Greenpeace will join with Bombspotting activists today to make "citizen inspections" of three military facilities in Belgium in a symbolic action aimed at pressuring NATO member states to renounce their nuclear weapons arsenal.
Greenpeace rockets heading for NATO offices in Belgium.
The inspections will take place at Kleine Brogel Air base which
housesnuclear weapons, NATO's Brussels Headquarters and its SHAPE
militaryheadquarters in Mons/Bergen. Activists will dress as
'walking missiles'or carry huge Eyes of Mass Inspection as part of
"Six European countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey,
Italyand UK) currently have an estimated 480 American air-launched
nuclearbombs based on their territories," said Greenpeace
International'sNicky Davies. "The NATO nuclear weapons states (US,
France and UK)possess a combined force of over 10 000 nuclear
weapons. The threat ofnuclear weapons proliferation is greater now
than it has been for yearsbecause countries have given up waiting
for the nuclear weapons statesto keep their promise to disarm under
the Nuclear Non-ProliferationTreaty (NPT) and are now embarking on
nuclear weapons programmes oftheir own.
"At a time when NATO members are urging countries like Iran to
abandontheir nuclear ambitions, we have the hypocritical situation
in whichnon nuclear NATO states play host to US weapons.
"Greenpeace calls on NATO to disarm and become a nuclear-free
allianceas a first step towards the global abolition of nuclear
There is growing political and public unease amongst a number
ofEuropean countries towards hosting US nuclear weapons, with
"The Belgian government avoids raising the NATO issue but at the
sametime lives with the reality that at home almost all of the
politicalparties approve the idea of decommissioning nuclear
weapons based inBelgium," said Greenpeace Belgium's Wendel
"Greenpeace calls upon the Belgian Senate to back the call to
removeNATO nukes from its soil when a key resolution comes before
it laterthis month," Trio added.
The citizen weapons inspections have grown out of frustration at
thecontinued secrecy of nuclear weapon states over nuclear
weaponsdeployment. The desire of activists to uphold International
Law, whichdeclares the threat and use of all nuclear weapons to be
illegal, hasled to citizen inspections at nuclear related sites
around the world.
1. 'Bombspotting XL' is organised annually by peace
andenvironmental organisations demanding a nuclear free
Exp. contact date: 2005-04-28 00:00:00