Buchel Action, July 15, 2018.
On Sunday, July 15th 2018, eighteen people from four different countries cut through fences to reclaim German Air Force Base Büchel, which hosts about 20 U.S. nuclear bombs. The activists are from the USA (7), Germany (6), The Netherlands (4) and England (1).
The peace activists cut through razor wire and some other fences and several made it to the runway; three activists walked to a nuclear weapons bunker, and climbed up to the top where they were undetected for an hour. All 18 were eventually found by soldiers, handed over to the civil police, ID checked, and released from the base after 4-½ hours.
This action was part of the international week during the 20 weeks of protests by the German campaign ‘Buechel is everywhere! Nuclear weapons-free now!’. The campaign demands the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany, the cancellation of the upcoming nuclear modernization and compliance with international treaties.
On this air force base, German pilots stand ready to fly Tornado fighter jets with U.S. B-61 nuclear bombs and could even drop them, on orders from U.S. President Donald Trump on targets in or near Europe.
This “nuclear sharing” within NATO is in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which does not allow Germany to take nuclear weapons from other countries and forbids the U.S. from sharing its nuclear weapons with non-nuclear weapons states. The activists demand of their governments that they sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, of July 7th 2017, which was supported by 122 UN members.
“Civil disobedience is often necessary to make important changes possible, like the abolition of slavery, the women’s rights to vote, and the civil rights movement,” said John LaForge, co-director of Nukewatch, the Luck, Wisconsin peace group, which helped organize a 9-person US delegation to the protest. The nonviolent campaign is part of the ICAN network, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, and recently called for nonviolent direct actions on nuclear bases to urge more countries to sign the treaty ban. The Dutch activist Frits ter Kuile said: “My motivation is the commandment to love one’s “enemies”, and the Nuremberg principles stating that everyone is responsible for the crimes their government commits. We have the duty to take down the fences that protect nuclear mass destruction, and reclaim the land for the people and their real needs”.
I love what the ACTIVISTS have done in Germany! It’s like spilling one’s blood against the Viet Nam War and one’s draftee
papers. I can’t donate money now — I’m an old lady, living mostly on Social Security (God willing!). But if we have installations similar to the one in Germany that need to be broken into (and blood spilled over) I hope I’ll be ready and I hope I’ll be called to go.
Go, activists, go. It’s your turn; it’s your war now! EE
A very brave action and necessary seeing as most of the European population seem to believe that Nuclear is uniquely a US and Russian issue.
What bravery in the face of this criminal outrage. Bravo!
Daniel Ellsberg’s “The Doomsday Machine” documents the ongoing existence of mutually assured destruction which would cause nuclear winter. Also, that the nuclear football is for show: authority is delegated from the leaders to ensure response if capital cities were bombed. A response to a Hiroshima bomb on Washington could be automatic launching of missiles, whatever the source of the bomb on Washington. Especially after this week’s disturbing display of negligence and ineptitude by the odd character in the office of President of the United States, this is disturbing.
I am in total agreement with what you are doing and wish I were younger and stronger so I could join you. Thank you for representing me. Peace to you all.