“The B61-12s will be coming to Lakenheath. Their arrival doesn’t make us safer; it paints a target on the back of everyone in this country.”
By Carol Turner, Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Since we learned that US nukes were coming to Britain, CND has been in top gear, spreading the word and preparing to protest at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, where they’ll be located. Lakenheath is RAF in name only; the base is run by the Americans.
After a 14-year absence, US nuclear weapons are returning by stealth to the UK
- without the approval of parliament
- without an opportunity for MPs to debate or disagree, and
- without even a public announcement by the government.
Despite questions raised in parliament, the government is refusing even to admit that US nuclear weapons will be stationed in Britain, saying only: ‘The Ministry of Defence is unable to comment on US spending decisions and capabilities, which are a matter for the US Government.’
Shamefully, Labour too is remaining silent. US nukes at Lakenheath put us on the front line of a Nato/Russia war. It’s up to us, the peace and labour movements, to kick start the democratic process.
The first of the new generation nuclear-capable US fighter bombers, the F-35A, arrived at Lakenheath in December, the first base in Europe to get them. More have now arrived in Lakenheath. Training of nuclear units will begin in the course of this year, ready for the arrival of a new generation of nuclear bombs, the B61-12s, which are part of a $10 billion US modernisation programme.
The B61-12s are regarded by some as the most dangerous of all nuclear weapons. They are ‘low yield’ (their term, not ours) and can be seen by war planners as more ‘usable’ – capable of being deployed, that is, in a ‘limited’ nuclear engagement. Catch up with CND’s Stop US nukes coming to Lakenheath webinar for more details.
The B61-12s will be coming to Lakenheath. Their arrival doesn’t make us safer; it paints a target on the back of everyone in this country. Join CND at RAF Lakenheath, 1-3pm on Saturday 21 May, and share the event on social media. The protest includes a rally, songs, poetry and performances – as well as an opportunity to design your own poster.
Coaches are being arranged from across the country – including Bradford, Sheffield, Manchester, London and East Midlands. Transport will be available from Norwich rail station for those who arrive under their own steam.
- Carol Turner is Chair of Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Lab CND). She is a London Region CLP rep on the National Policy Forum, standing for re-election with Cam Rose, David Levy and Adrian Weir, Grassroots Labour Candidates for London.
- Join the protest at Lakenheath, Suffolk on May 21st at 1PM – find out more here.
- Follow Labour CND on Facebook and twitter.