An anti-war demonstration is set to take place at Portsmouth Harbour on May 23, to protest against £3bn warship HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The warship is capable of carrying 40 aircraft and will be carrying eight RAF and 10 US Marine Corps F35B Lightning II jets to the Asia-Pacific region.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth replaces HMS Ocean as the fleet flagship, and will act as a command and control centre for the entire Royal Navy. It is set to depart for Asia accompanied by 14 naval helicopters, six Royal Navy ships, a submarine.
One of the protest organisers said: “The new carrier strike group has been referred to as the embodiment of Global Britain by Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin. They also embody Britain being joined at the hip to the American military as it plunges into a new cold war, as the carriers have 10 F-35 jets from the US air force.
“The aircraft carriers themselves represent a unique danger, they are being sent (after stopping off in all the old colonies) to the South China sea to conduct exercises with the American, Korean, Indian and Japanese navies. A portion of the strike group will also be heading to the Black Sea. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists points to these as the most likely flashpoints for nuclear war, a danger that is exacerbated by the carriers faulty radar systems which have reported as ‘too sensitive to use’ and the bellicose rhetoric of its commanders. Former Lord Admiral Alan West has recently stated ‘I still think with a proper balanced Royal Navy task group, with the F-35s, nuclear submarines and Type 45 destroyers that if we met up with a group of their ships – particularly their old, battered carrier (the Admiral Kuznetsov), which is rubbish – it would be a very good ending, we’d sink them all and be home for tea and medals.’“
Stop the War and other anti-war activists say they will be giving a vocal critique of Britain’s recent invasions, increase in nuclear weapons, and bombing campaigns. They will be running a stall in the city centre and leafleting the crowd at the harbour.
For more information about the protest, visit the Facebook event page.