Campaigners will this weekend converge on the US bases at Menwith Hill (North Yorkshire) and Lakenheath (Suffolk) as part of the month of action called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, opposing their inclusion in the destabilising US ‘Missile Defence’ system.
Hundreds are expected to join the “Breaking the Links” march and rally outside the main gates of RAF Menwith Hill this Saturday (17th) from 1-4pm, which will highlight how a vital link in the US war-fighting machine operates just eight miles from Harrogate, totally immune from public and parliamentary scrutiny. Menwith Hill, the world’s largest spy base, is planned as a satellite communications hub for the Missile Defence system, as announced to Parliament last summer on the day before it went into recess, preventing any debate.
On Sunday (18th) from 1pm, the focus of protest will shift to gate 1 at RAF Lakenheath for the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” demonstration. Campaigners will highlight three issues: ‘Strike 1’ – that 110 US-controlled nuclear bombs are stored at Lakenheath, each many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. ‘Strike 2’ – that planes from Lakenheath regularly bomb Iraq and Afghanistan. Evidence photographed by campaigners has shown munitions used to have included cluster bombs, widely condemned for their civilian death-toll. ‘Strike 3’ underlines the continuing speculation that Lakenheath is the US’s preferred back-up location for the interceptor missiles themselves, were the long-running and so far unsuccessful negotiations for a site in Poland to fail.
The colourful and lively demonstration at Lakenheath will include performances of street theatre and a minibus and cycle ‘guided tour’ of the base perimeter.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “US plans for Missile Defence are already destabilising Europe, sparking a Russian response that risks moving us toward a new Cold War. The demonstrations this weekend highlight how we’re all being turned into targets by hosting this system – foisted on us despite the fact that the majority of the public are against it and that there has been no vote in Parliament to support it.”
She continued, “The communications hub at Menwith Hill and the potential interceptor missiles at Lakenheath put us all on the frontline in future wars involving the US. The system is claimed to make the US immune from attack, allowing them to strike at will without fear of retaliation. If we are to avoid future wars, Britain should not be pushed into supporting the installation of more missiles, but working hard for a reduction in tensions between all states.”
Notes to Editors:For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.