Remove the Old and Cancel the New US Nuclear Bombs in Europe – the B61-12
Spring Quarterly 2020
Please join the German campaign to get rid of the remaining 20 US nuclear weapons deployed at the Büchel Air Base, and to halt the proposed deployment of a new B61-12 nuclear bomb, scheduled to begin production in the US by 2022.
We invite peace, anti-nuclear, climate, human and animal rights activists to Peace Camp July 13 to 22, 2020, near the main gate of the Büchel Air Base in west-central Germany. International Action Camp is part of 20 weeks of action at the base that goes from March 26 to August 9. The camp is in a beautiful rural area and includes camp-cooked organic meals, running water, internet access, and housing of all kinds including camping. Participants will enjoy international networking, vigils, films, workshops, nonviolence training, civil resistance, and one or two excursions in the picturesque volcanic Eifel Region of the Mosel River Valley. Camp fees are about 25 Euros per day for three meals and camping amenities. Rooms in nearby cabins or hostels are an additional 25-30 Euros per night.
International Week 2020 will be the 4th time that US nuclear resisters will join European activists to confront the US nuclear weapons at Büchel.
Political, Military, & Corporate Background
Despite the end of the Cold War, about 20 US nuclear bombs are still deployed in Germany. 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. This terrifying NATO war plan is part of the “nuclear sharing agreement” between the US and Germany, and includes a first-strike option. NATO calls this nuclear proliferation “Power and Burden Sharing.” In addition nuclear exercises next to the East-European Russian border — the latest was code-named named “Steadfast Noon” — with tens of thousands of soldiers and major movements of heavy military equipment.
These thermonuclear weapons are scheduled to be replaced by an expensive, new, precision-guided nuclear bomb called the B61-12. Three National Laboratories — Los Alamos and Sandia in New Mexico; Lawrence Livermore in California — designed the B61-12, and parts are being made at the Y12 complex in Tennessee, the Kansas City Plant in Missouri, and at Sandia. Final assembly will take place in Pantex, Texas. Major contractors are Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Honeywell, and Bechtel. The Federation of American Scientists reports that the roughly 150 B61-12s planned for Europe will cost at least $25 million apiece.
Help Strengthen the Campaign
The planned B61 replacement is going on despite the Germany parliament’s March 26, 2010 overwhelming approval on of a bipartisan resolution calling on the government to pursue permanent removal of the US weapons.
Germany is the only country inside Europe that has a nationwide campaign to oust the bombs. Called Büchel is Everywhere — Nuclear Weapons-Free Now!, it’s a coalition of 70 groups and organizations focused on nuclear abolition and civil resistance at the scene of crime Büchel Air Base. We believe that besides lobby work, we also have to increase awareness and political pressure using nonviolent direct action to halt the B61 replacement.
Because of public interest (a 2019 poll found about 90% of the German wants the US nukes ousted ) our coalition work — which includes well-respected organizations like PSR Germany (IPPNW), International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, the German Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and DFG-VK, etc. — led to the local political decision to de-criminalize participation in nonviolent blockades at Büchel.
To date, the new TPNW has been signed at the UN by 80 countries, 34 have ratified the treaty. German and US decision makers, and others refused to take part in negotiations for the Ban Treaty and have refused to sign it. Following the bad example of the United States, all 27 NATO members and all the nuclear-armed states refused to sign the treaty. Yet since July 2017, thousands of civil society groups, NGOs, and religious leaders have criticized treaty opponents and urged all governments to support its ratification.
In 2019, more than 500 parliamentarians joined a public call for Germany to ratify the Ban treaty. Another 650 German “Mayors for Peace” have added their demand that the government enact the TPNW. Also, the year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombings of Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Trinity, and 50 years since the world’s adoption of the Non-proliferation Treaty. The year 2020 may also see the 50th country ratify the TPNW at which point it will enter into force. However, because the Treaty is binding only on states that ratify widespread civil agitation is needed to push nuclear-armed states to sign.
PEACE CAMP: 20 Weeks of Action for 20 Bombs at Büchel
In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, we had 20 weeks of actions with over 50 religious, peace, women’s, anti-nuclear, climate, and other groups participating. Starting again on March 26, 2020, and continuing through August 9, groups and individuals will hold vigils and other kinds of nonviolent direct actions (blockades, go-ins, etc.) at the base to pressure the government and remind lawmakers of their 2010 promise to permanently remove the US weapons.
Agreed Framework for Action
When we take part in nonviolent direct action, we will not use or threaten to use physical violence against any person, even in situations where violence is being used against us. No participant in the action will push or injure others in any way. We will not behave insultingly or humiliate others. We will treat others (police, soldiers, counter-demonstrators and everyone) with respect, even as we criticize the actions they take. The complete agreed framework for action can be found on our homepage in German: <www.buechel-atombombenfrei.de> (Get <https://www.deepl.com/translator> for quick translations.)
Declaration of Commitment
Also: Please sign on to the campaign’s “Declaration of Commitment” and declare: “I will come Büchel once a year and take part in nonviolent action until nuclear weapons are withdrawn, and I will actively commit to seeking a nuclear weapons-free world in the place where I am living.
Declaration of Solidarity
Besides the Declaration of Commitment, we have a “Declaration of Solidarity” – especially for people who cannot come to Büchel but who want to show their support (see https://buechel-atombombenfrei.jimdo.com/international/
In Germany, the peace movement always risks being labeled “anti-American.” With plenty of signatures from the US peace and justice movement, we can show that we are united in our vision for a nuclear-free world – and in solidarity with indigenous peoples and other people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by the nuclear production chain.
Please consider joining the delegation. Just contact: <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org > or via our website: <www.buechel-atombombenfrei.de> and let us know about any support you might need. There will be an office and a contact person nearby.
GAAA c/o Beckstr. 14 Nukewatch
20357 Hamburg, Germany 740A Round Lake Rd, Luck, WI 54853 USA
cell phone +49 (0) (172) 771-3266 (715) 472-4185