International Week of Protest
11 October 2003
From: The Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB)
This was the fourth year running that CAAB, and this year in conjunction with Yorkshire CND, had organised the protest at Menwith Hill for 'Keep Space for Peace' week. Menwith Hill - crucial with Fylingdales to the American Missile Defense System.
It was a beautiful warm Autumn day. The Yorkshire Dales looked stunning - but rudely interrupted by the perimeter fence, coils of barbed wire, CTTV cameras, radomes and an excess of
police and police horses. Welcome to Menwith Hill - the reality of the US militarism of the Dales.
People of all ages came (approx. estimate 160/70) dressed in the theme of a 'celestial body' - wonderful costumes. Sheffield Samba Band arrived with energy, colour and fantastic rythms. People who had not been to Menwith Hill before came - a children's space was set up with wonderful paintings which were hung on the fence.
It was a moving moment at the start of the demonstration when Christine Dean (Treasurer of CAAB) invited us to turn our backs on the base for a minutes silence - remembering all those killed and injured because of the continuing violence in Iraq.
Chris introduced Dave Webb (Convenor of GN) and Chris Davies (North West England MEP) who spoke about the weaponisation of space and the fact that the UK gave away sovereignty to the
US authorities many years ago.
Steve Hill facilitated a brilliant drumming workshop. Veggies of Nottingham provided the yummy food.
Lindis Percy (Joint Co-ordinator of CAAB) and Dave Webb (GN Convenor) took people on a guided walk round the base. This time we actually managed to get round the whole base (over policing prevented the walk on 4 July).
We stopped at various points round the base to give information about it and what it does. The two Space Based Infra Red System radomes which will be crucial to AMD were pointed out. There was a heavy police presence blocking access all round the base.
Thank you to everyone who came and made the day so good.
We are even more determined than ever to stop the American Missile Defense System from becoming a reality.