Mar 242017

‘Diversification from Oil, Arms and Nuclear to Alternative Energy’ will be the subject of a public Meeting this Saturday at Aberdeen University. With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and member of Aberdeen Climate Action.

As part of Climate Action Week, Aberdeen Climate Action and Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will be holding a public meeting on Saturday 25th March at New Kings 10 at the University of Aberdeen from 2.30 to 4.30pm.
The Aberdeen and North-east Economy is in crisis due to the downturn in the price of Oil.

Climate Change, a major part of which is caused by Fossil fuels is a veritable threat to the future sustainability of our planet.

With Trump in the Whitehouse and as tensions mount in the world the potential use of Nuclear weapons becomes much more likely. The use of Nuclear weapons would be devastating to our planet not only having the direct effect of killing millions but the indirect effect of leading to a Nuclear Winter with crops being ruined leading to mass starvation.

The Scottish Parliament has voted by a large majority to get rid of the Trident Nuclear system from Scotland. All over the world but particularly in China there is a massive growth in the use of Alternative Energy technologies. Is it not time that the Scottish and UK economy moves away from destructive technologies to alternative energy which would provide a non-harmful future.

What can the Anti-Nuclear and Climate Change movements learn from each other? Could Aberdeen be at the forefront of a move to Alternative Energy. Why given the concerns about Oil and Nuclear is this not happening to the extent it needs to? How would we move from the destructive technologies of Oil and Nuclear to Alternative Energy?

The aim of the meeting will be to kick start this process and get participants involved in thinking how could we make this happen.

The organisers intend this to lead onto larger meetings in the Autumn which would help in the process to change both in Aberdeen and across Scotland and the UK.

The meeting will start with the showing of an historic film on how a group of workers in the 1970’s when faced with redundancy at Lucas Aerospace put forward a plan to stop making armaments and move to making more socially useful products and will be followed by short presentations by a panel of four followed by a wider discussion with the audience.

The event will be Chaired by Fiona Napier Trade Unionist and Activist and the panel will consist of Veronika Tudhope Organiser with Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Jelte Hammeijer Hutton Institute, expert on community renewable energy, Erik Dalhuijsen, Aberdeen Climate Action and Myshele Haywood from the Green Party.

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Oct 272016

bulletsWith thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Izhar Khan a local hospital consultant, lecturer, and activist will be talking on the History behind the Middle East Conflicts. He gave this talk to great aclaim last year. The talk will be followed by a discussion.

The Public Meeting which is also supported by Aberdeen Student Left will take place at 7pm at the MacRobert Lecture Theatre in the MacRobert Building at the University of Aberdeen.

The MacRobert building is just off King Street before the roundabout at Seaton. There is parking and cycle racks and the building is wheelchair friendly.

There will be a further meeting on the Kurds in the Middle East on November 10th (venue to be announced) and subsequent meetings on Syria and the Yemen/

If you want to find out more about the Middle East please come along and share this article with your friends.

Jul 142016

Aberdeen and District CND group has organised a rally with local politicians and music outside M&S in St. Nicholas Square at 11am, Saturday 16th. With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair, Aberdeen and District CND

Trident demo 2016

David Cameron has used a speech at the NATO summit in Warsaw to announce that the long-awaited vote on Trident replacement will take place on Monday 18th July. It isn’t yet known whether MPs will be asked to support replacement in principle, or whether they will be asked to consent to the building of four new submarines, at a cost of £41bn.

CND analysis has shown that the lifetime cost of Trident replacement will be at least £205bn.

Jonathan Russell Chair Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stated

“At a time of disarray in politics this is not the most sensible time to be making this decision. Such a decision has profound implications and should not be treated as a political football. The renewal of Trident goes against the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“Rather than acting as a deterrent having nuclear weapons makes us a more likely target in the event of nuclear war ever happening. They are weapons of mass destruction that can kill millions. They don’t keep us safe, divert resources from essential spending and are based in Scotland.”

Opposition to Trident is growing both inside and outside Parliament. MPs from every major party are expected to oppose the Government proposals.

