CND will gather at Lakenheath airbase in Suffolk on Saturday, 20 May 2023 for a national demonstration against the return of US nuclear weapons to Britain. We will be joined by hundreds of supporters from across the country as well as national and international peace campaigners opposed to the deployment by the US, of new B61-12 guided nuclear bombs across Europe. These weapons can be targeted with GPS and satellite and used as attack weapons. At a time of heightened tensions between NATO and Russia over the war in Ukraine, CND condemns this dangerous development which is leading to a new nuclear arms race and ensures Britain’s place on the frontline of a nuclear war between the US and Russia.
- Saturday, 20 May 2023
- RAF / USAF Lakenheath Main Gate, Brandon Road, Lakenheath, Suffolk
- Protest from 1-4pm, details here
The demonstration will have workshops, ‘artivism’, performances and speeches. Speakers confirmed include: Dutch peace campaigner Guido van Leemput; German peace campaigner Reiner Braun; CND Chair Tom Unterrainer; Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German; Liberation’s Roger Mackenzie; playwright Michael Mears*; Norwich City Councillor Gary Champion; and Dr Peter Burt* of Drone Wars UK. Chaired by CND General Secretary Kate Hudson.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
“The siting of these upgraded guided nuclear bombs at Lakenheath is not just a matter of concern for the people of East Anglia, but for the entire country as it makes Britain a clear target in any nuclear confrontation between Russia and the US. The aircraft used to deliver these bombs, the F-35, is also a significant polluter to the local area with one tank of fuel emitting the equivalent of 28 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The F-35 programme has also been plagued with technical problems which remain unsolved and pose a serious accident risk. We’re calling on the British government to deny any US request to site B61-12s at Lakenheath and to engage in serious efforts to deescalate tensions between nuclear-armed states.”
The Anti-Volkel Campaign’s Guido van Leemput said:
“A new nuclear arms race is coming. Russia wants to station nuclear weapons in Belarus and the US is going to deploy its upgraded B61-12 guided nuclear bomb across Europe, at Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands and possibly at Lakenheath. It’s necessary to speak out loudly about the modernisation of nuclear weapons as part of a European-wide voice for peace. That’s why I’ll be at Lakenheath on 20 May.”
Notes to editors
*Playwright Michael Meers will present a performance piece themed around the Doomsday Clock – which currently stands at 90 seconds to midnight and the closest it has ever been to a nuclear or climate disaster. Dr Peter Burt will facilitate a military plane spotting workshop.