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With the first Trident submarine due to arrive in Scottish waters any day now, Sue Wilson examines the growing case against the latest British nuclear weapons programme.

‘At the end of the day, it’s not a question of will Trident be cancelled, but when.’ Confident words, but Scottish CND’s John Ainslie can point to a growing weight of opinion and evidence that Britain’s much-vaunted, updated -‘independent‘ nuclear deterrent is being rendered obsolete and unwanted by the rapidly changing world picture. A recent Greenpeace survey, for instance, found that 75 per cent of people in Scotland were opposed to what SCND argue is an unnecessary and dangerous attempt to continue the arms race. Nevertheless, in the next couple of days (Friday 23. according to SCND‘s sources) the first ofthe projected four-strong fleet, HMS Vanguard. will leave the shipyard at Barrow and begin its journey northward to the Gare Loch. possibly arriving sometime on Saturday 24.

That could make things a little tricky for the anti-nuclear campaigners, as a major ‘Trident Alert‘ march. rally and concert has been planned for that day in Glasgow. ‘It may be a factor in their timing— that they think everyone’s going to be in George Square,’ admits Ainslie. ‘But we‘re also going to have some form of protest on the water on the 24th. and we‘re hoping to set up a live phone link between the two.‘ People attending the demonstration. should where possible go prepared to decamp to Faslane at short notice.

Perhaps the most effective arguments currently being levelled against Trident centre on its massive, still-escalating cost. growing doubts over its safety, and as to whether a new arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is really needed in the i post-Cold War era. The £10 billion ' price-tag quoted by the government

4 The List 23 been}; 5‘ News“ i692 '-

Trident sub HMS Vanguard: cancellation could save £21 billion.


i does not, according to campaigners,

3 include anything like the full costs; if

the programme were cancelled now,

SCND states that around £3 billion

would be saved straight away, plus

£500 million a year over the next

, twenty years. Some supporters of the

programme point to the punitive

impact on the communities around

Faslane and Rosyth, but while no

one wants to argue for putting

people on the dole, keeping them

employed seems in itself a pretty

feeble reason for hanging on to a

redundant weapons system,

particularly in the wake of the

‘unanswerable’ pit-closures

announcements. Twenty-one billion

quid (CND’s most conservative

estimate of the total potential

savings) could buy a lot of retraining. In safety terms, Trident

represents, in effect, four new

floating nuclear reactors, the design

ofwhich, PWR2, has never been

tested on water. The missiles

themselves (which will not be

installed until 1994), consist of 57

tons of high explosive and eight

nuclear warheads. containing a total

; of 3-5kg of plutonium; each

. submarine will carry sixteen. These

will be transported in convoy

through the centre of Glasgow

apparently in breach of all nuclear

safety regulations. Increasing

numbers of people, including some

in the defence establishment, are

, beginning to question whether such

5 vehicles of utterly appalling possibility are justified in the new

world climate. ‘These dangers might

have been acceptable in a Cold War

f situation,’ says Ainslie, ‘but more and more people are asking why we

have to take such risks now; why

does Britain need to be able to hit

; eight times more targets than it has

over the past twenty years?’

The TridentAlert march starts from

. the People’s Palace, Sat24 Oct,

' assembling 11.30am; concert/rally,

' featuring C ND ’s Marjorie Thomson

and MP3 Alex Salmond andJohn

; McAllion, plus the HumpffFamily,

' George Square, 1—3pm.

S CND and the Faslane POeace

Camp have set up a ‘rapid-response’

phone tree, to be activated when

I HMS Vanguard appears. Phone 041 339 4844 or 0436 820901 for more details.

! i i

i i i i i i

. was supported by people lrom all walks

petitions to schoolchildren who sent Christmas cards.

Amnesty international’s latest Prisoner oi Conscience Week continues until Sunday 25 October. On Saturday 24, the Glasgow group will hold a Letter-A-Thon at the Body Shop in Sauchiehaii Street trom 10am—4pm, while the Edinburgh branch will set toes tapping with a cellidh in the Assembly Rooms irom 8.45pm—rnldnight, tickets £5 (24). Further details oi local Amnesty groups are available lrom Ruth Adler at Amnesty lntemational, c/o Edinburgh University Settlement, 5/1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AL. (AM)

Write on

The three prisoners oi conscience who were the locus oi Amnesty lntemational's Year oi Culture Campaign have now all been released. Poets Jack Mapanje ol Malawi and Nguyen Chl Thlen oi Vietnam and South Korean artist Hong Song Dam were all imprisoned because oi their artistic expression. 0i the three, Mapanie is now in the UK, working at York University. The year-long campaign

ol llle, from shoppers who signed

:- Sign of progress

Deaf people throughout the UK will be using the 10th national Deaf Awareness Week to draw attention to the often unnoticed contribution they make every day to the hearing world. One aim of the campaign is to focus on British Sign Language as the indigenous language of the native Deaf population of Great Britain in order to win official acceptance of ESL as a minority language.

Events begin across the country on Monday 26 October, with key events in major cities throughout the week. The Glasgow event takes place on Wednesday 28 at the Glasgow Centre for the Deaf in Norfolk Street and will concentrate on the work of the British Deaf Association’s Youth Service, which has been extensively involved in the training of Deaf people to be youth workers. The day’s activities should prove conclusively that Deaf and hearing workers can together run youth programmes for both Deaf and hearing children. In Edinburgh two relevant exhibitions are on show at the Central Library and at Leith Community Library, while special screenings of The Miracle Worker (subtitled) and Children of a Lesser God (signed and subtitled) will take place at the Filmhouse on Monday 26 (6.15pm) and Friday 30 (10am) respectively.

There are an estimated 50,000 people living in Britain who have been born Deaf or lost their hearing in early childhood. As a linguistic minority, the DeafCommunity is

,_..\ if ‘i \V/ \ British Deaf Association

often restricted in access and choice of facilities and services, and is often denied information simply because broadcasting and media techniques are geared heavily towards the hearing. Earlier this year the BDA hosted a European Conference on Human Rights for Deaf People which raised awareness in three topical areas— child abuse, HIV/AIDS and fostering/adopting. ‘You cannot see immediately the effect poor education, lack of opportunity, ignorance and i prejudice by the hearing world has I on Deaf people deafness is itself j invisible,‘ says Murray Holmes, i BDA chairperson. ‘I h0pe that Deaf j Awareness Week ’92 will . . . show what Deaf people can achieve and what they can give to the hearing community when given the opportunity.’ Further information is available from the British Deaf Association, 38 Victoria Place, Carlisle, Cumbria CA1 IHU (0228 48844). (AM)


Thai Madonna cover

in: S FESTIVAL” Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted the \\ resemblance between the cover oi the saucy ;

new Madonna LP Erotica and a recent List cover depicting Ms Clccone's rumoured

tormersqueezeSandraBernhardJ’erhaps . sad-thy

they are by some chance related? That List cover