Summer Quarterly 2018
On March 26, nuclear abolitionists in Germany launched 20 weeks of nonviolent resistance at Büchel Air Base, continuing until August 9, 2018. The base controls 20 US nuclear bombs, a remnant of the US Cold War nuclear arsenal that used to number in the thousands.
The March start date is the anniversary of the bi-partisan approval in 2010 by the German Bundestag or Parliament to urge the government to permanently remove the remaining US bombs.
In spite of near unanimous German public opinion that the bombs should be permanently withdrawn (a 2016 poll showed that 89% of the German public is against the US nukes), German pilots are both trained and obligated to take off with these bombs in their Tornado jet fighter-bombers and—if the orders come from a US president through NATO—to use them on their targets.
Germany’s peace movement is the only one in Europe that has built a nation-wide campaign coalition of 50 groups and organizations—called “Büchel is everywhere—nuclear weapons-free now!”—focused on nuclear abolition. Its goals are the removal of the US bombs, cancellation of the B61-12 replacement bomb, and seeing the country ratify the new International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In the last few years, because of increased military hostility toward Russia, and NATO discussion of “usable low-yield” nuclear weapons, the Campaign Council has endorsed nonviolent civil resistance at the Büchel Air Base to bring more attention to the issue. Besides lobby work to halt the B61 replacement, the council increases awareness and political pressure using nonviolent direct action.
Last February 3rd, German Social Democratic Party members of the European Parliament met in a regional conference and unanimously approved a motion to withdraw all remaining US nuclear weapons from Germany. At the SDP’s regional association convention in Rhineland, EP member Norbert Neuser issued a letter to members that said in part, “I know that this initiative does not necessarily meet the goodwill of the party in Berlin, but I agree absolutely with the compliant by [former SDP leader] Martin Schulz who made in the  election campaign a clear call for the abolition of the last nuclear weapons from Germany.”
B61-12 Cancellation Bills to Support
Parallel House and Senate bills that would prohibit spending on new and so-called “smaller” nuclear weapons including the B61-12 are under consideration in congress. The bills are H.R. 2668, the “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act” introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and S. 1235 its tandem measure in the senate. While far from the global rejection of nuclear weapons embodied in the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the bills would halt spending for the new B61 gravity bomb; adding nuclear weapons carrying capability to the R-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet; any new air-launched Cruise missile (known as Long Range Stand-Off); and any replacement of today’s 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles like the proposed $100 billion “Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.” Call your Congressional Rep’s and Senators and urge their support and co-sponsorship of these bills.
Germany’s Bank to Divest from Nuclear Weapons
Expanding its investment restrictions, Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest, has agreed to exclude nuclear weapons producers. A statement on its website announced: “The policy published today makes clear that Deutsche Bank avoids entering into, or continuing, any kind of business relationship with entities with clear, direct links to the following types of controversial weapons business: Cluster Munitions; Anti-Personnel Mines; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Weapons; Controversial Conventional Weapons.” Maaike Beenens, with the group Don’t Bank on the Bomb, welcomes the new policy by Deutsche Bank, saying “With the new policy, Deutsche Bank clearly recognizes that investments in any type of nuclear weapons companies are unacceptable. With growing threats to use nuclear weapons, this announcement is a timely reminder of the choice we all face—nuclear weapons or our collective future. We welcome this decision, and hope to see divestment by Deutsche Bank from all nuclear weapon producers.” The move follows intense pressure and negotiations by campaigners from Don’t Bank on the Bomb and ICAN Germany, who will be watching closely to see that the bank follows through with divestment.
Second US Delegation to Join International Peace Actions at Germany’s Deployment Site for US H-Bombs
The German-wide campaign “Büchel is Everywhere: Nuclear Weapons-free Now!” demands: 1) that the remaining 20 US H-bombs at Büchel be sent home permanently; 2) that they not be replaced with new bombs as the US intends, and 3) that Germany ratify the new nuclear weapons ban treaty. A delegation from the United States coordinated by Nukewatch will join “International Week” at the Büchel peace camp, July 10-18. For info. visit the websites buechel-atombombenfrei.de, where you can endorse the campaign by signing a “Declaration of Solidarity.”