Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Early estimates had Saturday's crowd in the "many tens of thousands." (Photo: @GreenpeaceUK/Twitter)

Tens of Thousands Join UK Anti-Nuke Demo Billed as Biggest in Generation

'We are not alone,' Jeremy Corbyn tells crowd. 'There are many people around the world...who have wanted a non-nuclear future for their country and their planet.'

Deirdre Fulton

In what was called "Britain’s biggest anti-nuclear weapons rally in a generation," tens of thousands took to the streets of London on Saturday to protest the UK's nuclear weapons system—Trident—and to call for global disarmament. 

According to the Guardian, "Campaigners gathered from across the world: some said they had traveled from Australia to protest against the renewal of Trident. Others had come from the west coast of Scotland where Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines are based."

Organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the demonstration comes ahead of a parliamentary decision on whether or not to replace Trident, the UK's nuclear weapons system, comprised of four submarines carrying up to 40 nuclear warheads apiece. Such an endeavor would cost least £41bn, UK government officials have said.

"Taken together with government figures for calculating the lifetime cost, it looks like the whole sorry project will cost at least £183bn," CND general secretary Kate Hudson pointed out in an op-ed published Saturday. "At a time of swingeing government spending cuts this is clearly outrageous."

Indeed, Labour MP David Lammy said in announcing his support of the rally last week: "For me the renewal of Trident is inextricably linked with the lack of resources and austerity we see across the country."

He cited the "closure of care homes, the closure of children's centers, no new services and chronic shortages in housing," before adding, "I could not in all conscience vote for renewal worth £31 billion or more when this happening."

Other political figures, including longtime anti-war activist and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, also backed the demo. Speaking to the crowd on Saturday, Corbyn said the demonstration was "an expression of many people's public opinion."

"We are not alone," he declared. "There are many people around the world...who have wanted a non-nuclear future for their country and their planet."

Though Corbyn's decision to speak at the rally was controversial, the left-winger said: "I want to be here because of my belief in a nuclear-free future... a world that emphasizes dealing with the crying needs of the poor and homeless in this country, those who are going short and suffering public spending cuts in this country, but also a globe in which we address the grotesque levels of inequality."

As Rajesh Makwana, executive director of civil society group Share the World's Resources, argued this week, decommissioning Trident would be a "bold and essential step" toward a global goal of "general and complete disarmament."

"Renewing Trident would not only undermine international disarmament efforts for years to come," he wrote, "it will reinforce the hazardous belief that maintaining a functional nuclear arsenal is essential for any nation seeking to wield power on the world stage."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·

Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·

UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·

'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo