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European candidate joins campaigners to challenge nuclear weapon research

Lead Green European candidate in the South West, Dr Molly Scott Cato, will join campaigners in Bristol on Monday to draw attention to the fact Bristol is among the top five universities in the UK receiving funding for research into nuclear weapons.

A report published earlier this year [1] shows that the Atomic Weapons Establishment gives over £8m a year in research funding to more than 50 Universities. Most of the money goes into five of the UK's leading universities [2], with Bristol University receiving £1.3 million between 2010 and 2012.

Dr Scott Cato Molly will join the demonstration that is being organised by campaign group Bristol Against Arms Trade (BAAT). Spokesperson for the group, Dr Rowland Dye, said:

"It’s shocking the Government is handing out tax-payers’ money for nuclear weapons research and that some of this work is going on in our city. Britain’s existing Trident nuclear weapons system could incinerate 45 million people at the press of a button. And the Government is planning to develop it further! Shouldn’t this money and expertise be better spent on essentials of life, not planning death and destruction on an unbelievable scale? We have pressing needs to solve run-away climate change as well social issues such as health, education, housing and employment. Let’s spend this money wisely on people’s needs!"

In joining the protest, Dr Molly Scott Cato will reiterate the Green Party’s long held opposition to nuclear weapons, the arms trade and Trident. She said:

"As a party with a track record of protest against nuclear weapons and Trident I unreservedly support this demonstration. The Common European manifesto makes clear our opposition to financing military research from the EU budget and our support for nuclear disarmament both in Europe and globally [3]. Likewise, The Green Party in England and Wales believe that immediate nuclear disarmament is an absolute priority. We would like to see 2014, the year commemorating the outbreak of the First World War, as the year we ditch Trident, begin to dismantle the destructive arms trade and invest instead in peace-keeping."

As a former student at Bristol University, Vice President of National CND, Dr Rebecca Johnson FRSA, has also lent her support to the demonstration. She said:

"Research that contributes to the replacement of Trident is an egregious violation of the UK's binding international treaty obligations to eliminate nuclear weapons. I urge the University to reject this corrupt funding for nuclear weapons research and proliferation. These weapons breach our human security and would cause a humanitarian catastrophe if used. The only legally justifiable research is in verifying nuclear disarmament and ensuring that existing weapons are safely and securely dismantled and eliminated."

Notes

[1] The Atomic Weapons Establishment and UK Universities published by the Nuclear Information Service (NIS) and Medact: http://www.medact.org/resources/atoms-peace-atomic-weapons-establishment-uk-universities-2/]

[2] The top five Universities receiving research funding are Imperial College (London) and the universities of Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh), Cranfield (Bedfordshire and Wiltshire), Cambridge and Bristol.

[3] EUROPE IN THE WORLD - Common Manifesto 2014, Working for Peace: http://europeangreens.eu/common-manifesto-2014/europe-world

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