By: Molly Rush
Six European air bases deploy and train personnel in the use of US B61 nuclear bombs. No one has the “medical, human and logistical means that could manage the humanitarian and environmental consequences of a nuclear detonation,” according to Agir Pour la Paix (Act For Peace.)
Molly Scott Cato, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Southwest England, said, “I have been arrested for breaking into a Belgian military airbase to protest against the stockpiling of American nuclear bombs.”
She was joined by Michele Rivasi of France and Tilly Mertz of Luxembourg, all Green Party members who scaled a 7-foot fence and blocked the runway used by F-16 fighter jets at Klein’s Brogel air base in eastern Belgium, with a banner calling for a EUROPE FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Outside the base Green Party parliamentarian,Thomas Waitz of Austria, and 12 Act for Peace members were arrested and released.
They demanded withdrawal of US bombs stationed in Europe; ratification of the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by all European Union Member States; and the creation of a nuclear-free zone for Europe.
British-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament supported the action. General Secretary Kate Hudson stated, “US nuclear weapons have no place in Europe—-this isn’t a battleground for a nuclear war between world powers.”
The US is the only government in the world that places nuclear weapons in other countries. In addition to Belgium, the other countries are Italy, Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands. They were formerly stationed in Britain, Greece and Canada. Unconfirmed reports say that 70 to 90 US H-bombs at Turkey’s Incirlik air base have been quietly removed.
(Adapted from an article in the Nukewatch Quarterly, Spring 2019)
Molly Rush is the co-founder of the Merton Center in 1972, past staff and board member, member of the Editorial Collective