On Sunday 5 September, a European month of action against nuclear weapons in Europe was launched in Büchel, Germany. 800 peace activists formed a human chain in protest against the US nuclear bombs deployed at Fliegerhorst air base as part of NATO’s nuclear division of tasks.
The campaign took place a few weeks before the federal elections on 26 September to call on Germany to join the UN nuclear weapons ban that has been in force since 22 January 2021. The peace movement has been campaigning at the Air Force Base for 25 years. The human chain was organized by the campaign “Büchel is everywhere! Nuclear weapons-free now“.
“The stalemate in nuclear disarmament must finally be broken. The coming federal government can no longer ignore the ban on nuclear weapons that came into force in January and must finally accede to the treaty! The current government’s arguments against this historic treaty are meagre. Nevertheless, billions are being invested in nuclear weapons”, says Marion Küpker, spokeswoman for the campaign. “Despite rail strikes and the deteriorating Coronas situation, we were able to send out a strong signal with 800 participants,” continues Küpker.
Around 1: 00 p.m., a one-mile long human chain was formed. To preserve corona distances, the demonstrators used peace ribbons and banners. The participants also included activists from other European countries. Several speeches were made afterwards. To highlight the European dimension, speakers from Belgium (Vrede vzw), the Netherlands and Italy were also present.
“The European peace movement is working together to put an end to the nuclear division of labour within NATO. There is a need for a policy of détente, which means that international cooperation in the field of climate must be extended to security and peace ”, said Angelika Claußen, president of IPPNW Europe and co-president of IPPNW Germany. Her organization, the ” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), who won the 1985 Nobel Peace prize for her efforts to raise awareness in the medical and environmental consequences of a nuclear weapon.
Büchel Air Base is the last remaining US nuclear weapons site in Germany(in the 1980s Pershing II and cruise missiles were also deployed in Germany). Just like in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey, the current nuclear bombs will soon be replaced by the B61-12 nuclear bombs, with variable yields and a greater sense of purpose.d.m.d. the electronic control system. Germany has committed itself to expanding and modernizing the airbase, an investment for which 256 million euros has been allocated. In addition, it is also planned that new fighter planes will be purchased to transport these nuclear bombs, which will cost billions. The German Peace Movement speaks ridiculous expenditure’. Representative opinion polls show that a large majority of the population has been in favour of the withdrawal of nuclear weapons for years.