Trident on Trial – the case for people’s disarmament (2001)

Trident on Trial – the case for people’s disarmament (2001)


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On a beautiful summers evening in 1999, three women- Ellen Moxley, Ulla Roder, and Angie Zelter- boarded a barge moored on a scottish loch and threw some computer equipment overboard. sheriff Margaret Gimblett acquitted ” The Trident Three” on the basis that they were acting as global citizens preventing nuclear crime.  This led to an in-depth High Court examination of the legality of an individual states deployment of nuclear weapons ..

  • Is Trident inherently unlawful and immoral?
  • When can a state use or thrreaten to use nuclear weapons?
  • should international law take precedence over a sovereign government?
  • can a government be held accountable for ownership of weapons of mass destruction?
  • When is a citizen justified in acting against what she reasonably believes to be the government’s crime?

Is whose name does the UK government deploy over 140 nuclear warheads, each around 10 times the power of that dropped on Hiroshima killing some 150,000 people?

The High Court failed to answer any of these questions.

Trident plougshares continues to challenge the leality of UK Nuclear Forces. In 1996 the International Court of justice (ICJ) issued its Advisory opinion on “the Legality of the Threat or use of Nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.” This ruling was to affect Angie Zelters life profoundly.

It was the beginning of Trident pougshares, the civil resistance campaign of peoples Disarmament. This is Angies personal account of the campaign. It also includes profiles of and contributions by some of the people and groups who have pledged to prevent nuclear crime in peaceful and practical ways. without such public pressure governments will not abide by the Advisory opinion nor implement their international agreements to abolish nuclear weapons.

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