Nuclear Weapons

1 April 2022News in Brief

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) won a victory over Transport for London (TfL) at the end of March.

CND had asked to put up an advert on London’s public transport system, which is run by TfL, in late 2021. It shows a nuclear weapon broken in two by the peace symbol and asks: ‘Why are we getting more nuclear weapons? We could be investing in healthcare, renewable energy, education.’

TfL refused at first, saying the ad is ‘party political’, but has now been forced (by…

1 April 2022Comment

It's past time to ban the use of nuclear threats, argues Milan Rai

29 March: Over the last month, the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine has cost tens of thousands of lives, forced millions of Ukrainians to become refugees – and created a world crisis. As we go to press, there are reports that there may be a ceasefire soon.

That seems unlikely until after Russia has captured Mariupol. The besieged and much-battered coastal city is the key to the land corridor linking Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and parts of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian…

2 March 2022Blog

Western commentators who rush to condemn Putin’s nuclear madness would do well to remember Western nuclear madness of the past, argues Milan Rai

[Milan Rai will be giving a Zoom talk about the contents of this article at 7pm GMT on Thursday 17 March 2022. Please click here for more details.]

On top of the fear and horror caused by the current Russian onslaught in Ukraine, many have been shocked and frightened by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent words and actions in relation to his nuclear weapons…

1 February 2022News

Warning on climate, WMDs and misinformation

We’re still at 100 seconds to midnight – as close to ‘civilisation-ending apocalypse’ as we’ve ever been. That’s the view of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which, on 20 January, set its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight for the third year running.

The board concluded that a positive change in US leadership was not enough ‘to reverse negative international security trends that had been long in developing and continued across the threat…

1 February 2022News

Nuclear weapons states say 'nuclear war can never be won' as they upgrade their arsenals 

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has forced the great powers to hand over a present in time for its first birthday (it ‘entered into force’ on 22 January 2021).

The crappy birthday present was a joint statement of five declared nuclear-weapon states on 3 January.

Britain, China, France, Russia and the US used language first adopted by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US president Ronald Reagan in November 1985: ‘We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be…

1 February 2022News in Brief

The number of financial institutions refusing to invest in the nuclear weapons industry has increased by a third over the last year.

That’s the finding of the 2022 ‘Don’t Bank on the Bomb’ report, Rejecting Risk.

One year on from the effective date of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), there are now 101 financial institutions restricting investments in companies involved in the manufacture, development, deployment, stockpiling, testing or use of…

1 February 2022News

Bruce Kent remembers an early martyr in the fight against nuclear weapons

On 10 December, the Nikos Nikiforidis (Non Nuclear) Peace Award for 2020 was given to Turkish peace activist Bülent Tanık, formerly mayor of the Çankaya district of Ankara and president of the Association for Peace and Communication in Aegean (APCA). The ceremony at Athens City Hall had been delayed because of the pandemic. The award, given by PADOP (the Greek Observatory of International Organisations and Globalisation), was made to honour Bülent Tanık’s ‘special efforts in the defence of…

1 December 2021Review

Rowman & Littlefield, 2021; 438pp; £29

With this book, Ray Acheson guides us through the collaborative processes that brought about the 2016 UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first legally-binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons. Acheson is director of Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Drawing on their own observations and feminist analysis, Acheson recounts how the parties…

1 December 2021News

CND Cymru marks 40th anniversary

This year marks the 40th birthday of CND Cymru. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was founded in 1957 and the Welsh Council for Nuclear Disarmament was established in 1958. However, the need for an autonomous national Welsh branch of CND was brought on by the intensification of the Cold War at the end of the 1970s.

That’s when the Soviet Union began deploying intermediate-range SS-20 nuclear missiles and NATO announced its decision to locate cruise and Pershing II land-based…

1 December 2021News in Brief

In October, a new Labour government committed Norway to attending the first meeting of the signatories (‘states parties’) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), 22 – 24 March in Vienna.

Norway, not a signatory, will be attending as an observer, the first NATO country to do so.

On 22 January, one year after the 2017 TPNW came ‘into force’, CND will be launching a campaign to press the UK government to also attend the Vienna meeting as an observer.

1 December 2021News in Brief

The Peace & Justice (Scotland) ‘Peace Cranes’ project will come to a climax in April – May with an exhibition and a series of events in Edinburgh including a screening of a documentary about Setsuko Thurlow: The Vow from Hiroshima.

The exhibition will feature photography and film by art activists including Dawn Cole, Su Grierson, Madelon Hooykaas, Keiko Sato, Pam Skelton, Edward Thompson, Mare Trall and Miranda Whall.Their work will explore the humanitarian and…

1 October 2021Feature

An extract from a speech at the recent event 'Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace - opposing violence, militarism and war'

‘Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace – opposing violence, militarism and war’ was one of the many events organised by Greenham Women Everywhere this autumn to mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981. These events included an online series of ‘Weaving the Web/inar’ meetings organised by Greenham campaigners.

The ‘feminist peace’ webinar included local and international speakers involved in Women in Black (WiB) in conversation about the…

1 October 2021Feature

Milan Rai reviews a flawed, fascinating, worm’s eye view of history

Why exactly was there a Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago?

When the US signed an agreement in 1959 to put Jupiter nuclear missiles into a non-nuclear weapon state neighbouring the Soviet Union, there wasn’t a ‘Turkish Missile Crisis’.

From their Turkish base, the Jupiters could easily reach Moscow – and deliver warheads 100 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Despite this provocation, the USSR didn’t start a military confrontation with US forces…

1 October 2021Comment

Milan Rai pieces together the story of a crucial moment in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Nine years ago, we wrote about a Russian naval officer named Vasili Arkhipov who saved the world.

We’ve learned since then that the story of Arkhipov’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis was a little more complicated than we thought. Even so, it is clear that Arkhipov played a key role in preventing a confrontation at sea turning into global nuclear war.

On 27 October 1962, 12 US warships surrounded a submerged Soviet submarine, the B-59, a began dropping hand grenades…

1 October 2021News

Case dismissed as 'no case to answer'

On 16 September, two Faslane Peace Campers had the case against them thrown out of Dunbarton justice of the peace court. One of them had spent nearly six weeks in prison on remand, waiting for the trial.

Willemien Hoogendoorn and Jon had been arrested for ‘breach of the peace’ on Hiroshima Day, 6 August, after blockading the North Gate of Faslane nuclear submarine base from 6.30am till around 12 noon.

According to the Helensburgh Advertiser, ‘tailbacks were reported in…