Words like security and defence have come to be used to describe action that uses up resources we need and puts us all in danger. The coronavirus crisis has shown that we are not protected, nor were we prepared for a pandemic, and, yet, at the same time, we have seen how people can change their behaviour and act for the common good, adapting to a new situation very quickly.
As governments ease restrictions and attempt to repair the economic impact of the Covid 19 crisis, it is essential not to return to 'business as usual', but to act for a green recovery which creates jobs and tackles the climate crisis.Black Lives Matter has impacted on how we understand the society we want to build and the interconnection of racism, patriarchy and other oppressions. Let’s recognise and call out the violence that perpetuates oppression and acts against our collective need to address the climate emergency.
Secure Scotland’s particular contribution lies in challenging language and how it informs oppression and violence, and in particular raising the question of how entitlement is justified through ambiguous and inaccurate use of language. We refuse to accept the continuation of practices that embed racist and patriarchal prejudices in everyday life. There are many groups and organisations working hard for the change to a fairer green well-being economy where all of us can be respected and can contribute and participate in culturally appropriate ways. We are not asking these groups to take on additional work. We seek to support them and connect them in order that good practice is highlighted and shared.
Secure Scotland grew from informal discussions about the need to speak out on on peace and security. The discussion seemed to be mired in militarist definitions and depend on exclusive hierarchies. People in Scotland are not being heard so important aspirations and opportunities for a different approach are missed.
We wanted to explore a way of talking about security that would mean decision makers would develop policies and plans to meet real security needs and not endanger us. A wider discussion was arranged through a residential event at the Allanton Peace Sanctuary and there was a great three day event with a wide range of participants from the Scottish Parliament, civil society, academia, activist, faith and community groups talking about how Scotland could develop real security and contribute globally.
Now we are finding out more about how that might work, what are the good things that do happen and what people in Scotland need to experience security that is real and lasting. This is happening through a network of people and groups in Scotland who think this a useful process and we hope that you may read this and decide to join us, or at least let us know what you think.