The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is a non-party Political British organization advocating the ban of nuclear weapons. It was set up in 1958 by the radical writer, Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl of Russell, and the late Rev Canon (Lewis) John Collins and evolved out of a series of peaceful civil disobedience actions. Although its immediate goal was to lobby against new nuclear war plans, it has since taken a much broader stance and international campaigns have been added to the mix. In addition to trying to get nations to refrain from developing nuclear weapons, the group seeks to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is a peaceful, non-violence campaign. It also opposes the deployment of nuclear weapons for deterrence purposes on U.S. soil. There are no weapons of any type in the United States or Russia, so there are no issues with their using them. However, as stated by the group, any nation that fails to comply with this standard can be “branded a rogue nation” and subjected to additional economic sanctions.
The March For Nuclear Disarmament, sometimes known as the Anti Atomic Bomb Tour, has a statue outside its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The statue is of an anti-aircraft missile firing off into the sky. On the left side of the nuclear war memorial is written, “In Loving Memory,” while on the right is written,” Forever Peace.” The words “In Loving Memory” come at the base of the statue, while the words “Forever Peace” are at the top of the memorial. The words come directly after a picture of a mushroom cloud rising over the cities of Japan during World War II.
The group says it is not seeking war but is organizing efforts to prevent a potential nuclear war. At the start of its two-day march, which includes hundreds of individual demonstrations throughout the world, some of the speakers will include prominent environmentalist, nuclear proliferation activist, and anti-apartheid activist Martin Luther King Jr. Other speakers include former Canadian government adviser, John Stewart, Canadian actor Mike Myers, Indian farmer leader Dr. Kalaignar Gandhi, and Labor leader Bob Rae. Many of the participants of the March for Nuclear Disarmament are deeply concerned about the escalating arms race in Asia, which is starting up again after a 20-year hiatus.
In fact, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is closely allied with the Stop The Bomb Campaign, which began in London, England in 1988. The two groups work closely together. The Stop The Bomb Campaign is an international organization with chapters in twenty countries. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is similar to the grassroots peace and civil disobedience campaign and is generally supported by the Labour party in Britain, but has also gained a following among sections of the far left, Alternative Vote, and trade unionists.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament believes in promoting the non-use of nuclear weapons, particularly in places where those weapons will be near civilian populations. It also supports a worldwide effort to reduce the arsenals of nuclear war-makers, even though this would require an enormous commitment of political, financial, technological, and diplomatic capital from other nations and sources. The Canadian government is a strong backer of the campaign. Last month, the Liberal government announced that it was going to back the calls of its citizens in support of the campaign.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament believes that its efforts are bringing the US and Russia closer to each other than ever before. It sees the March For Nuclear Disarmament as a symbolism of hope. “The Cold War dream of Canadians – to see their country at peace – has finally come true,” said Don Cockwell, a Liberal MP, in support of the March for Nuclear Disarmament. “Nuclear weapons proliferation is one of the many international issues on which we can no longer wait.” With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting to discuss the future of global nuclear disarmament, Cockwell sees great opportunity in the meeting.
According to the organisers, over three hundred people have joined so far. Many of them are members of the Canadian peace council. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament hopes that the new participants will join in future demonstrations, with hundreds more expected to join in the future. If this year’s campaign is any indication, the future of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament looks very bright indeed.