Monday, 8 July 2013

Campsie Socialists mark 31 years of the Peace Camp

Last week local socialists teamed up with a theatre group to mark the 31st anniversary of protests against trident Nuclear weapons based on the Clyde. The group invited members and members of the public, and ran a mini-bus from East Dunbartonshire, to a “cabaret” at Faslane Peace Camp.

Acting Strange Theatre Group, a radical theatre group based in East Dunbartonshire, staged drama, comedy and music, ranging from satirical sketches through to poignant stories of casualties of war. Joining them this year were Rosie Kane, who performed an excerpt from her very funny one woman show; Pauline Bradley, who sang a number of folk and protest songs and singer song writers, Andy McGarvey and “Citizen Smart.”
Ron Mackay and Maggi Sale at the Gates of Faslane.  Photos Maggi Sale

Campsie Socialists protest outside the North Gate alongside Acting Strange theatre Company and original Peace Camper and author, Maggi Sale.
The highlight of the day were the testaments given by Maggie Sale, one of the women involved in setting up the original camp, who shared her 70th birthday with the “celebrations” and East Dunbartonshire resident, Ron Mackay who, in his 90th year, expressed his disgust at the weapons of war stationed just thirty miles down the road from Glasgow.

Ron said, “My father was jailed as a socialist conscientious objector during World War One. I was jailed in 1962 as an objector to the Polaris nuclear weapon system imposed on Scotland by the Americans. I thought after seeing action in World War 2 that we would end all wars, but the militaristic Westminster system has proved in the many interventions it has sanctioned since 1945, including the recent interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan that war is too profitable for the rich for them to give up sacrificing our young men and women. In my 91st year next year, I want to see these dreadful machines of death sailing out of the Gareloch for good.”

Author Maggie Sale said, “It has been amazing to share my birthday with so many committed peace activists at the Peace Camp I helped set up over thirty years ago. From 4 years to 90...and me, a mere stripling,..... and approaching my Prime!

I am mindful that 31 years after the establishment of Faslane Peace Camp, the Powers-that-be, of all political colours, still hide behind the delusion that the possession of Nuclear Weapons will somehow save us from 'enemy' attack and dissuade others from instigating a Third World War for fear of instant annihilation.
That 'WAR' has already started for every person on the Planet who is deprived of clean water and sustainable living as a result of Billions being spent on the design, production and maintenance of Weapons of Mass Destruction that we have found, to our cost, to have no defensive purpose what-so-ever.
That 'WAR' has already started for every victim of ideological war, fought largely to control the world's diminishing fossil resources, in the absence of appropriate Funds to address the underlying causes of international conflict.
That 'WAR' has already started for each of my nine grandchildren as they scrabble for diminishing Educational funding into alternative Research and Development that would create new ways of co-operative living, producing, consuming and ethically-sharing in a finite and fragile Planet.

We can see how infantile these 'games' are, when played out by a volatile North Korean who is systematically depriving his own people. But we are blinded by the myopic rhetoric and vested interests of our own policy-makers. The results are the same… and the 'enemy' can sit back and watch as we bleed from within.

When we first came here and occupied this piece of land for peace, we hoped the world would see sense and get rid of these dreadful weapons. We were wrong. They are still there – all 200 of them. People do not need these weapons of death. We are a family that stretches across the world, we have no need to kill. We're a' Jock Tampson's Bairns.... if we but knew it!”

Campsie Scottish Socialist Party organizer, Neil Scott said, “Hopefully next year’s anniversary of the peace camp will be a focus for the anti-war sentiment that should build around the anniversary of the first industrialized killing fields of the first Word War – and hopefully next years anniversary of the Peace Camp is it’s last as the nuclear weapons are disposed off after a Yes vote in the referendum next year.”

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