Anti Nuke Activism in the Netherlands
By Ann Wright and Brian Terrell, published on Ann’s FB Page
The great peace and anti-assassin drone activist Brian Terrell is back on the farm in Iowa after three weeks in the Netherlands and Germany. This is a brief report on his trip to bring attention to US nuclear weapons in the Netherlands and assassin drone connections in Germany:
In Brian’s words:
“My first stop was Amsterdam and the Dutch Air Force base at Volkel- along with 7 Dutch friends, we were able to successfully dig a tunnel under the fence and go into the base where a US Air Force squadron keeps a stash of B61 nuclear missiles for Dutch F16s to ‘deliver’ destruction to perceived enemies under a NATO ‘nuclear sharing’ agreement. Held by military and civilian police for 5 hours, we were released and expect charges to be filed.
In Germany, gave talks on banning killer drones and nuclear disarmament at the Catholic Worker communities in Dortmund and Hamburg and Elsa Rassback organized appearances in Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne. This is a pivotal time, as the question of whether or not to arm the German drone fleet is a big issue for the new coalition of parties that will govern Germany for the near future. The German peace movement is also petitioning the coalition parties on the issues of nuclear sharing with the US and Germany’s failure to ratify and abide by the The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
“Our digging took place during the NATO exercise, “Steadfast Noon” (a strange name for the annual rehearsal for the end of the world!) and we are pretty sure that we caused the runway to be closed, making the world safer for an hour or so, anyway. It was great fun, lots of young people, singing, laughter when we realized that we were actually going to make it inside! .
I never saw police or soldiers so chill anywhere-I think that they were amused. In the US we might have been shot or jailed for years. I think that it was important for one US citizen to be in the group and I am glad that I was there. I am hoping to be invited back to the Netherlands for a trial.
We were held for 5 hours, I was interrogated about the number of Afghan visas in my passport, “Do you want to talk about why you visited Afghanistan so many times?” I was asked. No, I did not. The issue dropped there. Privilege of being a white man with a US passport, someone else might have disappeared.”
Media accounts of the action:
“The Royal Military Police has arrested eight activists who had penetrated into the military airport of Volkel on Wednesday afternoon. The eight had gained access by digging a hole under the fence surrounding the military airport, reported the military police after reports by DTV News.
According to a spokesman for the military police, the action was peaceful.
“We knew about the demonstration,” he said. “We already suspected that a number of people would try to get on the premises. They made a hole under the fence, and once at the airport we stopped them. They didn’t resist. It all went off peacefully.”
They were activists from Peace Creation who came to demonstrate against nuclear weapons. The activists fear that a new generation of nuclear bombs will come to the Netherlands next year. The action was organized at the head of the runway. This “to advocate that the old nuclear bombs be removed and the CO2 emissions of the armed forces be counted in the climate targets and to protest against the arrival of new nuclear bombs.”
Fifteen to twenty American B61 atomic bombs have been stored at Volkel Air Force Base since the early 1960s. The Zembla broadcast Target Volkel (2019) shows how the Netherlands has not enforced a veto on the deployment of American nuclear weapons from the airbase. At the moment it is decided to carry out a nuclear attack, Dutch pilots must drop the bombs.
The broadcast also shows that the 15 to 20 American free-fall bombs are outdated and will soon be replaced. The new model, the B61-12, will have steerable tail fins and will therefore be much more precise and deployable. The bombs also have a facility with which the explosive force can be set from 1 to 50 kilotons. That is more than three times the power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
The House of Representatives is not informed about the modernization of the B61. The government will not even confirm that there are atomic bombs in the Netherlands: that is a state secret. Yet Zembla discovered in old parliamentary archives that the then Minister of Defense acknowledged as early as 1960 that the Netherlands was home to American atomic bombs.
They also disagree with the deployment of F-16s and other aircraft, which, according to the protesters, “emit tons of CO2.”
*Featured Image: US anti-assassin drone activist Brian Terrell with Dutch colleagues tunneling under a fence at a Dutch air force base where US nuclear weapons are available for Dutch pilots to drop on the world!!!!
Ann Wright is a retired US Army Reserve Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the weapons of mass destruction lies of the Bush administration for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”
Brian Terrell is a longtime activist and lives on a Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa. Brian is a founding member of the Ban Killer Drones Network. He has traveled to Afghanistan several times and been arrested numerous times in civil resistance actions opposing drone warfare.