Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

views updated Jun 08 2018

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The largest and most politically orthodox organization associated with the two waves of mass agitation against the British nuclear deterrent and US nuclear bases in Britain during the late 1950s and again in the early 1980s. It was formed in 1958 by establishment intellectuals such as Bertrand Russell and J. B. Priestley and urged unilateral British nuclear disarmament. It soon became involved in demonstrations and protests organized by the smaller anarchist-orientated Direct Action Committee. The Easter 1958 march to the Aldermaston nuclear base in Berkshire attracted up to 10,000 supporters and 1959 and 1960 saw the numbers approaching 100,000. The success of a unilateralist motion at the 1960 Labour Party Conference was a high point, but Gaitskell managed to reverse the decision in 1961 and the signing of the 1963 Test Ban treaty caused CND to lose momentum.

It re-emerged as a mass movement in the 1980s as a result of the expansion of nuclear weapons systems and a new iciness in American–Soviet relations. It again proved to be a broad church, with strong trade union, youth, Labour, Liberal, Christian, and Green subgroups, though some radical protesters, such as the Greenham Common women's Peace Camp, were not part of CND. By 1982 it had about 100,000 members and drew an estimated 400,000 people to its Hyde Park rally. One consequence of the Labour Party's move to the left was the Gang of Four's decision to defect and set up the Social Democratic Party. Further multilateral agreements to control nuclear weapons were both welcome to CND and blunted its cutting edge. Though it did not succeed in its main objective, CND was a remarkable organizational feat and showed more stamina than most political lobbies, even if its main achievement was to damage the Labour Party.

Christopher N. Lanigan

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

views updated May 23 2018

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) Movement in Britain, founded by Bertrand Russell and Canon John Collins (1958). Advocating unilateral nuclear disarmament, during the 1960s it organized an annual march between the atomic research centre at Aldermaston and Trafalgar Square, London. Membership and activities declined in the 1970s, but CND revived in the early 1980s in response to the escalation of the East-West nuclear arms race and the siting of cruise missiles at Greenham Common, s England. The end of the Cold War and disarmament treaties between the USA and the former Soviet Union, have lessened CND's political prominence.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

views updated May 14 2018

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament a British organization which campaigns for the abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide and calls for unilateral disarmament. Founded in 1958, it was revived in 1979 to oppose the siting of US cruise missiles in Britain. With the improvement in East–West relations and the break-up of the Soviet Union, the organization has had a lower public profile.

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Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

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