On the 26th April, Bromley Borough CND members held a vigil for the victims of the Chernobyl disaster.
On September 21st 2017, in commemoration of the International Day of Peace Bromley Peace Council held an evening of culture, talks and entertainment.
Ann Garrett writes: 'A big thank you to those of you who made it such a memorable evening by speaking, singing, reading, providing and serving refreshments, running stalls, or just being there to support. Also thank you for your generous donations to cover costs.'
'We had about 40 people there and it was good to share our solidarity and opinions. It's becoming quite an arts festival.'
It was such a successful event that they have booked the Bromley Parish Church Rooms lounge for Sept 21st 2018!
On Thursday September 7th 2017, Lewisham and Greenwich CND protested at the DSEI arms fair. The theme of the day's blockade was 'Free Movement for People, not Weapons!'
DSEI is one of the world’s biggest arms fairs. For one week every two years, in East London, arms companies display their weapons to buyers from around the world, including countries in conflict, authoritarian regimes and countries with serious human rights problems.
The UK government helps to organise this arms fair, invites these military buyers from around the world, and helps arms companies to make deals, at taxpayer expense.
On Wednesday 6th September, Bromley and Beckenham CND participated with the #StopDSEI action at the London arms fair Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI).
Wednesday was the day of action against nuclear weapons systems and in support of renewables as a replacement.
"Several lorries were delayed during'lock downs' at the East and West entrances to Excel, and there were some arrests.
This was renewables invest day with several large wind turbines displayed as part of the demo." Ann Garrett of Bromley and Beckenham CND reports.
by Ann Garrett, Secretary of Bromley and Beckenham CND
On a day when tensions between the US and North Korea were increasing, and nuclear arsenals were being flaunted by Donald Trump and Kim Yong-un, a small group of people from Bromley and Beckenham CND met with members of Lewisham and Greenwich CND and one person from the Sydenham and Forest Hill CND area, to mark Nagasaki Day.
They met in pouring rain in Chinbrook Meadows , Grove Park in a café ‘Snack in the Park’ near the Archbishop Tutu Peace Garden [ opened by him in 2007 ] to read poems and make statements opposing nuclear weapons.
After this they walked with peace banners to the River Quaggy nearby and threw white chrysanthemums into the flooding waters in memory of the 340,000 people who died as a result of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US in 1945 at the end of the Second World War. Japan had already wanted to surrender, but the US were determined to use the bomb to show its strength and dominate the post-war world.
Today over 17,000 nuclear weapons still threaten the survival of the world and Britain has 225 nuclear weapons and has voted to renew the Trident Missile system at an estimated cost of £205 billion.
The present UN Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has been ratified by 50 countries, but the US, France and Britain have stated that they don’t intend to sign it.
The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law, and yet today we are perilously close to this being breached.
This is why CND [ the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ] and other peace organisations are continually working for international and unilateral disarmament.
“It really doesn’t make any sense” said Alice. “Here we are, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air and saying how nice everything is, and how much we like it and you say it’s all thanks to nuclear bombs”
“You aren’t listening the right way upside down”, said Mad Hatter, “it’s all about back-to-front uncommon sense – anything else is not at all fit to be heard in Trumpington or its suburbs. The May Queen has said it and it’s true – ‘nuclear weapons keep us safe’ – so there! Good night!”
“But it isn’t night, it’s the middle of a nice sunny day and how on earth do nuclear weapons make it so?” asked Alice.
“Wrong again. Nuclear weapons blot out the sun completely which is why they keep us safe,” said Mad.
“That’s contradictory,” said Alice.
“No, it’s just nonsense that makes perfect sense. No one dare blot out the sunshine and destroy the earth so they don’t use nuclear bombs and that keeps us safe and the sun shining”, said Mad.
“Oh! I see” said Alice. “Nuclear weapons would destroy everything but no one wants that, so they aren’t used, and that keeps us safe … but what happens if they are used?”
“Now you are being silly,” said Mad. “Use them? No, Trumpington thought about it in Korea and Vietnam but decided it was too dangerous and would start another world war and destroy the earth. So they put nuclear weapons away for the moment; and the world was saved by nuclear weapons because they weren’t used on those occasions. Obvious really.”
“But what about other occasions,” said Alice, “and as not all countries have nuclear weapons it doesn’t seem fair that those without should also have their sunshine blotted out and be destroyed in a nuclear war.”
Don’t worry,” said Mad, “those without nuclear weapons would only die from radiation poisoning, and from famine because of climate destruction. Nuclear armed countries would get far worse – they would be directly hit by nuclear bombs. No point in hitting Uruguay which can’t hurt anyone with nuclear bombs when you can hit the UK which can.”
“Oh!” said Alice, “so by having nuclear bombs it means we would be hit hardest and hit directly in a nuclear war? That doesn’t sound like ‘keeping us safe’.”
“You learn fast,” said Mad. “I told you it’s all about back-to-front uncommon sense. But, there is more. The laugh is that the people paying £billions to have nuclear weapons in the UK are putting themselves first in the firing line in a nuclear war so they are potentially paying for their own destruction – assuming nuclear weapons are ever used – which they aren’t supposed to be – which is why we have them – so they won’t be used – except that we are supposed to think they would be used – to keep us safe from total destruction if they ever were used – though we would be totally destroyed if they were used since there is no escape. All clear now?”
“So nuclear weapons cost £billions and aren’t meant to be used?” asked Alice incredulously. “Are you sure they are real? And wouldn’t the money be better spent on something useful?”
“I don’t know that they are real or that they would work,” said Mad, “but you miss the point which is that others should think they are and that we would use them, (if we felt like destroying the planet one day,) so it is a game of make-believe. Politicians love games of make-believe because it makes them feel big and powerful, especially if people think they could destroy everything. Why spend money on sensible things if you can spend it on trying to make others believe you can destroy everything?”
“So, we are safe so long as no one uses nuclear bombs; then we are the least safe because we have them; but it all only works anyway so long as no one else uses theirs and believes that we might use ours to destroy them,” said Alice. “But what happens if there is a mistake?”
“If there is a mistake then the make-believe spell is broken – normal common sense returns and everyone, everywhere is killed. There is no defence against nuclear war,” said Mad, “but that won’t happen, except there have been some accidents and false alarms… so, barring all that I have said, nuclear weapons keep us absolutely perfectly safe. Would I lie to you? Mind you, we would be even safer than that if we had no nuclear weapons – but who would want that?”
“It’s all gobble-de-gook to me”, said Alice, “All this is making my head spin. I need to lie down … “