On 11 August, for the first time in 16 years of protest, peace activists completely stopped traffic into and out of Germany’s largest joint US-German air force base – for 24 hours.
Over 750 people converged on Büchel to protest against the continued storage there of 20 US nuclear weapons, in violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
After a large ‘happening’ at the main gate, teams with overnight camping gear drove to the base’s eight gates.
Each blockade was supplied with tents, toilets, tables, water and even two hot meals. Activists lay – and even slept in sleeping bags – blockading the base’s high steel gates.
Late on Sunday, it was discovered that a ninth, dirt track access, gate was being used, so that was blockaded too. At 6.40am on the Monday, the blockade was breached again when about 150 camouflaged troops rushed through a small door-sized opening in the fence.
There were no arrests in spite of the presence of hundreds of civil and military police and the blockades ended voluntarily at noon on the Monday.