Friends protest weapons at US base

‘Now I have to start again.’ A campaigner, horrified at the return of US weapons of mass destruction to the UK.

Lakenheath Alliance for Peace campaigners at Lakenheath

Quakers took part in protests this month to prevent the return of US nuclear weapons to USAF Lakenheath.

Lesley Grahame, from Norwich Meeting, told the Friend: ‘Several Quakers are involved in Lakenheath Alliance for Peace and have joined CND’s protests there over the years, most recently on May 11th. I was one of the eight women who handed a letter to the base commander to launch the alliance, and my local Norwich Meeting has agreed to bring Lakenheath as a concern to Area Meeting.’

The letter on 26 March launched the new Lakenheath Alliance for Peace (LAP). The alliance is campaigning against plans to bring B61-12 nuclear bombs to the US Air Force-controlled Lakenheath. According to LAP, F-35 bombers are already established at the base to deliver the bombs. ‘These deadly aircraft are also polluting our skies using twenty-two gallons of fuel every minute,’ it said.

‘The move is also a further dangerous escalation of the threats and counter threats from nuclear-armed states, a trend we recognise from history as bringing us ever closer to utter disaster,’ the letter continued. It also mentioned that a ‘clear majority of UN states back the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)’.

‘As Quakers, citizens, parents, ancestors, descendants, friends and professionals, every person is well placed to promote the kinds of diplomacy that will reduce the risk of a nuclear holocaust,’ said Lesley Grahame.

One LAP campaigner, who was involved in actions at Lakenheath in the 1980s and 90s, said: ‘I am horrified that once more we have to engage in direct action to stop the US bringing their weapons of mass destruction back to the UK… now I have to start again.’

LAP is also planning a walk and bike ride from Norwich to USAF, starting on 13 July. A peace camp at Lakenheath will begin on 15 July and continue until 25 July.

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