Thousands demonstrate against Trident renewal across Scotland

An anti-Trident protest on the Mound, Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
An anti-Trident protest on the Mound, Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Thousands of people gathered at anti-Trident rallies across Scotland yesterday ahead of the House of Commons vote on renewing the nuclear deterrent.

A total of 36 demonstrations took place in towns and cities the length and breadth of the country.

MPs will vote tomorrow on whether or not to renew the weapons system, which is based at Faslane on the Clyde.

The Scottish Scrap Trident Coalition, which organised the rallies, said around 7,000 people had attended.

David Mackenzie of the coalition said: “Early calculations indicate that this is one of the biggest public demonstrations in Scotland for many years, showing just how people outraged people feel about this ghastly business.”

Events included a demonstration at the Mound in Edinburgh, which attracted around 500 people, including SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, and a rally at Buchanan Street’s steps in Glasgow, where speakers included SNP politicians Bill Kidd and Alison Thewliss.

Smaller rallies also took place outside Scotland’s cities, including the North Ayrshire town of Largs, where around 50 people attended, and Highland town of Cromarty.

Sandy Thomson, who attended the Cromarty event, said: “We felt we had to get out to show our opposition to the Trident plan.

“We had a good representation here, including former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Alan McDonald. We also had two minutes of silent reflection for the victims of the violence in Nice and Turkey.”

David Cameron announced the Commons vote on Trident renewal before standing down as prime minister, stating that it would confirm support for the replacement of the full fleet of four submarines.

The SNP and the Greens are opposed to the nuclear deterrent, while Scottish Labour voted to oppose it at the party’s conference last year.

UK Labour is currently undertaking a defence review, which is reported to leave open the option of retaining Trident despite leader Jeremy Corbyn’s lifelong support for unilateral disarmament.