Youth and Student Groups Urge Government to Scrap Trident Replacement
A collection of youth and student groups, including the Student Christian Movement (SCM) and young Quakers, have today called on the British government to scrap plans to replace the Trident Nuclear Programme. The letter, signed by a variety of political and religious groups, outlines reasons for scrapping Trident, including protecting the future of young people and establishing a society based on peace, justice and shared prosperity.
In their statement, young Quaker group Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM) said, “We believe that renewing Trident would be a step back from the pursuit of a peaceful world and, in its destructiveness, disregards that of God in every person. We feel that the UK’s resources should go into something that sustains life, rather than destroys it. We urge the government not to recommission Trident and to focus on peaceful approaches to national security and conflict resolution.”
A majority of the British public are against Trident renewal, and younger people are more likely to be anti-Trident. A survey by WMD Awareness showed that only 19% of 18-35 year olds believe the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity. This joint letter is an initiative to make this opposition visible, and to call upon the government to respect the wishes of younger people.
Emma Temple, a trustee on SCM’s General Council, said, “SCM supports scrapping Trident because we are committed to nurturing the kind of society which we believe God wants to build – a society based on compassion, community, and peace. Replacing Trident would affirm all the things in our society which hinder this vision. By living out of fear, clinging onto power by threat of violence, and nurturing disregard for human lives, we would be creating a society which is neither sustainable nor just.”
“Trident’s replacement will cost over £100 billion over its lifetime – and with that money, we could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for 40 years, or cancel tuition fees for 4 million students,” said the Young Greens. ”It’s clear, too, that the UK has a duty to lead the way in creating a nuclear-free world, and the only way to do that is full nuclear disarmament.’
The letter was published following a demonstration outside the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment on Monday, where 8 people were arrested following blockades of all entrances into the facility. Members of Put Down the Sword, Quakers, and London Catholic Worker were among those involved in the blockade.
The peaceful demonstration was part of a month of action organised by Trident Ploughshares to protest the replacement of Trident. All construction traffic to AWE Burghfield was blocked since the first week in June.
Tags: tridentnuclear weaponsCNDPeacecampaigns