A little bit off my usual sewing topic today, but I am so excited about my day I felt I should share it with you. I went down to London to take part in the Anti-Trident rally organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Trident is essentially the British nuclear arms programme, which the government plans to replace at a cost of over £100 billion. This money could be used to pay 150,000 nurses working for the NHS, fund A&E departments for 40 years or build 1.5 million new, affordable houses, but instead it is being wasted on expensive weapons that we don't need. In a time of austerity, the leaders of our country should be focusing on creating jobs in the industries that matter, like the healthcare system, not using a fancy, updated version of Trident to boost our country's ego.
As a History student, it honestly appalls me that there are still some people out there who seem to have learnt nothing from our past mistakes. The one and only time nuclear weapons have been used in war - Japan 1945 - hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed, and the effects of the radiation can still be seen to this day. The nuclear warheads carried on Trident submarines are eight times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan - the devastation firing such a weapon would cause is unimaginable.
Today's rally began at Marble Arch, where 60,000 people met to march together to Trafalgar Square in protest of Trident's renewal. In addition to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, we were joined by the Socialist Workers Party, the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, groups fighting against racism and sexism, refugees, religious organisations, student nurses and doctors whose university funding has just been cut, those fighting against austerity and many others. To see so many people of all different backgrounds coming together with one voice to fight for the same cause made me feel a part of something really important, something worth fighting for. It was such an uplifting, amazing experience.
Nuclear weapons are immoral, they are weapons of mass destruction, they are illegal and they are dangerous. They are also not the norm - the vast majority of countries are nuclear weapon free, why should Britain be any different? Nuclear weapons can go wrong - thousands of lives are threatened by them.
Join the fight. Let us stand together and oppose these weapons. Argue for peace, cutting war not welfare, books not bombs, NHS not Trident. We can only affect change if we work as one, all supporting the same cause - global disarmament.
Speakers such as Nicola Sturgeon for the Scottish National Party, Leanne Wood for Plaid Cymru, Caroline Lucas for the Green Party and Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party all stood and opposed the renewal of Britain's nuclear weapons programme. I had an amazing day campaigning against these weapons and listening to such inspirational speeches, but our work will not be complete until the government agrees to scrap Trident. Make a stand, get out onto the streets, begin campaigning! It's everyone's fight, and the nuclear weapons of this country will not be renewed in our name.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you are all well and have a fabulous weekend.