Memories of Protests Short film looks at CND’s fight for nuclear disarmament

For the last six decades a dedicated group of North-east volunteers has been fighting the spread of nuclear weapons.

Now, as the Aberdeen and District branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) approaches its milestone birthday, it is screening a short film that was made by members.

The film, entitled Aberdeen to Aldermaston, will look back on a 2010 march on the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, near London.

The film was created by CND member Gary Dawson and his daughter Mhairi with the help of Aberdeen charity Shmu Community Media Unit.

"I was always passionate about CND and wanted to show my daughter what a CND protest was like. At the time, the government was looking at making any form of demonstration illegal so I thought it was important to document the event."

It's not the first time a march at Aldermaston has been documented by Aberdeen and District CND.

Back in 1959 the group held a screening of a film about their 1958 march at the nuclear base.

CND demonstrators attended a rally at the US naval communications base in Edzell in 1984.

Throughout 60 years of campaigning the North-east branch has come into conflict with the law.

"Anyone is always welcome to join us at these events. We're always happy to see as many people as possible. There are a lot of things on in the future as well that we'd love to see people at." - Aberdeen and District CND chair Jonathan Russell

A tense CND march in 1984 saw Grampian Police threatened to arrest anyone carrying trade union placards after a large group of miners showed up.

Frequent threats around trespassing have also followed the group through their protests in areas around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

In 1983, the North-east CND branch took part in peace talks with a delegation of Russians in an effort to create stronger links with those on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Remembering the role of CND in the 1980s, Gary said: "Back then it was very serious.

"Back then it was very serious. I remember the council voted to create a nuclear fallout shelter and spent £90,000 on it. It was very worrying."

More recently the group has focused its efforts on the continuing campaign to have Trident decommissioned by the UK Government.

Jonathan: "It's been extremely busy. One of the main things we did was go down to London for a demonstration at the beginning of the year in the lead up to the vote on Trident. Just before the vote in parliament, we also did an Aberdeen demonstration. A lot of politicians from various parties took part in the event."

The film screening will take place this Monday at 7.30 at UNITE Union in Aberdeen.

Created By
Callum Main
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Credits:

Words by Laura Ferguson, Images courtesy of Aberdeen Journals

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