Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rochdale Campaigners, old and new, say 'STOP TRIDENT'

'STOP TRIDENT' was the very clear message from the Rochdale campaigners who traveled by coach to London on Saturday (27 February 2016) to join the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's march and rally opposing plans to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system. Rochdale's campaigners set off at 7am to ensure that they were in Trafalgar Square to hear Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and many others reject nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Long-time members and supporters of Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group were joined by many new and younger local campaigners.

Nichola Shellard and her daughter Abigail Raby from Norden were taking part in their first demonstration.

Nichola Shellard said:
"This was a great day for us. Anyone who stops to think about it knows that Trident is a useless and dangerous waste of money and that nuclear weapons are an evil we need to get rid of, but too often we sit at home thinking there is nothing we can do about such things. Not today. The enormous turn-out proved that there are tens of thousands of ordinary people who are willing to get up early on a cold February morning to demonstrate against Britain having nuclear weapons of mass destruction which threaten all our futures with unimaginable levels of death and destruction. It also showed that we now have political leaders, like Jeremy Corbyn, who are genuinely committed to a peaceful and nuclear-free future. We need to support them wholeheartedly and to campaign actively for a future in which our country's resources are spent on what we need not on a useless and evil nuclear weapon's system. Today's march and rally was a really positive experience for us. We are more determined than ever to campaign to stop Trident."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett joined local speakers at St Chad's Church, Rochdale on Tuesday (9 February 2016) to call for an end to the Trident nuclear weapons system. She told the STOP TRIDENT public meeting called by Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group, Rochdale Green Party and Momentum Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton that nuclear weapons of mass destruction cannot provide our country with genuine peace or security.

The well-attended meeting also heard a message from Jan Harper of PaxChristi and speeches from local campaigners, Michael Kelly of Momentum,  Rae Street representing Labour CND and Philip Gilligan who is chair of Greater Manchester and District CND. The meeting was chaired by the Revd. Mark Coleman, Vicar of Rochdale.

Pat Sanchez on behalf of Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group said:

“We were delighted by the big turn-out tonight and hope that many of those attending this meeting in Rochdale will also be joining us and thousands of others at the national STOP TRIDENT demonstration on Saturday 27 February 2016. Anyone wanting tickets for the coach from Rochdale should contact Philip Gilligan at as soon as possible."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Peace Group Promotes Public Meeting

Local campaigners had a rather damp time in Yorkshire Street on Saturday morning (6 February 2016), but remained keen to encourage people to attend the STOP TRIDENT public meeting to be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 9 February 2016. The meeting has been called by Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group, Rochdale Green Party and Momentum Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton and will be addressed by Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party. The meeting will be chaired by Revd. Mark Coleman, Vicar of Rochdale.

Philip Gilligan from the Peace Group said:

“Trident weapons of mass destruction are increasingly in the news and we are keen to let people know why we want them scrapped. Parliament is likely to vote on the issue of so-called ‘Trident renewal’ within the next few months. The Labour Party is reviewing its position. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) supported by a wide range of other organisations, including Greenpeace, Pax Christi and the Moslem Association of Britain has called a national demonstration on Saturday 27 February 2016. And the chair of the Commons Defence Committee, Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, has estimated that the total cost of the proposed renewed Trident system would be as much as £167billlion. Many of us are already convinced that the existing Trident system needs to be scrapped and that plans for its so-called ‘renewal’ must be stopped. We are keen to explain our views to others and hope that many people will join us and Natalie at 7.30pm at St Chad’s on 9 February 2016.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bombing is NOT the Answer!

Members of Rochdale Unison, Rochdale Green Party, the Littleborough branch of Rochdale Labour Party and Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group met outside Rochdale Town Hall on Saturday morning (28 November 2015) to urge Rochdale's MPs to reject the Conservative government's call for members of parliament to approve airstrikes against Syria.
The peace campaigners observed a minute's silence to remember the deaths of  the tens of thousands killed in the war in Syria and the hundreds killed in recent atrocities in Beirut, in the Sinai and in Paris. They unanimously endorsed the statement by Momentum Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton published yesterday (27 November 2015) calling on Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk to oppose David Cameron's call for airstrikes when the question is debated in parliament.
Many of the group then travelled to central Manchester to join the Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition's rally and march against the bombing of Syria; one of many held throughout the country on Saturday.

Philip Gilligan, on behalf of the group said,

"‘The grim atrocities carried out by the so-called Islamic State (IS) / Daesh have rightly shocked and repulsed the world, but heaping further atrocities onto the people of Syria cannot be the answer. Airstrikes inevitably result in the deaths of civilians; innocent children, women and men who have played no part in the actions of IS. Further bombing would not fix the problem,  but bombing would expose us all to an even greater danger from terrorist attacks.
The situation does not need more pointless retaliatory violence and yet more deaths. What is urgently needed is both humanitarian assistance for refugees, and agreements between key nations to ensure that the supply of weapons and money to IS is halted, that its oil is not bought and that its bank accounts are closed. This would be far more effective than a further fanning of the flames of violence. Our MPs need to act on the lessons of Iraq and Libya. Another disastrous and ill-conceived bombing campaign would only make the situation worse."

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Petitioning and Planting for Peace

Supporters joined members of Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group in Littleborough on Saturday morning (31 October 2015), to sign the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's petition calling for the Trident nuclear system to be scrapped and not replaced. People also paused to admire crocus and daffodil bulbs planted by the group in the shape of the CND symbol and collected leaflets encouraging them to join to join the forthcoming 'STOP TRIDENT' demonstration in London on 27 February 2016 and to become members of CND.

On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said:
"We are greatly encouraged by the groundswell of local and national opposition to the Trident nuclear weapons system. It is crucial that we let our politicians know our views and that we stop the government squandering ever more £billions on dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Trident threatens our very survival and drains enormous resources from the services we desperately need. In 2016, parliament will be voting on the question of so-called 'Trident Replacement' and, on 27 February, the Peace Group will be in London to tell the government loudly and clearly that we don't want the existing Trident system and we don't want any replacement system. Our bulbs will be in flower by the end of February. We shall take them with us to London as a symbol of peace. We trust that many people from Rochdale join us there."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group Play a Full Part in CND Conference

Members of Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group played a prominent part in last weekend's national conference of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament held at the Arlington Conference Centre in London. Rae Street moved a resolution which called for an immediate end to NATO exercises and war games involving nuclear capable weaponry and in particular demands that the UK government refuses to deploy criuse missiles and nuclear capable aircaft on its territory,  while Pat Sanchez moved a resolution from Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group which highlighted "the extreme and unacceptable dangers posed by the risk of accidental launches of nuclear missiles, systems failures, accidental collisions and unsafe behaviour by members of submarine crews" such had been exposed by whistleblower submariner William McNeilly in his report 'Disaster Waiting to Happen’ (

Both resolutions were passed by the conference which involved CND members from across all parts of Britain.
Pat Sanchez said, "I was very pleased that the resolution from Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group passed unanimously. It is essential that we recognise both the immoral waste of public money involved in funding a nuclear weapons system and that we understand and expose the horrific consequences that would result for us all from any use of those nuclear weapons; whether intended or accidental."