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Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has achieved much, and going strong today

60 years ago, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was founded. Here’s what we’ve achieved over the decades

Our core objective of UK nuclear disarmament remains as yet unfulfilled. But it is clear in retrospect how CND’s campaigning – and that of its international partners – has affected government policy and decision-making  The Independent, UK, Kate Hudson  @CNDuk  17 Feb 18,  “………From its origins in local anti-testing groups – largely run by women concerned about hugely increased levels of radioactive strontium-90 in their children’s milk – CND burst onto the political scene 17 February 1958. Attempts to move Labour to an anti-nuclear position had failed in 1957, leading intellectuals and campaigners to take matters into their own hands, calling for a mass movement to defeat Britain’s bomb. The result was a meeting of thousands of people at Central Hall in Westminster, London, filled to overflowing………

The context of CND’s campaigns has changed continually: from the Cuban missile crisis to the war on Vietnam;   from the height of the Cold War to détente; from the “evil empire” of Ronald Reagan to the end of the Cold War; from the aggression of Bush and Blair through to the great dangers presented by Trump and his plans for “usable” nuclear weapons.

 Our work throughout has focused on changing government policy, using diverse – but always peaceful – methods: from the mass protests at Aldermaston and Greenham Common, to our central role in post 9/11 anti-war campaigning, to today’s struggle to prevent Trident replacement and win support for the United Nations’ global nuclear ban treaty.
 
Our core objective of UK nuclear disarmament remains as yet unfulfilled. But it is clear in retrospect how CND’s campaigning – and that of its international partners – has affected government policy and decision-making, both at home and internationally. Reading government documents and diaries years later, one can see how the pressure of public opinion and mass mobilisation really does have an impact, and each generation of CND has played a part in that. The banning of nuclear tests in the atmosphere is one very important example; another is the abandoning of the neutron bomb (designed to kill people while leaving property intact) or Nixon’s pulling back from using nukes on Vietnam.
 
Above all, we have helped instil a sense in the popular consciousness – and thereby in that of our political leaders – that the use of nuclear weapons would be a catastrophe, an unthinkable tragedy. …..http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaign-nuclear-disarmament-cnd-weapons-trident-cold-war-hydrogen-bomb-a8215281.html
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February 19, 2018 - Posted by | history, UK, weapons and war

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