Rob Edwards – John Ainslie obituary

In 1992, when the first submarine armed with Trident nuclear missiles arrived on the Clyde near Glasgow, John Ainslie was in a canoe. Along with a flotilla of other protesters, he was buzzing the huge dark boat as it cut through the cold water. He had just been appointed as the coordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), and he was arrested by the Ministry of Defence police.

John, who has died of cancer aged 62, was the quiet, unassuming heart of the peace movement in Scotland for the last 25 years. As well as putting himself on the line, he became an authoritative and internationally respected nuclear researcher. He was the author of 20 reports on aspects of nuclear policy, starting in 1992 with Cracking Under Pressure, about defects in nuclear submarine reactors.

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