Organisation that has called for nuclear weapons to be banned for six decades holds public meeting in Burnley

Members of the East Lancashire branch of CND at their public meeting in Burnley.
Members of the East Lancashire branch of CND at their public meeting in Burnley.
Share this article

An organisation that has existed for 62 years and campaigns to ban nuclear weapons held a public meeting in Burnley.

And the strong message that came forward from the meeting of the East Lancashire branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was that the public should be made more aware of the humanitarian consequences of a deliberate or accidental detonation of nuclear weapons as well as the dangers that the population of UK are exposed to by the government persisting in maintaining and developing them.

Under the theme Britain Can Say NO to Nukes the meeting was held in the Central Methodist Church Hall with main guest speaker Rebecca Johnson, who is CND vice president and co chairman of International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons which, in 2017 won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Rebecca took the Nobel medal, affectionately known as 'Alfred' along to the meeting for people to have the opportunity to see it.

Between her international anti-nuclear commitments , Rebecca is currently acting as a legal observer in the XR demonstrations in London where over two hundred people have been arrested for committing acts of non-violent direct action.

Rebecca showed a short film about the horrific humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons before going on to describe how, over a number of years, the nations of the world that do not have nuclear weapons have come together to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

It was adopted by the United Nations in July 2017 by 122 nations of the UN General Assembly.

Currently 70 nations have signed the Treaty and 22 have ratified it. Once 50 countries have ratified it, then it will become part of International law, like the laws against other WMD's -chemical weapons, cluster bombs and landmines. It is expected that this could happen sometime next year.

Burnley's first Green Party councillor Andrew Fewings, also spoke at the meeting, sharing his memories of when he first became aware as a child of the horrors of a nuclear weapons.

He also told the gathering that the Green Party holds policies that support the UN Treaty and that it strongly advocates for the UK dismantling its own nuclear weapons.

Peter Billington, Secretary of the Association of Lancashire Trades Unions, reported on how the TUC currently supports the policy of Defence Diversification that would move our industry away from making weapons of mass destruction.

A question and answer session sparked a lively debate.

The branch will have an information stall at the annual Burnley May Day Rally on Monday, May 6th.