'Nuclear bombs' protest at Suffolk base

MORE than 100 campaigners besieged an American military airbase to protest against the nuclear bombs they claim are stored there.

Dave Gooderham

MORE than 100 campaigners besieged an American military airbase to protest against the nuclear bombs they claim are stored there.

Police arrested four demonstrators following the protest outside RAF Lakenheath yesterday - part of two organised by action group Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Campaigners, who claim the military base stores nuclear weapons, unfurled banners and chanted during the four-hour protest.


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Cyril Brown, a staunch campaigner for more than 50 years, said: “We wanted to show our discontent and with more than 100 people here I think we have achieved that.”

He said they were convinced there were nuclear bombs at Lakenheath.

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He added: “The base closed Gate 1 in Brandon Road and we think this was to shield or isolate the Americans from our demonstration.”

Although the CND's website promised a “lively” protest, a spokesman for RAF Lakenheath confirmed it had largely gone off without any incident.

Captain Alysia Harvey said: “The United States Air Force respects anyone's right to protest as part of our remit is to defend freedom of speech. We have worked closely with police to ensure the demonstration does not interfere with our working and access.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed officers attended the protest, held at the main gates of the USAF base, which started at about 1pm.

“We were called to a protest of about 100 people,” the spokesman said. “Overall the demonstration has been peaceful although there have been four arrests and those arrested have been taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Station.”

The CND, which also claims air strikes on Iraq and Afghanistan are carried out by Lakenheath-based planes, also held a demonstration on Saturday at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate.

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