US citizens take action against US nuclear bombs in Europe
Remove US flag; Blockade main gate; Meet with Base Commander
A delegation of eleven US citizens joined with activists from China, Russia, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, Belgium and Britain at a peace encampment at the German airbase in Büchel, Germany, where US B61 bombs are deployed.
On Sunday, July 16, following the celebration of a Christian liturgy, Dutch and US citizens removed the fence blocking the main entrance to the airbase and proceeded on site, the Dutch delegation carrying bread for a “Bread Not Bombs” action and the US delegation carrying the text of the Nuclear Ban Treaty passed on July 7 at the United Nations in New York City.
More than thirty activists entered the site without incident, passing through the security gate that was accidentally left unlocked and unstaffed. The Dutch delegation placed bread on the wings of jet fighters; the US delegation lowered the US flag from the flagpole and read the text of the UN Treaty to soldiers at the base.
After forty-five minutes, the guards ran to seal the gates and police were summoned; eventually, all activists were expelled from the facility without being charged.
On Monday, July 17, activists woke to find themselves prisoners in the peace camp as those attempting to approach the base with banners were rebuffed by police. More than a dozen police vans ringed the roundabout at the gate.
Undeterred, activists traveled through the woods and sat down to block the road leading into the airbase. Other teams traveled to blockade other gates. The US delegation asked to meet with the Base commander and were told that he would arrive shortly to meet with them.
When the commander arrived, they delivered the Treaty to him and then left the blockade to hold banners to meet workers arriving at the main gate. The Dutch activists remained in the road for another forty-five minutes before being removed by police.
The US delegation arrived at the invitation of German activists to participate in a twenty week encampment at Büchel.
In the US delegation: Steve Baggarly, Virginia; Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert, Maryland; Susan Crane, California; Carmella Cole and Ralph Hutchison, Tennessee; Leona Morgan, New Mexico; Zara Brown, Minnesota; John LaForge and Bonnie Urfer, Wisconsin, and Kathy Boylan, Washington, DC.