Ten activists arrested on runway of Volkel Air Base


In the Netherlands, on the morning of August 8, ten peace and climate activists (six from the U.S., three from the Netherlands and a German doctor) entered Volkel Air Base, where about 15 U.S. nuclear bombs are stockpiled. They knelt on the runway, prayed for peace and glued down copies of Article 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on the runway.

They were taken into custody and later released with a small fine, which no one paid.
 Those arrested are:

Germany – Johannes Oehler
Netherlands- Margriet Bos
Netherlands- Frieda Gas
Netherlands – Nikki Apeldoorn
U.S. – Ellen Grady, Ithaca, New York
U.S. – Susan Crane, Redwood City, California
U.S. – Jackie Allen-Doucot, Hartford, Connecticut
U.S. – Mark Colville, New Haven, Connecticut
U.S. – Eric Martin, Los Angeles, California
U.S. – Theo Kayser, St. Louis, Missouri

This nonviolent resistance action took place as part of an international peace camp at Volkel Air Base. The radical branches of the climate movement and the peace movement have joined together for a week of protest and action. 

Today’s “go-in-action” is also in support of the condemnation of nuclear sharing made by ICAN Europe at the 2023 PreCom (July 31 – August 11), the Preparatory Committee for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) submitted their paper (July 25th, 2023) on the illegality of nuclear sharing to the FIRST PREPARATORY COMMITTEE MEETING FOR THE 11TH REVIEW CONFERENCE called: “Three Issues Confronting the Non-Proliferation/Disarmament Regime: Nuclear Threats, Security Assurances, and Nuclear Sharing”. LCNP urges NPT member states to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation/disarmament regime by opposing new nuclear sharing arrangements, and supporting the termination of existing ones: “Ending NATO nuclear sharing would remove a model and rationale for the establishment of such arrangements elsewhere.”

After the air alert went off a day earlier, on Monday, August 7, around 60 international activists from the climate and peace movements blocked the five gates of Volkel Air Base for 78 minutes, one minute for every year since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by nuclear bombs in 1945. The main gate was blocked with a big book made by activists of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and large copies of Article 1 and 2 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, stating that:
“Article I requires NPT nuclear-armed states ‘not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons … or control over such weapons directly, or indirectly.’ It further requires the nuclear-armed states ‘not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to … acquire nuclear weapons … or control over such weapons.’ Article II imposes the corollary obligation on NPT non-nuclear weapon states not to be the recipient of any such transfer or assistance. We call on the Dutch government to sign and ratify the TPNW, end nuclear sharing in the Netherlands and work on a diplomatic level for an end of nuclear sharing in Europe and worldwide!”

On Wednesday morning, August 9, peace campers are going to SHOVEL FOR PEACE. They plan to dig one or more tunnels under the air base fence with the intention of sitting on the runway and shutting down air traffic. They will gather on the north side of the N204 Road and walk from there to the head of the runway. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki exploded at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945. Around that time the activists will have a time of silence and then get to work. Because: the climate can no longer bear the emissions of armed forces (globally estimated at 6%) and with nuclear bombs the mass extinction of humans and animals and plant species threatens to end even faster in a global catastrophe.

Thanks to Marion Küpker for this report.