Büchel blockades

IssueAugust - September 2019
News by David Polden

On 28 June, more than 40 people from the Stop Ramstein Campaign blockaded all three gates to USAF Büchel in western Germany, where the US air force stores an estimated 20 US nuclear bombs, defying a parliamentary ban. (USAF Ramstein, also in western Germany, is implicated in US drone warfare.)

The campaigners totally blocked the base for about two hours, preventing personnel from leaving.

Police carried the blockaders off the road and conducted ID checks before releasing them without charge.

The action was part of '20 Weeks for 20 Bombs', a campaign inspired by Faslane365, running from 26 March to 9 August at Büchel. The project aims to use vigils, blockades and trespasses ('go-in' actions) to pressure the German government to get the bombs sent back to the US.

Groups from across Germany and overseas have taken on days of responsibility for maintaining regular protest at the gates of the base. A peace camp has been set up nearby to provide logistical support.

Events included a 'bomb ballet', a mass service for Christian worship, workshops on singing, theatre and social media, and several gigs.

10 days inside

On 24 June, activist Gerd Büntzly was fined 25 days’ wages for an earlier action at Büchel. He was convicted of trespass and criminal damage for cutting the fence in 2017 and sitting on a nuclear weapons bunker at the base.

Four US Ploughshares activists who carried out the action with Gerd were not prosecuted – despite presenting themselves in court with him.

Gerd chose 10 days in jail in lieu of paying part of the fine, and is fundraising for the other €450.

Topics: Nuclear weapons