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Memorials to be held across Scotland to honour those killed in nuclear bombings

MEMORIALS will be held across Scotland in honour of those killed in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – still the only use of nuclear weapons on human beings.

According to the most conservative estimate, around 129,000 people were killed in just two days in the Japanese cities at the end of the Second World War.

Anti-nuclear activists will be holding the memorials in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and East Kilbride, today and tomorrow.

The memorials are intended to commemorate the victims of the bombings, which some historians have argued were not necessary to end the war with Japan after Germany’s surrender.

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They are also part of an ongoing protest by CND Scotland in the country which plays host to UK’s nuclear arsenal.

Other events include the premiere of a new film A Guided Tour of the Unacceptable, which is being shown in the Pianodrome at the Old Royal High in Edinburgh on Sunday at 7.30pm.

The film will take viewers on a tour of the grim nuclear landmarks in and around HM Naval Base Clyde, the home of the UK’s weapons of mass destruction.

This September also marks the five-year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – which remains largely ignored by global nuclear powers.

John Cairns, the chair of CND Scotland, told The National the organisation was supporting the local events.

He added: “The Peace Camp would usually take people around and show them the relevant bits and when lockdown happened, somebody had the idea of let’s make a film of it.

“We are planning to take it around the country, we’ve had interest from Shetland, Inverness, Ullapool, and Glasgow.

“Here’s beautiful, unspoiled Scotland, and here, right in the middle of it, is the nuclear death of the universe.”

The film, directed by Ruth Barrie, was commissioned by Secure Scotland and CND Scotland.

The premiere will feature live music as well as a discussion between musicians Rachel Sermanni and Karine Polwart, National columnist and activist Lesley Riddoch, Greens MSP Maggie Chapman and director Rastko Novakovic.

Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens’ external affairs spokesperson, said the anniversary gave a chance to reflect on the “horrors” of nuclear warfare.

He said: “For as long as nuclear weapons exist, we are only one error of judgement or irrational act away from a potentially world-ending disaster.”

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“With both the Tories and Labour committed to spending hundreds of billions of pounds on even more nuclear weapons for the UK, it is clear that the only way we can remove these deadly weapons from our shores is with independence.

“Next year’s referendum will give us the chance to rid ourselves of Britain’s arsenal of mass slaughter. I’m proud that the agreement between the Scottish Government and Scottish Greens confirmed our support for the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, which would bring us in line with our nearest neighbours in Ireland.

“Rather than stockpiling evermore deadly weapons of mass obliteration, the best thing that this generation of political leaders can do for peace is to ensure that we finally eliminate nuclear weapons for good.”

Memorial events will be held at: CND Tree, Churchill Avenue, East Kilbride (August 6, 2pm) Marischal College, Aberdeen (August 6, 2pm) Princes Street, Edinburgh (August 6, 5pm) Kelvingrove Park Peace Tree, Glasgow (August 7, 12pm)



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