L to R: Frits Ter Kuile, Mark Colville, Dennis DuVall, Susan Crane, Brian Terrell. Photo by Theo Kayser
On Monday 14 August, eleven activists (two from the Netherlands, three from Germany, one from Italy, five from the U.S.) blocked an entrance to Büchel Air Force Base in Germany being is used for construction work underway in preparation for the arrival of new U.S. B61-12 hydrogen bombs, and new U.S. F-35 jet fighters which are set to replace the base’s German Tornado fighter jets.
U.S. Air Force veteran Dennis Duvall, 81, wrote in paint on the driveway “Tatort” (crime scene) and “Atombomben” (atom bombs), reminding German speakers that nuclear “deterrence” is a conspiracy to commit war crimes under the Germany’s Basic Law (its constitution) and international treaty law.
The group also pasted Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons to the access road. Articles I and II of the treaty forbid any transfer of nuclear weapons to other countries.
Local police detained the eleven briefly, and recorded their personal identification. After about two hours, the police gave the activists a one-day “ban-&-bar letter” prior to their release.
The five U.S. citizens who were detained are a part of a delegation of ten anti-nuclear activists who earlier protested the stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Force Base in The Netherlands.
Acknowledging the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the group conducted similar protests at the NATO base Volkel in the Netherlands which also hosts U.S. nuclear weapons. The abolitionists blocked the base’s main gate August 7, blocked the run way August 9, and attempted to dig a tunnel under the base’s fence August 10. Twenty-six arrests were made during series the actions at Volkel, and four U.S. citizens were ordered not to visit the European Union for one year.
The group is calling on German society to abolish nuclear weapons and reduce the CO2 emissions by the armed forces to zero, saying “We have to learn to solve our conflicts in such a way that other people and fellow creatures, large and small, plant and animal, do not suffer.”
The following blocked the construction gate at Büchel: Susan Crane, Brian Terrell, Ellen Grady, Dennis Duvall, and Mark Colville, all from the United States; Judith Samson, Christiane Danowski, and Beate Körsgen, from Germany; Salvatore Vaccaro from Italy; and Sjaak Tensen and Frits ter Kuile from The Netherlands.
— Videotaped statements from some activists here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLetmOQd9kKvCOF5uqkDQxi1z_UrMK148b
— Additional background information at: https://noelhuis.nl/peace-camp-volkel-2023/