Mary Barbour, Helen Crawfurd and Agnes Dollan
The Women's Peace Crusade was established in Glasgow, July 1916 by Helen Crawfurd, Mary Barbour and Agnes Dollan. It later spread across Great Britain and was among the largest peace movements during the First World War - drawing crowds of thousands to their protests.
A grass-roots socialist campaign, it's central aim was to spread a "people's peace" for an immediate end to the war. Although it gathered a substantial following, the Crusade faced opposition from both the government and police, with members being arrested and threatened.
The Trident Three - Ulla Røder, Angie Zelter and Ellen Moxley
In September 1999, three Trident Ploughshares activists boarded and severely damaged equipment onboard the 'Maytime', a barge on Loch Goil involved in scientific work connected with Trident submarines. They were acquitted of charges of malicious damage at Greenock Sheriff Court as they had prevented what they saw as "nuclear crime" and were respecting the International Court of Justice’s Opinion on the illegality of nuclear weapons. However, the decision was overturned in 2001 by the Court of Session.
Naomi Mitchison was a Scottish novelist, artist, poet, activist, botanist and in later years a local politician. Often called the "doyenne of Scottish literature", she wrote over 90 books in several genres, including historical fiction, science fiction, travel writing and autobiography. A prominent socialist in the 1930s, also a feminist and later an anti-nuclear activist. In 1958 she was a founder and sponsor of Scottish CND. She lived to 101, remaining active as a writer and concerned about nuclear armaments.
Reverend George MacLeod
A founder & early sponsor of Scottish CND in 1958. George Macleod had been a soldier in WW1 seeing action in Flanders, Ypres and Passchendaele. His experiences profoundly affected him, leading him to train for the ministry. He became a pacifist and founded the Iona Community. From 1937 he became actively involved with the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), and. In 1957 as Church of Scotland moderator he helped solidify the church's opposition to nuclear weapons on moral and religious grounds.
Sir Compton Mackenzie
Sir Compton Mackenzie, OBE was an English-born Scottish novelist, writer of biographies and histories, cultural commentator, racconteur and lifelong Scottish nationalist. He was a co-founder of what became the Scottish National Party in 1928, defeated the blackshirt Oswald Moseley to become rector of Glasgow University in 1931 and in 1958 he was a founder and sponsor of Scottish CND. He wrote in 1956 that "if Britain disarmed completely I do not believe that any nation in the world would dare to take advantage of her material weakness because her moral strength would be overwhelming."
Philosopher, co-founder of UK CND, long time anti-nuclear campaigner. He issued the Russell–Einstein Manifesto in London on 9th July 1955 in the midst of the Cold War. It highlighted the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and called for world leaders to seek peaceful resolutions to international conflict. Signatories included eleven leading intellectuals and scientists, including Albert Einstein.
Russell also set up the Committee of 100 for Civil Disobedience against Nuclear Warfare and was arrested in 1961, at 90 years old, before the arrival of Polaris in Scotland - raising the profile of the anti-nuclear movement.
In 1983 Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces, on duty at a Russian nuclear early warning centre, when computers wrongly detected incoming missiles from the US. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm, and his decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol, is credited with having prevented a retaliatory strike and full-scale nuclear war.
The Military Establishment
General Lee Butler (1939 –) US Air Force general & commander of US nuclear forces 1991-94
"It is my profound conviction that nuclear weapons did not, and will not, of themselves prevent major war. To the contrary, I am persuaded that the presence of these hideous devices unnecessarily prolonged and intensified the Cold War” – speech at University of Pittsburgh, May 1999
Air Commodore Alastair Mackie (1922 - 2018) Former H-bomber pilot Served in the Royal Air Force from 1940-68 and commanded a squadron of nuclear-armed Vulcan bombers.
