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Trident rally is Britain’s biggest anti-nuclear march in a generation via the Guardian

Thousands of protesters including Jeremy Corbyn and other party leaders gather in London for CND march and rally

Thousands of protesters have assembled in central London for Britain’s biggest anti-nuclear weapons rally in a generation.

Campaigners gathered from across the world: some said they had travelled 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.

As the huge column of people began moving from Marble Arch after 1pm, the mood was buoyant and spirited despite the cold.

[…]

As crowds built from midday close to the assembly point at Marble Arch, it quickly became evident that the event would mark the biggest anti-nuclear demonstration since 1983, when 300,000 gathered in London’s Hyde Park to demonstrate against the deployment of Cruise missiles at Greenham Common, Berkshire. Union officials, faith leaders, anti-nuclear activists and anti-war campaigners were evident. Stewards estimated the numbers ran into “many tens of thousands”.

Organisers of the march, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, were confident the turnout would send a robust message of growing support against renewing the nuclear weapons system – at an estimated cost of least £41bn – and argued that worries about job losses were a red herring.

[…]

Corbyn said he was elected Labour leader on a manifesto in which standing against the renewal of Trident was a key component.

He acknowledged the party’s role in the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty and urged: “I want to see a Labour government that would adhere to all the articles of the non-proliferation treaty.”

The treaty had worked, given that most countries that did not have nuclear weapons at that time had not subsequently acquired them, Corbyn told the crowd. It was a credit to countries such as Argentina, South Africa and Brazil that both Africa and South America remained free of such weapons, he added.

The US, Russia and the UK signed the treaty, pledging their cooperation in stemming the spread of nuclear technology.

Corbyn, who said he joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament when he was 16, also made reference to those who questioned whether he should be attending the protest: “A lot of people said that maybe it was utterly relevant maybe you shouldn’t be there, but I want to be here because of my belief in a nuclear-free future.”

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