Stop British Trident nuclear weapons, fasting campaign


This 4 April 2015 video, recorded at George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, says about itself:

Bairns Not Bombs Scrap Trident. First Minister Of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaigners to join fast against Trident

Friday 31st July 2015

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners announced yesterday that they will join an international “fast against nuclear weapons” next week.

The four-day protest, in which participants will only consume water, will start next Thursday in London and Edinburgh, as well as in France, Germany and the US, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

Fasters in Britain will demand the abolition of Trident, with the London fast, organised by Trident Ploughshares, taking place outside the Ministry of Defence. There will also be peaceful protests and die-ins outside Parliament and Downing Street.

Trident Ploughshares activist Angie Zelter said: “I am fasting for real security for all. Nuclear weapons must be banned and the world community must work together to tackle climate change.

“Major political and economic changes must be made if our world is to support life in the future.

“Our presence outside the Ministry of Defence on this 70th anniversary of the nuclear war crimes committed by the US in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a demand for change. Trident must not be renewed.”

British nuclear weapons whistleblower jailed


This video about Britain says about itself:

Trident nukes whistleblower: Weapons access easier than ‘most nightclubs’

18 May 2015

The Royal Navy has launched an investigation into whistleblower William McNeilly, who exposed horrid security lapses in UK’s Trident nuclear program.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Call for Trident investigation as whistleblower is locked up

Wednesday 20th May 2015

MILITARY police arrested a Royal Navy whistleblower yesterday who had gone absent without leave having exposed safety and security concerns about Trident.

Submarine technician William McNeilly, 25, went on the run after publishing an 18-page report listing a catalogue of alleged safety hazards and dangerous practices relating to Britain’s nuclear missile system and submarine fleet.

He said it amounted to “a disaster waiting happen.”

Mr McNeilly, from Belfast, has served on submarine HMS Victorious. He said the problems could cause a nuclear explosion either on underwater patrol or in docking at the four Trident submarines’ base at Faslane in Scotland.

Mr McNeilly’s report included the claim that crew members used a nuclear missile store as a gym and that test missile launches had failed. He also described security alarms being silenced and fires in missile compartments.

He said he raised the issues with seniors but was ignored. After Mr McNeilly surrendered to authorities on Monday night, the Ministry of Defence said he was being held at a military base in Scotland.

Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, called for Mr McNeilly’s allegations to be investigated.

She said: “William McNeilly warns that Cameron and others are presented with a slick show which is unrecognisable from the practice of operating Vanguard Class submarines. If this is true, and McNeilly has opened these slack and dangerous practices to the light of day, then he has done everyone a service and should be acknowledged as a whistleblower rather than vilified as a traitor or a crank.”

We Shall Overcome and United States folk singer Guy Carawan


This music video from the USA is called Joan Baez: We Shall Overcome. March on Washington, 1963.

By Karl Dallas in Britain:

Obituary: GUY CARAWAN singer and activist, 27.07.1927-02.05.2015

Thursday 14th May 2015

THE LEADING US folk singer and civil rights activist Guy Carawan, who died on May 2 at the age of 87, will go down in history as the man who gave the world the anthem We Shall Overcome — though the song was much more of a collective effort than the popular perception of it.

In the late 1950, London was full of US expatriate folk singers, some of them exiles from McCarthyite persecution, others seeking out the British roots of the American tradition.

Some of them, like Carawan and Peggy Seeger, were on their way to the sixth world youth festival in Moscow which attracted 34,000 participants in 1957. While in Britain, Carawan had a minor hit with the single Michael Row the Boat Ashore, backed by Vern Partlow’s anti-nuclear talking blues Old Man Atom, with the memorable lines : “I hold this truth to be self-evident/That all men may be cremated equal.”

This music video from the USA says about itself:

“Old Man Atom (Talking Atomic Blues)” is sung by Ozie Waters on Coral 64050.

The song is by Vern Partlow (1910-1987) and Irving Bibo. Ozie Waters was a Colorado musician active in the 1940s and 1950s in the country and western field.

