On Saturday 25 September, PAX, the SP, Tribunal for Peace, WILPF Netherlands, Niet in Mijn Naam, Peace SOS, the Jeanette Noëlhuis and Vredesburo Eindhoven gathered in Volkel to speak out against American nuclear weapons on Dutch soil. A protest round was also cycled around the base.

About 20 American nuclear bombs are stored at the air base in Volkel. These are expected to be replaced by more advanced weapons in 2022. The new technical capabilities of these bombs will make the weapons more accurate. This suggests that the damage and humanitarian suffering can be limited. However, this is still about weapons of mass destruction that would cause many civilian casualties and damage to human health and the environment in the long term.

This was one of the key messages of the demonstration that was endorsed by many speakers. During the action, Krista van Velzen, Willo Buskes of WILPF Netherlands, SP MP Jasper van Dijk, Alejandra Muñoz of PAX, Frits ter Kuile of the Jeanette Noëlhuis, Midas Anijs of Niet in Mijn Naam and peace activist Ludo de Brabander.

Much attention was also paid to the fact that the nine nuclear powers have started to invest more in nuclear weapons, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Finally, the Dutch government was called upon to join the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, which officially entered into force at the beginning of this year. At the end of the day, the valve of an inflatable nuclear bomb was symbolically emptied.

In protest against the presence of American nuclear bombs on European soil, a group of international cyclists left Germany on Friday 24 September for Volkel. Here they took part in a round of protest around the military base, after which they were received at the main gate to loud applause. After this they continue their journey to Kleine-Brogel, Belgium.

Translated from an article at the website of Pax – Photo: Pax