Twenty-four Greenpeace activists from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK were arrested this morning after staging a protest at NATO’s Brussels Headquarters. Their demand: removal of the 480 US-owned and controlled nuclear weapons from Europe. The action occurred as NATO Defence Ministers are preparing for a high-level meeting on the future of NATO.
Greenpeace activists block NATO entrance in protest of 480 US-owned and controlled nuclear weapons stationed in Europe.
A Greenpeace truck carrying a 3.6 meter (12 feet) full-size
replica of a US B61 nuclear bomb blocked the entrance to NATO with
activists bearing banners saying "Nukes out of NATO." More
activists entered the site carrying banners onto the NATO symbol
statue, while others dropped a two-meter-square banner repeating
the message from NATO's main building.
Sixteen years after the end of the cold war, 480 US Nuclear
weaponsremain in Europe. They are currently stationed in Germany,
Belgium, Italy,the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK. Each of these
nuclear weapons has adestructive capacity of up to ten times that
of the bomb whichdestroyed Hiroshima, and have a combined power
capable of wiping Europeoff the map.
Last week a report released by the Commission on Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMDC) chaired by Hans Blix called for the 480 US-owned
and controlled nuclear weapons to be removed from Europe and
returned to US soil. The WMDC report
provides great detail on the dangers of US nuclear weapons. The
Commission also explains how these weapons impede international
efforts to negotiate further nuclear reductions with Russia.
The governments of NATO countries have a direct role in shaping
NATO policy and can insist that these weapons be removed from their
territory. The US has taken their weapons home several times
before: Canada, Greece, Denmark (Greenland) and Iceland are all now
free of US nuclear bombs.
Last week we released opinion polls showing that 70 percent of
Europeansliving in those countries which host US nuclear weapons
want to live ina nuclear-weapons-free Europe. The polling data also
demonstrated thata solid majority of Europeans -- 65.5 percent --
in the six countries whichhost US nuclear weapons are unaware of
"With all the debate over Iran's nuclear intentions, countries
must accept their own responsibility for escalating nuclear
tensions in the Middle East. By removing US NATO nuclear weapons
European leaders have the opportunity to begin to address the
concerns of their citizens, to strengthen the position of Europe in
negotiations with the Middle East and Russia and take a real step
towards achieving a nuclear weapons free more peaceful future"
Tell NATO to say "NO" to US Nuclear weapons in Europe.
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