Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the Scottish city of Glasgow, calling for Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons program to be scrapped.
Protesters marched through the city on Saturday, carrying banners and the Scottish flag and calling on British politicians to end its nuclear weapons program.
Police Scotland said some 2,500 people participated in the march, while organizer Scrap Trident coalition put the number close to 4,000.
The march titled Bairns Not Bombs – bairns in Scottish English describes a small child - ended at Glasgow’s George Square, where Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), and Partrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens held speeches to the crowd.
Sturgeon said the next UK parliament to be installed after the May general elections will have an important decision to take on whether to spend tens of billions of pounds on renewing the nuclear arsenal.
“One of the biggest decisions that MPs will take in the next parliament is whether to waste £100 billion (USD 149 billion) on renewing these morally obscene weapons,” said Sturgeon, adding, “Broken down, that’ll be around £3 billion a year, peaking at an eye-watering £4 billion in the 2020s.”
The Scottish first minister added that the large sum of money could instead be used for public services across the UK. The remark was made against the backdrop of the current Tory-led coalition government’s imposed cuts over the past few years.
“Just think what could be achieved with this money for the NHS, education or other public services – not just in Scotland but across the UK,” said Sturgeon.
Harvie voiced the same opinion, saying the British people were enraged that billions of pounds are being cut from services supporting the most vulnerable people, while money was being spent for a new generation of weapons of mass destruction.
The demonstration was the first of three against Trident in the run-up to next month’s general elections.
The second rally is scheduled for April 13, when protesters will stage a blockade of UK’s Faslane naval base, the main home of UK’s Submarine Service, including the country’s Trident nuclear missile system.
The Trident program was designed in the 1980s.