Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato joined thousands of peace campaigners unfurling a seven-mile-long pink peace scarf on the 9th August. Two buses went from Stroud, and Stroud District Green Party members have supported the event by knitting, sewing, raising awareness and getting involved on the day.
The Wool against Weapons campaign has seen hundreds of knitters across the country knitting pieces of pink wool and crochet to form a giant peace scarf, which will be unfurled today between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston and Burghfield.
The two bomb factories make Britain’s nuclear warheads and the scarf is being unfurled on the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and ahead of an expected Parliamentary vote in 2016 on whether the government should spend over £100 billion on a new nuclear weapons system.
Molly Scott Cato, who will be speaking at the massive scarf roll-out, said:
“On 9th August we remember the 74,000 people who died during the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. Thousands died later of radiation-related illnesses especially leukemia. We should not forget the terrible irony that Japan also suffered the Fukushima disaster just three years ago and must remember the link between nuclear weapons and nuclear power and refocus our efforts to stop the new generation of nuclear stations, especially at Hinkley.
“Why are we replacing Trident? A Guardian poll in April shows 79% of people think we should not. Aldermaston is run by Serco, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering. Since two of these are US corporations it is not an independent nuclear deterrent at all; arms production is big business. Remember these facts when you vote in the general election.”
The rally also comes at a time when reports suggest weapons containing components made in the UK are being used against Gaza. The Campaign Against the Arms Trade, says arms exports licenses worth £42m have been granted to 130 British defense manufacturers since 2010 to sell military equipment to Israel, something Caroline Lucas MP, describes as ‘nothing short of scandalous.’ The Green Party has called for an immediate embargo on all arms sales and military co-operation with Israel.
Dr Scott Cato said:
“Our own government’s failure to act is, as Baroness Warsi pointed out when resigning from the government, morally indefensible. But sadly, I have had to witness the same inaction from the European Parliament. The Green motions calling for ‘a comprehensive UN arms embargo to all parties in the region in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and human rights’ was expunged by the Grand Coalition, demonstrating its commitment to business before morality. Even for those who would not join me in calling for an international ban on the sale of arms, surely there is a need not to treat this as an industry like any other.”