“Pink Shovel” Protests at US Air Base in The Netherlands

August 10th, 2023 - by Nuclear Resister & Institute for Public Advocacy

Sixteen “Pink Shovel” activists arrested at US Air Base in The Netherlands

Digging For Life: To End Military
C02 Emissions and Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Resister

THE NETHERLANDS (August 9, 2023) — Today, August 9, the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, 16 nuclear abolitionists and climate activists were arrested when they started to dig a tunnel under the fence of Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands.

The international group of Dutch, German, Italian and American activists meant to occupy the runway and again call to abolish nuclear weapons and CO2 emissions by the armed forces. US nuclear weapons are stockpiled at Volkel as part of NATO’s “nuclear sharing” practice that continues in contradiction of the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

“Again” because yesterday ten participants of a Peace Camp at Volkel blocked the runway after climbing over the fence, and were then arrested. Today the intent of a “pink shovel action” was to create an entrance that allows everyone, including those with disabilities, to engage in the life-affirming action. Sigrid Hossbach came out of her wheelchair to take up a pink shovel and start digging.

More than 60 people are participating in the week-long peace and climate action camp outside the air base. Ellen Grady, one of the Americans arrested today, told reporters, “I am very sad that we are spending so much money on these weapons when the world is on fire.”

Police detained the activists one by one as they each picked up a pink shovel and began to dig. After questioning at the local police station, the military police released most of the group but took the four Americans to Venlo for further investigation. They were later released.

Those arrested include:
Turi Vaccaro (Italy)
Frits ter Kuile (Netherlands)
Margriet Bos (Netherlands)
Nikki Apeldoorn (Netherlands)
Dietrich Gerstner
Jasmijn Dijkman
Theo Koster
Sigrid Hossbach
Hops Hossbach
Judith Samson
Trees Lammers
Jeffrey Quarsie
Theo Kayser (US)
Ellen Grady (US)
Brian Terrell (US)
Jackie Allen (US)

Activists Converge to Protest Nuclear Weapons
in Europe Which “Threaten Genocidal Violence”
Institute for Public Advocacy

(August 4, 2023)Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed with nuclear weapons on August 6 and 9, 1945. See new piece by IPA executive director Norman Solomon, “Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: ‘Nuclear Tests’?

Susan Crane and Mark Colville are among the members of a delegation of US peace activists gathering in the Netherlands and Germany. They join international nuclear weapons protests focused on removing the US nuclear weapons still stationed at the Netherlands’ Volkel Air Base, 85 miles south of Amsterdam, and at Germany’s Büchel Air Force Base, southeast of Cologne. Other US activists hail from Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New York.

Fasland Peace Camp

Coordinated by the Amsterdam Catholic Worker community, Peace Camp Volkel runs from August 4 to 10 and is focused on “climate and a future without nuclear weapons.” Participants from around Europe and the United States will conduct nonviolence training, blockades, “go-in” actions, and other protests.

On 10 August, the US activists will travel from Volkel to Kail, Germany for four days of protest actions directed at the Büchel Air Force Base, which, like Volkel, is now undergoing major construction in preparation for the delivery of replacement weapons, the new B61-12 thermonuclear gravity bomb, now in production in the United States.

See more information at the Catholic Worker Movement website. Most of the US delegates to the two peace camps “have worked for years in anti-war and disarmament campaigns, and several have been imprisoned in the United States for nonviolent actions taken against the war system.” Ellen Grady, from Ithaca, New York and a member of the delegation said, “We have to take some responsibility for these US nuclear weapons stationed in Europe, because they threaten genocidal violence and they destabilize the reckless and expanding war in Ukraine.”

NATO Holds Largest Nuclear Attack Exercise in US History
The Volkel and Büchel Air Bases each maintain approximately 15 to 20 US hydrogen bombs known as B61s as part of NATO’s so-called “nuclear sharing” program in which foreign fighter jets and their pilots routinely rehearse attacks on Russia using the US H-bombs. Alarmingly, in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine, operation “Air Defender 2023,”

NATO’s largest-ever nuclear attack exercise, ran from June 14 to 23 in the skies over Germany. War planes involved in the practice included US F-35s, F-15s and F-16s from the US, Turkey and Greece; Eurofighters from Spain and the U.K.; German Tornadoes; USand Finnish F/A-18s; Hungarian Gripens; and US A-10 ground-attack jets, according to CNN. The A-10 jets fire the controversially toxic and radioactive shells known as depleted uranium munitions.

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