Thursday, 9 February 2017

Scots Against War, mid 1960s

Extract from article 'The spies who stayed out in the cold', Inside Story magazine no.9, May/June 1973:
Back cover of Inside Story issue no.9 
   During all this time [1963-64] a parallel but completely independent response to the situation in the Committee of 100 had taken place in Scotland. Some Glasgow activists who had attended the Way Ahead conference in February 1963 were impressed by the arguments of Beyond Counting Arses, and developed their ideas in a similar way. 
   The first public indication of this phenomenon was the appearance at the Holy Loch demonstration on 25 May 1963 of a duplicated leaflet called How to disrupt, obstruct and subvert the Warfare State, and signed 'Scots Against War'. This was followed by an irregular series of publications over the next couple of years, aimed at stimulating radical activity in the nuclear disarmament movement.
   This activity was not confined to argument, and sabotage became frequent and widespread from 1963 to 1966. Several fires were started at the Holy Loch and Faslane bases, and many Civil Defence and Army offices all over the country were broken into and often wrecked. Occasionally some individuals were arrested, but the authorities preferred to keep things quiet. Few charges were brought, and only fines were imposed. The Scots Against War group was never broken, but in the end it faded away.
   In June 1966 the Scottish Solidarity group published as its first pamphlet A Way Ahead, which was a collection of the articles on the Scots Against War and the sabotage issue printed in both Scotland and London, with editorial comments. The subtitle was 'For a New Peace Movement', but the pamphlet virtually marked the end of the old one. Nevertheless, the career of the Scots Against War, inspired by the same idea as the Spies for Peace (and frequently in informal contact with them), may be seen as one of the most successful practical assaults on the military system mounted by the whole nuclear disarmament movement.  

"INSIDE STORY was a brave UK South London based underground alternative publication aimed at the counterculture & focusing on political issues alternative living, inside information etc ."

What the C100 and SfP were bothered about.:
Page preceding the 'Spies' article
The nuclear planners envisaged a scenario in which, among other demographic consequences, the number of (internal) refugees after the bomb dropped would exceed the population of Scotland, plus a large chunk of England and Wales. 

The full article can now be seen (images of pages) at

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