Anti-Trident campaigners flooded the Commons lobby yesterday to sing songs to MPs warning against the controversial renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons.
They performed an oratorio dubbed Trident Is A War Crime, which received thunderous applause from passing tourists, as apprehensive MPs scuttled to the chamber to attend Prime Minister questions (PMQs).
The Action AWE campaigners claim they turned to singing because so many MPs are failing to listen to overwhelming public opposition to renewing the weapons system.
Trident renewal, expected to be agreed formally next year, comes amid a backdrop of severe government cuts to public services.
“MPs do not seem to understand the moral and legal consequences of threatening mass destruction with nuclear weapons,” said Action AWE co-founder Angie Zelter.
“They have lost their humanity and moral integrity. We are hoping that by hearing this powerful and moving oratorio, they will be moved in their hearts. We are singing about life and death.”
The singing protest is the latest sign of increasingly vocal opposition and action against Trident renewal ahead of the general election.
Many of the singers were involved in last week’s peaceful blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which is based at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire.
The oratorio was written by the composer Camilla Cancantata, who has endorsed the protest and described the piece as “not meant to be a passive listening experience.”
She said: “The words and music are meant to engage and challenge the people in our society who have the constitutional power to ensure Britain upholds international law and abandons all nuclear weapons.”
However Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons following a backbencher’s question during PMQs that Trident renewal is “non-negotiable” and is “an absolutely vital part of this nation’s security.”