MSP calls for peaceful anti-Nato protest

By Megan Berkley and Cassandra Allwood

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Bill Kidd MSP

An MSP has called for demonstrations held in Edinburgh tomorrow to remain peaceful.

Protests have been organised in the capital to oppose NATO. The organisation’s annual assembly begins today at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Mr Kidd is due to speak at a rally tomorrow against nuclear proliferation which he believes NATO should not be involved with.

He told Edinburgh Napier News: ” Demonstrations have to be constructive.

“People may think NATO is something to be opposed because it’s a violent organisation or that it encourages war. The best way to oppose it is to be non-violent. Non-violent civil disobedience is the best way to oppose any form of military organisation.”

The UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident, is based in Faslane and is due to reach the end of its service life in 2024. Opinion is divided over whether it should be replaced.

While the UK government has argued for a replacement, others say it is too expensive. Official figures put the annual cost of maintenance at almost £2 billion with a replacement costing £75 billion.

Mr Kidd said: “They cost an absolute fortune and we’ve got better things to do with our money.”

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Anti-fascist campaigners hit out against David Cameron

David Cameron’s controversial alliance in the European Parliament has been hit with new criticism today by an anti-fascist group.

The Conservatives switched allegiance from centre-right group the European People’s Party to the newly formed European Conservatives and Reformists in June this year.

The move caused controversy after some of its members were accused of holding extreme right-wing views.

Foreign Secretary David Milliband accused the leader of the group, Michal Kaminski, of having an anti-semetic past and the Polish MEP has been caught on film making homophobic comments.

Margaret Woods, Scottish spokesperson for Unite Against Fascism (UAF), said today: “It is utterly deplorable that someone who might be Prime Minister is consorting with these people.”

“He’s done it to appease the euro-sceptics. It hasn’t bothered his conscience too much.”

The spokesperson also highlighted Mr Cameron’s role as Head of Policy Coordination during the Conservative’s election campaign in 2005.

She pointed to the immigration polices and restrictions on traveller settlements promoted by the Tories at the time as evidence that the party’s leader was more right-wing than he appears.

“He’s not the huggable, smiley, nice person he’s pretending to be,” she said.

The Scottish Conservatives could not be reached for comment.

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