Trident profiteers hit by cycling protest
With one week to go before the election, cyclists are travelling around London today (30 April) to say “Cut Trident, not public services”.
The ride will take in the offices of three companies that build the UK government's Trident nuclear weapons system. The cyclists will then head to a protest in Parliament Square at 7.00pm.
The Parliament elected in May is due to make a decision in 2016 on whether to replace Trident, at a cost of up to £100bn.
With growing opposition around the UK, this has become key election issue. The protesters - who go by the name Wheel Stop Trident - are inviting cyclists from across the city to join them in their journey from the offices of arms manufacturers Serco in Croydon, Jacobs Engineering at Tower Bridge and Lockheed Martin on Regent Street.
One of the cyclists, Owen Everett of Camberwell, said that the decision on replacing Trident would be the biggest spending decision of the whole of the next Parliament. He said the cyclists were drawing a link between cuts to social services and the heavy cost of Trident.
He insisted, “Feeling safe comes from living in a fairer society, with a free National Health Service and support when you're unemployed or disabled. It does not come through weapons that equal mutually assured destruction.”
Some of those involved in today's protest ride were part of the Wheel Stop Trident group who last month cycled from central London to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire, stopping on the way to meet people affected by government cuts.
They point out that polls consistently show that the majority of the British public opposes Trident renewal.
“I'm taking part in Wheel Stop Trident because these weapons are illegal, immoral and wasteful,” said Emily Graham from Islington. “Any use of these weapons of mass destruction would slaughter many thousands of civilians.”
She pointed out that the UK has signed up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, adding, “We're obliged to decommission our nuclear weapons and not renew them.”
Although a decision has not yet been made on replacing Trident, the Cameron-Clegg government has already spent hundreds of millions on new facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Recent revelations showed that these new developments are already over-budget and behind schedule.
Graham said, “In 2016 we could set an example to all nuclear weapons states. To do otherwise would be unconscionable, as well as illegal.”
, General Election
, Politics and Social Action
, UK General Election 2015
, Weapons of Mass Destruction