Speakers will include:

  • Kirsty Blackman MP;
  • Kevin Stewart MSP;
  • Plus speakers from other political, union and faith groups and music

For more info phone: Jonathan Russell on 01224-586435. Mobile 07582-456233

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Mar 112016

With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

cnd52 The Aberdeen and District CND’s AGM takes place on Monday March 14th at 7.30pm in the Unite building 42-44 King Street Aberdeen. Please come along to find out more about our work and get involved.

Following the previous year’s activity around the Independence Referendum we had expected a quieter year but no!!

The General Election led to a disappointing overall result but Scotland elected 56 SNP and 1 Labour MP all of whom oppose Trident.

Following the General Election there was the election of a new Labour Leader and the surprise result was the election with a large majority of Jeremy Corbyn MP who for years has been a major figure in both CND and Stop the War. Trident has rarely been out of the news since then as have the on-going conflicts in the Middle East.

We started the year with a well-attended and lively AGM with guest speaker Arthur West, Chair of Scottish CND, who spoke on the future strategy of CND. Among those in attendance was one SNP MSP and two future MPs.

Given the Westminster General Election we held a very successful ‘Defence and Foreign Affairs Hustings’ in partnership with Aberdeen University Politics and International Relations Society. We had speakers from the SNP, Labour, Conservative, and Green party with around 70 in attendance.

We held a weekly public stall leading up to the General Election which was well attended.

Local members attended the Bairns not Bombs demonstration in Glasgow on April 4th and the Faslane blockade on April 13th.

Also on April 13th Alan Mackinnon, the then Secretary of Scottish CND gave an interesting talk on NATO’s Eastward March towards Russia which led to a particularly stimulating and wide ranging discussion. Alan who was the long term chair of CND and also chaired the Stop the War Iraq demonstration in Glasgow sadly died later in the year


We have raised concerns through local MPs about the UK Government’s plan to send back-up troops to the Ukraine.

We had a stimulating meeting on 24th July on ‘The SNP’s Strategy on Trident at Westminster’ and how the local group would support this with Stuart Donaldson the new SNP MP for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine.

Hiroshima Day on 6th August was well attended with speakers from political and Christian groups as well as poems and songs

We had a lively and informative meeting on 12th August on the theme of ‘The Trident Whistle blower and the ‘Safety of British Submarines’ led by John Ainslie, the co-ordinator of Scottish CND.

On Friday 23rd October we showed the film ‘We are Many’ about the opposition to the Iraq war at Kemnay Village Hall. The film was very well attended and we had a panel with representatives from Scottish CND, the Aberdeen Trades Union Council, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign as well as Izhar Khan.

Our One World Concert held on 31st October had some great music, poems and dance. Unfortunately some performers pulled out and there was a very disappointing turn out.

We had a very enjoyable New Year Party

A major event started the year with many members and supporters travelling to the London Main Gate scrap Trident demonstration on 27th February. This was a great action and speakers at the rally at Trafalgar Square included Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn.

We had our first of two planned meetings on the Middle East entitled ‘Voices from the Middle East’ in the form of an open discussion on the escalating Middle East Conflicts at which Izhar Khan gave a historical account of the background to the conflicts, Dr Khaled Bashir spoke about Libya and Murat Galem spoke on the Kurds.

We continue to send out emails to our supporters who have signed up to our Yahoo group collective and have a very active Facebook Page which has been liked by over 500 people.

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Mar 032016

With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

CND Bullets

The meeting should be of interest to all those who want to get a greater understanding of the conflict in the Middle East

The horrendous, bloody, escalating and never ending conflicts in the Middle East are rarely out of the news but few of us have a huge understanding of what is really going on, why and what the solutions could be.
Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Aberdeen Student Left are hosting two open discussion meetings the first of which Friday takes place on March 11th at 6.30pm.

All the speakers will come from the Middle East and the venue for the Open Discussion will be the MacRobert Lecture Theatre, the Macrobert Building, University of Aberdeen.

At our first meeting Izhar Khan the well-known local Consultant, Lecturer and activist will be giving a Historical account of the background of the conflicts. Next we will have Dr Khaled Bashir also an International Lawyer who lives locally and teaches Arabic will speak about Libya. Depending on his availability we hope next to have Murat Galem who will speak about the Kurds. Izhar Khan will speak about the Yemen in one of the meetings. The second meeting will concentrate on Iraq and Syria.

