Saturday, November 23, 2013
Cranes fly-in to back peaceful spending
Rochdale shoppers admired colourful paper cranes on the Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group stall in Yorkshire Street on Saturday morning (23 November 2013) where local campaigners were asking passers-by to sign a letter confirming that they want their taxes "spent on decent health and social care services, not the Trident nuclear weapons system" and where they distributed Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament leaflets asking, "What if we had over £100bn to spend on healthcare, transport, housing, education and energy"?.
The cranes were made by children and peace campaigners from across Japan and were some of the millions gathered during the 2013 Peace March from Tokyo to Hiroshima to mark the 68th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Since 6 August 2013, 'Gensuikyo', the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has been sending boxes of cranes to peace and anti-nuclear groups throughout the world, including Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group.
On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said,
“There are many reasons why our taxes should never be spent on nuclear weapons. The people of Japan know better than most the horrifying and indiscriminate destruction that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought in 1945. They remind us that nuclear weapons threaten to destroy our world. We were delighted to receive the gift from our fellow peace campaigners in Gensuikyo. The cranes symbolise our united call for all countries to scrap their ever-more dangerous nuclear arsenals and inspire us to repeat our demand that politicians in Britain recognise the need to scrap the Trident nuclear weapons system, immediately. This is a campaign which must succeed; for the sake of us all and for generations to come.. At a time when the government claims to have no money, it is spending £95 every second of every minute of every day on nuclear weapons. That's £8 million of our taxes wasted every day on something which former chief of the defence staff, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and Generals Lord Ramsbotham and Sir Hugh Beach denounced in 2009 as "irrelevant" and "completely useless" (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7832365.stm ). Scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons system would save around £100 billion. This is money which could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for over 40 years into the future or be used to build 150 new state-of-the-art hospitals or to pay the wages of 150,000 extra nurses for the next 30 years. That would save lives, instead of threatening humankind's very existence."
"We and the cranes will be visiting other parts of the borough over the coming months. We trust and hope that many more people will join us in demanding that our taxes are spent on the services we need, not squandered on nuclear weapons”, he added.
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