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Peace activists mobilise to fight military spending

London, Coventry, Glasgow and many other cities host activities on a global day of action

Peace campaigners across Britain and around the world mobilised yesterday for a global day of action against military spending.

Vigils, protests, stalls and other actions took place in towns and cities including Coventry, Bristol, Glasgow, Reading, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and Newbiggin.

Activists in London targeted the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and Department of Energy and Climate Change with protests.

Speakers from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), health campaigners Medact, War on Want, Scientists for Global Responsibility and Catholic peace movement Pax Christi spoke at events in London.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “While the British public are living through the deepest spending cuts in recent history the government still sees fit to waste over £100 billion on a cold war weapons system and to spend £38bn on the military this year alone.

She said the day of action was “a vital challenge to the skewed priorities of this government and governments around the world who choose weapons of war over the welfare of their people.”

The coalition — as with its Labour predecessor — plans to spend £100bn to replace Trident nuclear weapons.

Britain is the sixth-largest military spender in the world, even before the Trident project starts.

Activists reported positive responses from the public across Britain.

“When you talk to them, people say that spending £100bn on nuclear weapons is ridiculous at a time when there are all these cuts in funding for public services such as health and education,” said Yorkshire CND chairman Dave Webb, who helped run a stall in Leeds’s Dortmund Square.

“People cannot understand why the government thinks this is necessary.”

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