Rolls-Royce Trident protest

IssueJune 2014
News by Jill Gibbon

Rolls-Royce directors were confronted with the harrowing testimony of Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, at their AGM on 1 May. Although the quote was lengthy, the chair was too disorientated to interrupt, and the board responded with nervous laughter.

Rolls-Royce provides power systems for Britain’s Trident nuclear-powered, nuclear-missile-carrying submarine system. In June 2012, Rolls-Royce was awarded a £1bn contract to produce new reactor cores for the Trident replacement submarine.

At the AGM, Sheffield peace activists asked about the impact of a nuclear strike on shareholders, alternative uses for Rolls-Royce technology such as green energy, and whether taxpayers would have to pay for the lost investment if the Trident nuclear submarine system is not replaced.

At the end of the AGM, activists held up banners saying: ‘No Trident’ and ‘Trident Kills’.

These are some of the words of Setsuko Thurlow’s testimony, read at the AGM by Heather Rostrum: ‘Although I did not hear the roar, just the deadly silence broken only by the groans of the injured. Streams of stunned people were slowly shuffling from the city centre toward nearby hills. They were naked or tattered, burned, blackened and swollen.’

On 16 May, London CAAT carried out a banner drop inside the London Transport Museum to protest at their decision to take sponsorship money from Thales, the 11th-largest arms company in the world. Thales has used the museum’s rooms to meet with the government’s arms export-promoting body (the UK trade & investment defence & security organisation). Follow ‘London Campaign Against Arms Trade’ on Facebook or on Twitter (@londoncaat) to get involved. Next monthly demo at 2pm on 21 June.

Topics: Arms trade