AGM — May 25th

The existing WDC/CND team was re-elected unopposed.

Chair/Membership SecretaryMuriel
Contact Person/Secretary/NewsletterJoanna
London Region RepresentativeHelen

We could do with a Press Officer and someone to organise purchase of leaflets, posters and other publicity material. Any volunteers for either of these essentially home-based jobs?

The review of the year’s campaigning reminded us of what we have achieved: three successful public events — the Paul Robeson centenary concert last summer, Eddy Taylor on the environmental impact of the nuclear industry in November and Felicity Arbuthnot on depleted uranium and sanctions in Iraq in February.

We commemorate Hiroshima Day annually with our candle-floating ceremony on Rushmere, write letters and lobby our M.P. We raised money at our Fête and with stalls at other people’s fêtes and fairs (a total annual income of £1845) all of which also helps to raise our profile in the local community. We continue to run the monthly Peace Table outside the library (more volunteers needed please!) and publish the regular Newsletter.

Recently, much of our time and energy has been devoted to planning and preparation for our Merton Hague Appeal for Peace project which we shall see coming to a successful conclusion in the coming months. Working with all the other participating organisations has been an encouraging and refreshing experience.

Hague Appeal for Peace (Merton)

Alison Williams has written about her experience of the actual conference, but an essential part of the Hague vision was always that its influence should spread far beyond the conference itself. We have had a wonderful response from local schools to our peace competition and the display of the children’s work will be a memorable event.

The exhibition will be opened (we hope by the Mayor) at 11·00 am on June 15th and will remain in the foyer of the Civic Centre (Crown House) for four days. Don’t miss it!

An award ceremony will take place next month, allowing the project to end on a high note.

Sixty Years of Nuclear History — Britain’s hidden agenda

a book by Professor Fred Roberts

This concise, analytical history of Britain’s exploitation of atomic energy for military weapons and electricity generation is written by an insider. It is probably the first book to demonstrate the full extent of the interrelationship between the military and civil strands of nuclear energy.

Professor Fred Roberts worked at Windscale (Sellafield), Harwell and Bristol University between 1950 and 1977. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

CND receives £3 for every copy of this book ordered direct from the publishers. Order from:

Jon Carpenter Publishing, Dept CND, 2 Home Farm Cottages, Sandy Lane, St. Paul’s Cray, Kent BR5 3HZ

Copies are £12 each post free.

Fête of the Earth

The Fête on May 8th was opened by Lord Jenkins of Putney (Hugh Jenkins) who spoke with all the wisdom of his ninety years of his deep disgust at the Government’s handling of the Kosovo crisis which has caused him to resign the Labour whip in the House of Lords. In a nutshell, he does not believe that we solve problems by dropping bombs.

Takings on the day equalled last year’s record, once again exceeding £1000, and this achievement was all the greater because so many of our regulars were out of action. Especially missed was Ann Strauss on the plant stall, but Ann’s family rallied round (husband Kurt and daughter Alison) and we are pleased to hear that she is now convalescing steadily after her long illness.

It was good to see our Wimbledon M.P. Roger Casale and several Merton Councillors — as well as so many of our loyal WDC/CND members for whom the Fête is as much a social as a commercial occasion. Thank you all for your support — all the stall-holders, car drivers, cake bakers, kitchen staff and all the rest of you who helped make Fête of the Earth 1999 such a success.

Pick-a-Straw & Treasure Hunt£62·60
Bric-à-brac & toiletries£177·75
Books, records & tapes£108·39

Congratulations to everybody — with a special mention for Muriel’s grandchildren who raised such a magnificent total with their two side-shows.


31 subscriptions are still unpaid for 1998/9. Is yours one of them? We do rely on subscriptions to cover newsletter expenses, leaving our remaining income free for campaigning. We only ask £4 per household (£2 unwaged) payable to WDC/CND. (Send to Muriel Wood, 53 Pepys Road, SW20 8NL. Tel: 946-3270.)

War in the Balkans

At the time of writing there are at last some indications that serious attempts are being made to find a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. It is difficult to see how the NATO bombing has helped solve the complex problems of the region in any way. CND has raised a number of specific nuclear-related concerns.

The International Peace Bureau — representing 186 citizens’ peace organisations worldwide — has issued a statement condemning the violence on both sides and urging the supremacy of the United Nations and of international law.

“NATO has usurped the authority both of the UN and of the OSCE, violated Article 2·4 of the UN Charter, as well as NATO’s own charter, and contravened both the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the Helsinki Final Act. The intervention of a supposedly defensive regional organisation sets a new and dangerous precedent for other military groupings to take lawless action anywhere in the world.”

The International Peace Bureau demands that the focus of the attempts to resolve the crisis shift back to the United Nations. Given the impasse in the Security Council, the Secretary-General should ask the Security Council to request an immediate emergency session of the General Assembly (UN Charter Articles 12 and 14).

They urge that such a session should pass a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire by all parties to the conflict, the mediation of a new Kosovo peace settlement package, the dispatch of a multinational (non-NATO) protection force and allocation of major financial and human resources to both Kosovo and Serbia to assist with the post-war reconstruction. This would offer a face-saving way for all sides in the conflict to de-escalate the war.

The International Peace Bureau believes this crisis is a profound and complex challenge for all those who wish both to see human rights respected and peaceful ways found to resolve bitter conflicts.

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