At its meeting on Wednesday (9 November 2011) Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group congratulated local campaigners, Pat Sanchez and Rae Street, following their participation in a protest outside the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday (8 November 2011).
Pat and Rae from Littleborough joined other campaigners from the International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) in dumping two buckets of imitation ‘depleted uranium (DU) dust’ on the Ministry of Defence’s doorstep to remind them of their responsibility for contaminating areas of Iraq and Kuwait, during the 1991 and 2003 conflicts.
ICBUW are demanding that the government take responsibility for contamination in the Gulf and cancel plans to extend the life of the UK’s last remaining DU round, known as CHARM3.
Rae delivered a letter to the new defence minister Philip Hammond, signed by eight organisations including the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Pax Christi, and Campaign Against the Arms Trade. It condemns the use of Depleted Uranium and asks the Ministry of Defence to stop to the CHARM3 extension programme.
She explained that “When Depleted Uranium munitions hit hard targets an uncontrolled release of Depleted Uranium dust occurs. If inhaled or ingested, this dust has the potential to cause cancer. In areas where Depleted Uranium has been used, most notably in Iraq, doctors have reported a substantial increase in the rates of cancers and birth defects within the population. Internationally Depleted Uranium weapons have been condemned by four resolutions in the European Parliament, including a landslide resolution in 2008, which called for a global ban. It is totally unacceptable for the Ministry of Defence to extend the life of these weapons.”
Pat commented “In ICBUW and in the Peace Group, we are delighted that Jim Dobbin, MP has signed the Early Day Motion opposing CHARM 3 renewal. We call on other MPs to do the same.”