The open discussions will also encompass the conflict between Sunni and Shia, Russia and the West and the role of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel and Egypt play in these conflicts.

The meeting should be of interest to all those who want to get a greater understanding of the conflict in the Middle East and those concerned about the devastating effects on the people who live in these countries and on the refugee crises.

Jonathan Russell Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said:

“We will be inviting local politicians from Westminster and the Scottish Parliament to the meeting but the open discussion is for everyone concerned about these tragic conflicts which have killed over a million people injured many more, destroyed communities and countries and led to the present refuge crises”

For more information please contact Jonathan Russell Chair Aberdeen and District CND mobile 07582456233 landline 01224 586435. E- mail

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Dec 032015

trump106featWith thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

Donald Trump’s latest attacks on religious groups, nationalities, and people with physical challenges spurred Aberdeen-based campaigner Suzanne Kelly to take action.

Kelly has launched petitions asking Home Secretary Teresa May to block Trump from
the UK for his hate speech, and asking Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University to strip Trump of the honorary doctorate it bestowed on him.

Text of Kelly’s draft petition to the UK Government is waiting approval; it reads:

“The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry for his continued, unrepentant hate speech and unacceptable behaviour. His unacceptable behaviour is well documented, and we feel it foments racial, religious and nationalistic intolerance which should not be welcome in the UK.

“The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. This same principle should apply to Donald J Trump. We cannot see how the United Kingdom can condone his entry to the country when many people have been barred for less.

“If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”

A link to the pending UK Government petition can be found here:

Campaigner Suzanne Kelly contributes to online newspaper Aberdeen Voice (, and has written a report analyzing Trump’s presence at the Menie Estate and has followed his career.

She said:

“The government is to be congratulated for keeping people who preach hatred and intolerance out of the UK. If Trump doesn’t fit the criteria of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ that has kept so many others out, I’d very much like to know why. It’s getting to the point that I can’t think of any group he hasn’t made negative remarks about, but some of his recent comments seem to me to hit out at religious freedom, people with physical disabilities and whole nations.

“I don’t know where this man belongs, but for me, it’s definitely not in the White House, and it’s definitely not as a welcome guest in the UK. I hope he’ll lose his ‘Global Scot’ status and his honorary degree from Robert Gordon University, too.

“I’m not alone in feeling that any group that would willingly endorse him at this point is on shaky moral ground. Any UK groups that receive taxpayer funding should not align with this person, and should re-think their positions.

“When I first discussed launching petitions on these issues, all the feedback was positive. In fact, there are so many people around the globe who want to stand up and be counted that a second petition open to everyone, not just UK citizens, has been created as well, demanding that Robert Gordon University revoke Trump’s honorary degree.”

The text of this petition reads:

“We respectfully request that Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen) strips Donald Trump of the honorary degree it bestowed on him with immediate effect.”We feel that Donald Trump’s unrepentant, persistent verbal attacks on various groups of people based on nationality, religion, race and physical abilities are a huge detriment to RGU. Hate speech must not have a place in academia, in politics or on the world stage. We are confident RGU will agree with the petitioners, and act swiftly.

“We would also note the brave opposition of Dr David Kennedy to this degree at the time it was bestowed.”

A link to this petition can be found here:

Kelly also plans to petition her local and national governments to cease all projects which join Trump’s business interests and taxpayer money.

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Oct 082015

With thanks to Jonathan Russell.

OneWorldA concert has organised for next Sunday by Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament to celebrate One World Week.
It will include peace songs and poetry, music from India, Scotland, Eastern Europe and Romania, as well as poetry and dance from Nepal. The concert will end with some Bob Dylan Anthems

One World Week aims to bring people together across the world in the cause of Peace and Justice. The event is dedicated to all people suffering injustice worldwide.

This will be a free event – Donations to Global Justice Now and CND.

The Programme will be compèred by David Kelly and Kathleen Watt.

Performances include:

  • Dave Davies and friends
  • Nigel Lammas and friends,
  • Fred and Charlie from Iron Broo (Eastern European Music),
  • Remas Stana – violin from Romania,
  • Rev Dr Isaac and Dr Amudha Poobalan (Indian music),
  • Prithwis Banerje (Indian vocals)
  • Kirsty Potts (Peace songs),
  • Imagine ensemble,
  • Gillian Siddons (poems by Hilda Meers),
  • Nabin Chhetri (Nepalese poetry),
  • Nepalese Dance,
  • Jigs Akimbo.