“Talking Atomic Blues” (aka “Old Man Atom”) was composed in 1945 by California newspaperman Vern Partlow (1910-1987). He was inspired to write the song after conducting interviews with nuclear scientists for an article he wrote for the Los Angeles Daily News. First recorded by Sam Hinton for ABC Eagle Records in 1949, it was covered by a number of artists, including Ozzie Davis and the Sons of the Pioneers. The song became one of the most popular novelty records of 1950 until the United States government’s War on Communism prompted record companies to withdraw the recording from circulation.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini

I’m gonna preach you all a sermon
About Old Man Atom
I don’t mean the Adam in the Bible’s Adam
I don’t mean the Adam that Mother Eve mated
I mean that thing that science liberated
The thing that Einstein says he’s scared of
And when Einstein‘s scared,
Brother, you’d better be scared.

If you’re scared of the atom, here’s whats you gotta do
You gotta gather all the people in the world with you
Cause if you don’t get together and do it
Well, first thing, you know, we’re gonna blow this world plum to [hell]

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini

Now life used to be such a simple joy
The cyclotron was just a super toy
And folks got born, they’d work and marry,
And “atom” was a word in the dictionary
And then it happened.

The science boys from every clime
They all pitched in with overtime
And before they knew it
The job was done
And they’d hitched up the power of the God-durn Sun
And put a harness on Old Sol
Splittin’ atoms
While the diplomats was a-splittin’ hairs

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini

But the atom’s international in spite of hysteria.
It flourishes in Utah as well as Siberia,
And whether you’re black, white, red, or brown,
The question is this, when you boil it down
To be or not to be–that is the question.
The answer to it all ain’t military datum
Like who gets there first-est with the most-est atoms
No, the people of the world must decide their fate.
They gotta get together or disintegrate.

We hold this truth to be self-evident:
“That all men may be cremated equal.”

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini

Yes, it’s up to the people
Cause the atoms don’t care.
You can’t fence me in–he’s just like air.
He doesn’t give a hoot about any politics
Or who gets what into whichever fix.
All I want to do is sit around
And have my nucleus bombarded by neutrons.

Now the moral is this, just as plain as day,
That Old Man Atom is here to stay.
He’s gonna stick around, that’s plain to see,
But, ah, my dearly beloved, are we?
So listen folks, here is my thesis:
Peace in the world or the world in pieces

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini

The Karl Dallas article continues:

From Moscow, Carawan and Seeger were invited to travel to China. It was a journey strictly forbidden by the US State Department, who summoned them home to answer accusations of disloyalty. Seeger avoided extradition by acquiring British citizenship through marriage but Carawan went home to face the music.

Ironically, by taking away Carawan’s passport, the US establishment concentrated his musical work on his homeland, resulting ultimately in his popularising the anthem forever associated with him, We Shall Overcome.

Carawan didn’t in fact write the song because, like many other militant songs of the US south, it had gospel origins. The word “overcome” first appeared in the lyrics of We’ll Understand It By and By, composed by the Reverend Charles Tindley of Philadelphia in 1903: “When the saints of God are gathered home,/We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome.”

This mutated into I Will Overcome— still on a gospel theme —but, during the 1946 strike of several hundred employees of the American Tobacco Company in Charleston, a woman called Lucille Simmons changed the words “I will overcome” to “We will overcome.”

The strikers visited the Highlander folk school in Tennessee which, as well as training union organisers and leaders in 11 southern states from 1932 onwards, also pioneered desegregation in the trade union movement.

Simmons taught the song to Zilphia Horton who, in turn, taught it to Pete Seeger, who published it as We Will Overcome in the first People’s Songs Bulletin— which is where Carawan learned it.

Oppression by the US authorities fed into Carawan’s life. It didn’t cause him to keep his head down and hope he’d be left alone. He became even more of a singing activist.

He had already visited Highlander before his trip to Moscow and Beijing and he went there again in 1959 and a year later taught the song to 70 young activists, following which they and he went to the founding conference of the Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC), who took it and made it their own.

The SNCC Freedom Singers, Rutha Harris, Cordell Reagon, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Chuck Neblett travelled the country singing on college campuses, in churches and community centres, raising funds and awareness. The rest is history. As the New York Times described it in in 1963, We Shall Overcome became “the Marseillaise of the integration movement.”

But the song, and Carawan’s part in making it an international anthem of struggle, tell us something we need to remember about individuals and their relationships with the communities for whom they become the voices. Carawan never gave up.

Joe Hill, a previous singing agitator, told us on the eve of his execution: “Don’t mourn. Organise!” That would be a suitable response to Carawan’s death at a time when the forces of evil seem to be triumphant throughout the capitalist world.