Anti-trident protesters in Glasgow today. Image: Ric Lander.

Anti-trident protesters in Glasgow today. Image: Ric Lander.

Glasgow’s George Square was brimming full today as thousands gathered to march against the UK’s nuclear weapons one month before the UK General Election.

An optimistic and energised crowd listened to a diverse group of speakers with one clear message: the Parliament elected this May has a historic opportunity to end our nuclear weapons programme.  A representative of the Scrap Trident coalition told those gathered “we must rid Scotland of Westminster’s neoliberal sex toy.”

Patrick Harvie MSP of the Scottish Greens addressed the crowds saying there was “a wave of anger up and down these islands about a government that would see people suffer while it spent billions on a new generation of nuclear weapons.”

He added, “I’m pleased to be sharing a stage with the most dangerous woman in Britain, Nicola Sturgeon.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, spoke to George Square in her first major engagement since Thursday’s TV debate.

She followed Harvie saying “this is without doubt the biggest anti-Trident demonstration in George Square ever.  I am proud to be here in my city giving a resounding no to nuclear weapons.”

On the opportunity to create an anti-trident bloc in Parliament Sturgeon said: “when I met with other leaders in Manchester we laid the foundation for a real alternative in Westminster that stops nuclear weapons. We have a chance to do this for ordinary people, not just in Scotland, but across the UK.”

Referencing the overnight French consulate scandal, she said: “There is no bigger demonstration of Westminster getting their priorities wrong than Trident – and there are some signs this morning that the Westminster doesn’t like the thought of their priorities being rewritten.”

“We should be using our scarce resources for health and education; I would not spend a single penny, let alone £100 billion, on Trident nuclear weapons.”

Referring to any post-election deal with Labour, Sturgeon was unequivocal: “people often ask me if Trident renewal is a red line. Let me tell you today: Trident is a red line.”

She concluded: “I’m sure Patrick would agree: this May do not vote for any MPs that will support Trident renewal.”

Other speakers included Labour’s Katy Clark MP, who recently ran for the deputy leadership of Scottish Labour on an anti-trident ticket.

Speakers encouraged the crowds to return in just over a week to HMNB Clyde, Faslane, in just over one weeks time, to take part in a “big blockade” of the submarine base.  You can find out more about the 13 April blockade, training events, and more at the Scrap Trident website.

Ric Lander

About Ric Lander

Ric is Co-Editor of Bright Green and writes on economics, climate change and Scottish politics. His work based in Edinburgh supports grassroots campaigning against fossil fuels.