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Anti-nuclear campaign, Britain

Stacy Warner Maddern


Opposition to nuclear weapons emerged in Britain in 1955 following the government's announcement that it would manufacture a hydrogen bomb. In the midst of the Cold War, on July 9, 1955, Bertrand Russell issued the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which targeted the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and urged world leaders to find alternative peaceful methods to resolve international conflict. This manifesto became the basis for the Pugwash Conferences on Scientific and World Affairs, which brought together a group of scholars to seek solutions that might reduce armed conflict and global security threats. In 1957, the issue of nuclear disaster was further exposed when J. B. Priestley published an article in the New Statesmen entitled “Russia, the Atom and the West,” which suggested an imminent threat to Britain. In 1957, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was founded in Britain and elected Bertrand Russell as its president. It was centered on a “ban the bomb” movement and originally planned to work in collaboration with Britain's main opposition party, the Labour Party, to organize an H-Bomb Campaign Committee within parliament. However, the movement was overtaken by enthusiastic public support that made it a mass movement. Five thousand people attended its inaugural meeting on February 17, 1958, and a few hundred participated in the march to Downing Street that followed. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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