PICAT:Norfolk peace campaigners take Ministry of Defence to court over Trident

1st March 2016

Over 200 supporters of ‘Norfolk for Peace and Justice’, are taking the Ministry of Defence to court for conspiring to commit a war crime by including Trident in our defence policy.

The case will be delivered to Norwich Magistrates Court at 11am on Thursday 25 February.

‘Norfolk for Peace and Justice’ is not a party political organisation. We share the conviction that our defence policy should be ethical. It should uphold humanitarian laws about the conduct of war, specifically on the protection of civilians and the environment. Also that we should only use proportionate force to produce a military advantage.

The overwhelming and indiscriminate destructive power of Trident breaks all these legal obligations. One boatload of 8 missiles contains more explosive power than all the bombs of the Second World War, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Dr Philip Webber in ‘World in Chains’ published 2014, edited by Angie Zelter). It should never have been called a deterrent, much less a ‘minimum deterrent’.

Trident is a weapon of Mass Destruction, designed to kill millions of civilians. Its use, whether deliberate or by accident, would be genocidal. It would affect ourselves and our allies as well as perceived enemies. The nuclear winter which followed would cause widespread famine, leading to millions more deaths. Its use would be a war crime. Preparing for its use, and risking an accident, is conspiring to commit a war crime. The danger of an accident is very real and has increased with sophisticated cyber crime, terrorism and suicide bombers.

We believe that replacing Trident sends the wrong message to those who are considering acquiring nuclear weapons. This adds to tensions in the world, encourages proliferation of nuclear weapons and makes us a target for terrorism. Giving up Trident would show real leadership towards a nuclear weapons treaty. It would honour our commitment under the non-proliferation treaty and give us moral authority in the quest for a nuclear free world – as well as releasing much needed money for helpful policies, both for our citizens and for peacemaking.

The overwhelming and indiscriminate destructive power of Trident breaks all these legal obligations.
Green Party councillor Lesley Grahame said
“International Humanitarian law gives us some of the security that weapons of mass destruction undermine. Governments act officially, this should not be confused with acting legally. The court’s role is to uphold the law, and we are asking them to do so today.”

For further information ring Alicia Hull or Peter Crouch on 01263 761471