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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Trident protesters reach Holyrood
Bin the Bomb protester
The marchers set off from Faslane five days ago
Anti-nuclear arms campaigners have arrived in Edinburgh at the completion of their 85-mile trek from the Navy's Faslane submarine base on the Clyde.

The marchers, including leading churchmen, have called on the Scottish Parliament and Westminster to scrap Trident missiles and any replacement.

They left Faslane, the home of the UK's fleet of submarines armed with nuclear warheads, five days ago, to head east.

A rally was held, calling for an end the UK nuclear deterrent.

The UK Government will decide before the end of 2006 whether Britain will continue to have nuclear weapons and whether to build new submarines to replace Trident.

Parliamentary Minister Margaret Curran spoke to anti-Trident demonstrators outside Holyrood.

Since 1981 the Church of Scotland has said, time and again, that nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction are morally and theologically wrong
The Right Reverend Alan McDonald

Ms Curran said the views would be passed on to Westminster where the UK Government has responsibility for defence decisions.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Alan McDonald, started out with the marchers.

He rejoined them in the capital, along with Roman Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien and the Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Reverend Brian Smith, and representatives from Islamic and Quaker communities.

Mr McDonald said "Since 1981 the Church of Scotland has said, time and again, that nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction are morally and theologically wrong.

"We know the decision will be taken in Westminster, but this parliament can speak for itself and is able to say whatever it likes.

"There would be huge moral authority and theological authority if this parliament was to say to 'no' Trident."

'Irrational and absurd'

Cardinal O'Brien told protesters: "I hope by our presence here today and by the walk you have completed, we give voice to hope and remind all who will listen that if nuclear war is illogical, immoral and inconceivable, then investing billions of pounds in more nuclear weapons is iniquitous, irrational and absurd."

Green MSP Chris Ballance said: "Greens, along with the majority of Scots, oppose Trident, oppose the renewal of Trident, and deplore the indiscriminate violence and carnage that nuclear weapons are designed to create.

"Nuclear weapons make us a terrorist target, create nuclear waste, are illegal and give this country a key role in maintaining one of the most immoral and brutal features of 21st Century politics."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See the campaigners arrive in Edinburgh



SEE ALSO
Churches unite to 'end Trident'
14 Sep 06 |  Scotland
Protesters blockade military base
25 Jul 06 |  Glasgow and West
Whatever happened to CND?
05 Jul 06 |  Magazine
Peace protesters in for long haul
22 Jun 06 |  Scotland
McConnell quizzed on missile plan
22 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Churches in anti-nuclear petition
15 May 06 |  Scotland

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