Trident protests: Hundreds march in Glasgow

Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit on Vanguard Class Submarine HMS Victorious on patrol off the west coast of Scotland. Picture: PA
Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit on Vanguard Class Submarine HMS Victorious on patrol off the west coast of Scotland. Picture: PA
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Hundreds of people including trade union members, MSPs and anti-austerity campaigners have taken part in a march against nuclear weapons.

Organisers, the Scrap Trident coalition, led the demonstration through the centre of Glasgow and held a rally in the city’s George Square.

The coalition wants to see the UK Government dispose of nuclear weapons and instead use its budget to fund health, education and welfare.

The rally is part of a weekend of events which will see workshops in George Square tomorrow and a blockade of the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde on Monday, where Trident missiles are stored.

The demonstration grew in size as it wove its way through St Vincent Street, Argyle Street and Ingram Street.

A police spokesman at the scene estimated that up to 2,000 people were marching.

One of the march organisers, Brian Larkin, co-ordinator of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, said Trident should be scrapped and the money put into “human needs” instead.

“We want the resources that go into Trident to fund disability benefits, create jobs, scrap the bedroom tax, fund the NHS, fund education and fund welfare,” he said.

“Obviously you can’t fund all of it with that but we want further cuts in the military. We don’t want to be associated with Nato, we want Scotland to take a different tack from the UK and to be true to itself.

“This time around there’s a strong feeling against the current Con-Dem Government’s programme of austerity measures.

“The poorest people are paying the price; regular, ordinary working people.

“The momentum is moving in the nuclear disarmament movement. Now is the time to make a concerted effort to disarm Trident and not replace it with any other nuclear weapons system.”

Having Trident does not make the UK a safer place to be, he said.

“One hundred and eighty-seven countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons. What do we need them for?”

Mr Larkin described the the number of people turning out for the protest as “really encouraging”.

He said: “Turnout is really strong. We’ve got people from trade unions, disability rights campaigns, anti-austerity campaigns. We also have a really strong youth turnout. This new generation is recognising the importance of putting resources away from Trident, away from the military and putting them towards people.”