On the 2nd of February the Bristol People’s Assembly is joining forces with the Bristol CND and the Bristol Stop the War Coalition to host a public meeting and rally against the renewal of the trident nuclear weapon system and the continued bombing of Syria. Join us in calling for ‘Welfare not Warfare’.
The government is expected to force a vote on renewal of Trident in a few months time. The majority of the British people, including the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (though sadly not all of his MPs), the Greens and the Scottish and Welsh Nationalist all oppose nuclear weapons. They are deadly relics of a bygone era, weapons of mass destruction that would indiscriminately kill millions, and which are completely useless against the threats Britain faces. They don’t keep us safe and they divert resources from essential spending.
We are seeing devastating cuts to vital services, most tragically our NHS, and millions are forced to use food banks as the government no longer pays benefits adequate for many people to survive. In such a situation it is a huge travesty that the government wants to waste over £100 billion on renewing the deadly and useless white elephant that is trident.
We’ll be coming together at the trinity centre to protest against the renewal of trident and the continued bombing of Syria.
We all oppose the brutal outrageous committed by Daesh/ISIS, but further Western intervention in the form of Britain joining the 12 other countries already bombing Syria is unlikely to achieve anything constructive. Simultaneously it plays into ISISs hands by giving credence to their clash of civilisations rhetoric in which they portrays themselves as protecting Muslims against a hostile and militant west. At the same time despite the promises of Cameron and the champions of intervention British bombs are already killing innocent civilians and further adding to the bloodshed and misery inflicted on Syria and its unfortunate people.
Furthermore, the obscene cost of this and other unnecessary interventions is a smack in the face to everyone on the sharp end of austerity Britain. The cost of just one air strike mission is over half a million pounds, and we will likely spend many hundreds of millions over the year in this latest military entanglement. The cost of bombing Daesh/ISIS in Iraq is already over £200 million a year and it seems this figure is sure to rise as our involvement escalates.
It tells us a lot about our elite that they would rather priorities fruitless military intervention and seeming tough on defence over looking after their own people. We saw this link between austerity and war most clearly in the last budget when the government increased total defence spending by £12 billion, the exact same amount they simultaneously decided to cut from welfare. As the late and great Tony Benn used to say “If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people”.
That’s why we’ve organised this event and are bringing you a fantastic line up of speakers from across the movement to demand Welfare Not Warfare.
Join us to say no to Trident, no to war and no to austerity. We deserve better!
They’ll all be making the links between austerity and war more explicit and arming us with the arguments we need to make the case for peace and equality.
We’ll also be trying to raise awareness (and funds for coaches) for the national march against trident in London on Saturday the 27th of February. If we are to overcome the powerful vested interested at the heart of the Conservative party (and sadly infecting some of the parliamentary Labour party too) bent on pushing through trident renewal against the wishes of the people than making this demonstration big and vibrant will be key. Naturally we’ll be supporting Bristol CND who are organising coaches: (if you want to buy a ticket please see www.bristolcnd.org.uk ).