I have listened and learned, as a remarkable process of democratisation and adoption of progressive policies has unfurled. This time I leafletted for Labour CND, helped out on the CND stall and supported a fringe meeting on defence diversification. It was a really positive experience giving out Labour CND literature as delegates arrived at conference. Many paused as they took in the words ‘Labour CND’, maybe because it had been a while since they’d heard the name ‘CND’, and then their faces lit up. They were really happy we were there, and keen to keep in contact. I think there’s huge scope for giving out even more leaflets next conference!
When President Trump signed the order to pull the US out, the Iran nuclear deal was dead in the water. CAROL TURNER, Vice Chair, Labour CND, asks why Trump withdrew from a landmark arms control agreement that everyone, including official US sources, said was working.
All parties agree that Iran was meeting its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have repeatedly confirmed this. Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.
President Trump recently announced the formation of a US space force, saying: ‘it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance.’ Oxford CND and others have called a demonstration at USAF Croughton, a US communication base in Northamptonshire. Keep Space for Peace: No Space Force takes place 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday 6 October. Check out the details and join us there.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson is urging support: ‘As if President Trump isn’t causing enough trouble already: trade wars with China, trashing the Iranian nuclear deal, on/off nuclear confrontation with North Korea, destabilising Venezuela, offending his erstwhile European allies… the list goes on and on. Now he’s instructed the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to set up a sixth branch of the armed forces: the Space Force.’
Talks between North and South Korea are progressing. We wonder if the same can be said for denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea, given the contradictory signals from the Trump administration. Another Japanese anti-nuclear delegations sets off for North Korea this month, on a fact-finding mission in search of information about survivors of the 1945 US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The visit is the first since 2008 by Gensuikyo, the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. On the basis of information provided by North Korea, Gensuikyo believes there were 1,911 victims of the bombs, 382 of whom were alive in 2008. ‘We want to have discussions that will accelerate denuclearisation,’ a spokesperson for the delegation said. Gensuikyo’s annual conference held on the anniversary of the bombings attracts several thousand delegates from across the world. Labour CND Co-Chair Carol Turner attended in 2016. In her speech to conference she outlined Jeremy Corbyn’s election. To loud applause, said: ‘A new mood is sweeping Britain, as elsewhere. One manifestation is the rise of political figures such as Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Bernie Sanders in the United States. After his election Corbyn announced on TV he would never press the nuclear button if he were prime minister.’