He called Trident a "stick-on hairy chest virility symbol" – letter to the Times, June 2009
Major General Patrick Cordingley (1944 – ) Former commander of UK’s 7th Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats in first Gulf War
"Strategic nuclear weapons have no military use. It would seem the government wishes to replace Trident simply to remain a nuclear power" "we have more to offer than nuclear bombs" – speaking at launch of a report by the Nuclear Information Service, June 2015
Field Marshall Lord Bramall (1923 - ) Former head of UK armed forces
General David Ramsbotham (1934 – ) Retired army general
General Hugh Beach (1923 – ) Retired army general
"Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently face or are likely to face, particularly international terrorism" “Rather than perpetuating Trident, the case is much stronger for funding our armed forces with what they need to meet the commitments actually laid upon them. In the present economic climate it may well prove impossible to afford both." - joint letter to the Times, January 2009
Michael Portillo (1953 - ) former Defence Secretary
“Our independent nuclear deterrent is not independent and doesn’t constitute a deterrent against anybody that we regard as an enemy. It is a waste of money and it is a diversion of funds that might otherwise be spent on perfectly useful and usable weapons and troops.” - BBC TV ‘This Week’, May 2015
Philip Hammond (1955 - ) former Foreign Secretary
"North Korea seem to think possessing a nuclear weapon makes it safe. In fact the opposite is true. Having a nuclear weapon makes it a target” - Sky News, February 2016
Scottish CND has long been supported by many musicians who have used song as a protest against nuclear weapons.
1960s - The Anti-Polaris Singers
Singing protest songs to keep-up morale on demonstrations against the American nuclear submarines on the Holy Loch in the early 1960s, the Anti-Polaris Singers combined folk and popular melodies with biting satirical lyrics (often be published in small ‘chapbook’ style pamphlets for sale to other protesters). Some of the talented singers, players and writers included: Morris & Marion Blythman, Jim McLean, Jackie O’Connor, Josh MacRae, Nigel Denver, Ray Fisher, Hamish Imlach and Hamish Henderson.
1980s - The Scottish CND Buskers
In the late 1980s SCND needed funds, so several members formed the ‘Scottish CND Buskers’ and took to the streets to raise money. A cassette tape was made and a booklet of songs was produced and sold called “Gie’s Peace, the Scottish CND Buskers Blow Up songbook”. The buskers were led by Ian Davison, with Ewan McVicar, Moyna Flannigan, John MacCreadie and others contributing to a great repertoire of topical satirical songs.
Former chair of Scottish CND A former soldier with Scottish infantry regiment, The Black Watch, he became disillusioned and resigned his commission in 1980 as a conscientious objector. After leaving the army he became a community minister in Easterhouse, Glasgow.
He became committed to the campaign against nuclear weapons and was appointed coordinator of Scottish CND in 1991, a post he fulfilled for 24 years. His use of Freedom of Information laws to research MoD secrecy led to him becoming one of the UK’s leading experts on Trident and he was often the first to be consulted with technical and strategic questions. He produced 20 reports, many for SCND, into the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, convoys and accidents.
Mordechai Vanunu, also known as John Crossman, is an Israeli former nuclear technician and peace activist who revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the press in 1986. He was then drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence and convicted in a closed trial, spending 18 years in prison, more than 11 of those in solitary confinement. Although released from prison in 2004, he is subject to restrictions on his speech and movement. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and calls for his “immediate and unconditional release”. Daniel Ellsberg referred to him as "the preeminent hero of the nuclear era".
1932 - Hibakusha - survivor of Hiroshima atomic bomb In 1945 Setsuko Thurlow survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Aged just 13, she saw her school collapse from the atomic blast, and her friends horribly burned, many of them killed. Eight of her family members and 351 of her schoolmates and teachers died in the attack. Setsuko has since travelled round the world to share her testimony, and warn people of the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. In 2017 Setsuko Thurlow accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) together with Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN. In her speech, Ms Thurlow said the atomic blast left her buried under the rubble of a school but she was able to see some light and crawl to safety. “Our light now is the ban treaty,” she said. “I repeat those words that I heard called to me in the ruins of Hiroshima: ‘Don’t give up. Keep pushing. See the light? Crawl toward it’.”