On Saturday 13 July, activists from the Lakenheath Alliance for Peace will begin a three-day walk/cycle from Norwich and establish an international peace camp at the US-controlled RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, from Monday 15 July until Thursday 25 July.

Marchers will gather at the steps of Norwich City Hall at 10am on Saturday before setting off at 10:30am. On the morning of Monday 13 July, the group will arrive in the town of Brandon and set off towards RAF Lakenheath at 1pm. The peace camp will be set up later that afternoon and the base will be informed of LAP’s intention to hand-deliver a letter to the base commander the following day.

LAP will maintain a continuous presence outside the base for the duration of the camp, with a series of vigils, protests, and workshops scheduled. See the full programme here.

Since April 2022, there has been growing evidence that the US intends to use RAF Lakenheath as a major part of NATO’s nuclear weapons infrastructure in Europe. US budget documents show that the base’s weapons storage silos are being upgraded to store the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb, and new dormitory buildings are being built to house additional military personnel needed for any potential nuclear weapons mission.

Washington also intends to double the amount of nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft it has stationed at Lakenheath to 54, as part of efforts to increase its military presence in Europe. Last November, US Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks visited the base to inspect these “infrastructure improvements.”

LAP is a coalition of local, national, and international anti-nuclear campaigners dedicated to preventing US nuclear weapons from returning to RAF Lakenheath, after a successful grassroots campaign forced their initial removal in 2008. We call on the newly elected Labour government to publicly state that US nuclear weapons will not be welcomed in Britain and that it will work towards de-escalating nuclear tensions in Europe and beyond.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

“CND is a proud part of the Lakenheath Alliance for Peace and calls on everyone across Britain to get involved with this campaign. The return of US nuclear weapons to Lakenheath greatly increases the nuclear risk already faced by this country as it puts the whole of Britain on the nuclear front line! We call on the Labour government to explicitly refuse any US request to station their weapons of mass destruction here.”

Norwich and District CND Chair Sue Wright said:

“In 2008 nuclear weapons were removed from British soil after tireless campaigning. Plans are now in place to bring B61-12 nuclear bombs to RAF Lakenheath, with the nuclear-capable F-35s already established at the base and already polluting our skies using 22 gallons of fuel per minute. We need to act to make the public aware of the dangers of nuclear weapons, not only to East Anglia, but to the whole world.”

Alison Lochhead from CND Cymru said:

“43 years after the march to Greenham Common to stop US from bringing nuclear weapons to Britain, peace activists are yet again having to walk to a USAF base, this time to RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. A peace camp will set up outside the base with a 24/7 peace vigil to demand that no US nuclear weapons will be brought to Britain. CND Cymru joins Lakenheath Alliance for Peace to collectively raise awareness about what is happening and demand that all nuclear weapons are abolished.”

Yolanda Juarros-Barcenill, who will be travelling from Spain to attend the camp said:

“As part of the Women in Black Against the War-Madrid, I very much oppose any kind of war. Nuclear weapons are specifically directed against civilians and this makes them the first to be banned all over the world. Only dialogue brings peace and security.”

Colin Archer from the Movement for the Abolition of War said:

“We support the nationwide protests called by CND and others against US plans to site deadly B61-12 nuclear bombs in Britain. Not allowing the public to have a say on this fundamental issue goes against the grain of democratic discourse, transparency, and accountability. This deployment is likely to provoke further armament by Russia, and other states; thus we risk finding ourselves in the same nuclear-escalation spiral last seen during the first Cold War.”

Image credit: credit Mark Kerrison