Pax Christi ‘Wraps up Trident’ with thousands of others in London
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Thousands of peacemakers gathered today in London to join a major campaign to put Trident on the agenda for the General Election in a creative action to ‘wrap up ‘ the Ministry of Defence and other government buildings with giant pink scarf.
Before the encircling of the buildings several hundred members of Pax Christi, the Quakers, Christian CND and other Christian gathered for prayer in St Martin-in-the-Fields and then kept vigil outside on the steps, proclaiming to those who passed messages from the churches condemning nuclear weapons. Pax Christi member Margaret Pitt read the following from Pope Francis: “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence between people…Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price.”
They then joined others, carrying between then a huge pink knitted scarf that was used to encircle the Ministry of Defence and other buildings. Creative message were on display such as ‘drop stitches not bombs’ and ‘bombs not books’ as campaigners made links between the gross spending on Trident and unmet social needs nationally and internationally.
Introducing Bishop Thomas McMahon, former Bishop of Brentwood, Jeremy Corbyn MP praised the work of Pax Christi for all it does to bring peace issues into the Catholic community and beyond. Bishop Thomas spoke at the rally, affirming Pope Francis’s condemnation of nuclear weapons and challenging what he called the obscenity of the money spent on nuclear weapons.
Today marks the beginning of a series of public action that Pax Christi are involved in. On 18 February, Ash Wednesday, Pax Christi and others will lead the annual witness of resistance and repentance to nuclear weapons at the Ministry of Defence. On 2 March Pax Christi will coordinate a faith-based presence at an all-day blockade of Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Reading. In March Pax Christi will issue an election briefing produced with other Christian peace groups that will provide background and questions on nuclear issues, the arms trade, drones and Government policies in the Middle East.
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