This month marks the birthday of Faslane Peace Camp- the extraordinary space set up in opposition to nuclear weapons that are based on the Clyde. Over 200 warheads are based there- and if ever used, the murders committed would far out-weigh those murders by the ruling classes who have sacrificed lives for their profits throughout the twentieth century and the opening years of the 21st.
Have a good Birthday, Peace Camp. Hopefully after a Yes vote in the Scottish Independence referendum next year you will become a museum or garden for peace.
This week saw the Etonian led, upperclass Westminster Government set out it's plans for celebrations of the industrial scale murder their class forefathers meted out on Europe. Millions died in what became known as WW1 - a huge war of capital which really was an unashamed land grab for resources by billionaire businessmen who controlled the imperialist powers at the time. These "celebrations" and macabre commemorations of deaths for "victory" over other imperialists do not represent me. My family suffered dreadfully during this time and after the killing fields of Europe were "silenced." Loss, alcoholism, broken families and pain that still echoes through the decades shaped our lives. And helped shape the dreadful legacy that still haunts my birthplace, Northern Ireland. The people of the UK still bear the scars of the destruction of body, mind, soul and community that that war of Upper Class greed imposed on the entire industrialised world.
In my opinion next year our "Peace Camp" on the Gareloch should be a focus for commemorating all of those who lost their lives in WW1. Many conscientious objectors died -many were murdered by the state as "deserters" - and Scotland had a proud conscientious objector population including socialists, Quakers, anarchists etc.
Many went to jail- and many lost their jobs as employers refused to employ them.
John MacLean, the Red Clydeside leader 1879-1923 was a leading conscientious objector of the time who was jailed and tortured for his leading protests an protestors against the war of the owning class.
And the war gave rise to the social fightback by amazing class fighters such as Rent Strikes leaders like the brilliant Mary Barbour and her "army."
These things - and many other extraordinary events in opposition to the war and the ruling classes who sacrificed millions of lives for their profit, deserve commemoration and celebration.
Our Faslane Peace Camp as a space created in opposition to war and exploitation should be at the heart of that- and could be a focal point for many peace activists throughout the UK and beyond.
Count me in in helping organise any events next year!