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Launch of Scotland's for Peace

More than 200 people attended the launch on 16th March 2005 at the Oran Mor in Glasgow. Comedian Elaine C Smith was the compere for the evening and ensured that the event was lively and dynamic.Isobel Lindsay explained the background to the initiative. Baillie Robert Winters spoke on behalf of Glasgow City Council. Morag Mylne, Convenor of the Church and Nation Committee of the Church of Scotland, refered to the Christian churches support for peace initiatives. Bashir Maan CBE said that he was speaking on behalf of "New Scots". The final speaker in the opening session was Mike Kirby, Scottish Convenor of UNISON.

There was then the first showing of a new video, produced by Camcorder Guerillas. This included statements about the need for peace from a wide range of contributors, old and young, including Stuart Murcoch of Belle and Sebastian.A L Kennedy gave a stimulating speech, followed by Angela O'Hagan who refered to the Make Poverty History campaign. Chris Ballance MSP spoke about a new survey of peace education in Scotland which will be undertaken shortly. Bill Speirs spoke on behalf of the STUC. Kathy Galloway, leader of the Iona Community, ended her contribution with a song. Matthew Crighton ended the speeches with a call for action.Dick Gaughan then gave a lively performance, including Hamish Henderson's “Freedom come all ye”.

Statements of Support

"Please accept my good wishes for the launch event on Wednesday. I am sure that I voice the thoughts of the majority of people in Scotland when I say that we do not want to be a nation associated with weapons of mass destruction. Peace means justice, tolerance and respect for others who are different to us. Peace means offering the hand of friendship to them. Peace is living without fear and anxiety. Peddling the politics of fear, removing the rule of law and presuming people guilty until proven innocent is not the way we want our Scottish society to be seen around the world. Leaders in Scotland must show the courage to proclaim that we are a nation of peace and do not want to be part of the bully boy pact between Blair and Bush. I support the aims and objectives of the Scotland's for Peace campaign".
- Nicola Sturgeon MSP

“A nation spending as much as Britain does on weapons will insist on using more and more of them against weaker nations, while pretending astonishment when members of these nations retaliate suicidally. Only by committing ourselves to the United Nations and defending Scotland through the United Nations will we break out of a vicious spiral of increasingly irresponsible British government turning into a police state to promote yet more warfare.”
- Alasdair Gray

“When the Cold War ended, we heard much about the peace bonus -isn't it time to see it in action, and nuclear weaponry removed from Scotland.”
- Bill Paterson

“It is high time that Scotland's government reflected the wishes of its people and expended its energies and resources working for the preparation and enhancement of life, rather than perpetuating and assisting in war crimes and supporting the preemptive use of weapons of mass destruction.”
- A L Kennedy

At he centre of a desire for peace is the conviction that walls of racism,religious division, political superiority have no place in a world of tolerance and fairness. Rather should we rejoice in the diversity of humanity and allow it to enrich our lives.”
- Most Rev Bruce Cameron (Primate, Scottish Episcopal Church)

“Peace is a long term commitment at and within every level of society. Peace and justice can only be achieved with comprehensive support of every voice young and old, rich and poor, radical and conservative. We all say we want peace - now is the time to work for it.”
- Liz Law (Scottish Centre for Non Violence)