Finale: Keith Mesnier will perform three songs: Trident No More and the Bob Dylan anthems, ‘Masters of War’ and ‘The Times They Are A-changin’

For more info contact Jonathan via email:   or tel: 01224-586435

Peace And Justice Concert.
The Blue Lamp, Gallowgate
Sunday 18th October, 2pm-5.30pm.

Oct 012015
At Scottish CND AGM

Christian Allard MSP at an AGM for the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

With thanks to Gavin Mowat, Constituency Assistant to Christian Allard MSP

SNP MSP Christian Allard has written to regional Labour politicians seeking clarity on their position on Trident renewal – after a week in which Labour conference was ‘marred in confusion’ on the issue.

Despite previously giving assurances that Labour conference would have an open debate on Trident – and that Labour MPs would vote with the SNP on the issue – Jeremy Corbyn has since shied away from debating Trident, while his party’s Conference quietly voted to restate their position in favour of a “a minimum, credible, independent nuclear capability, delivered through a continuous at-sea deterrent.”

Labour MSPs in the North East have since come under pressure to clarify their own position – and whether they agree with their newly elected leader or with the decision of the party’s conference this week.

Commenting, Mr Allard said:

“Labour are absolutely all over the place on Trident – with Jeremy Corbyn promising one thing and their party conference voting to back precisely the opposite.

“It’s clear that Labour no longer has a coherent position on anything – and it’s time that Labour gave people the North East the clarity they deserve on their own position. 

“The idea of spending £100bn on useless, immoral and wasteful weapons of mass destruction would be completely indefensible at any time – but at a time of austerity with reliance on foodbanks increasing and more and more people being pushed into poverty by Tory cuts, it’s nothing less than an outrage.

“Labour’s support for Trident renewal is yet more evidence that Labour are changing Corbyn, rather than Corbyn changing Labour. First he signs up to austerity – now the party sign up to Trident.  It’s now time that they finally made clear where they stand on this issue.”

Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) added:

“Aberdeen and District CND strongly support both Jeremy Corbyn’s and the SNP’s stance on Trident. A major reason that Jeremy Corbyn received such massive support in the Labour leadership elections was for his long term support for the CND.

“We are greatly concerned about the stance presently being taken by some leading figures in the Labour Party and also for the misguided support for Trident by some Unions. By renewing Trident Britain would be going against the Nuclear-Non Proliferation treaty of which it is a signed up member.  

“The Labour party at both UK and Scottish levels needs to have a democratic debate concerning Trident – it is not a decision which should be blocked by a few powerful individuals.”

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Sep 102015

With thanks to Radical Independence Aberdeen.

Radical Independence CampaignAn anti-austerity rally is planned for Sunday 13 September, with an additional refugees welcome message in light of the ongoing crisis in Calais.

Last year, on the Sunday before the referendum, a flashmob of over 1000 people gathered in the Castlegate in support of a Yes vote for Scottish independence.

This year’s event calls for people on both sides of the independence debate to come together against austerity, and in support of refugees.

The event’s organisers, from the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC), explain the connection:

“it’s all part of the same problem, the same mind-set where rich politicians get to decide the fates of people who are less fortunate. Thousands of people are dying in the Mediterranean. Thousands of people are dying within weeks of being declared ‘fit for work.’

“Thousands of families are relying on food banks and charities to survive, both in Calais and right here in Aberdeen, one of the richest cities in the UK. This can’t continue.”

The event is strictly non-party-political, though politicians are encouraged to attend. Speakers will represent a range of charities and activist groups, including Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), Future Choices, Aberdeen CND, Aberdeen Anti-Fascist Alliance and RIC Aberdeen. There will also be people sharing their personal stories of how austerity has affected their lives.

In addition to speakers, there will also be a food bank collection by CFINE, information stalls from local charities, and music from Guarana Drummers.

The event will take place on Sunday 13 September, at 2pm, in the Castlegate. For more information please contact

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]