Sarah Bania-Dobyns | 11.03.2003 15:42
CITIZENS OF EAST ANGLIA TAKE
DIRECT ACTION AT LAKENHEATH
SUFFOLK—Nine citizens of the Norfolk and Suffolk area cut their way into the American airbase, “RAF” Lakenheath, at approximately 11 am, to take nonviolent direct action to disrupt preparations for a war against Iraq. The citizens range in age from 22 and 40 and come from all walks of life; within the group there is a university lecturer, a Suzuki violin teacher, 3 parents and 2 students.
At 11:25 am, Rupert Eris, 39, and Zina Zelter, 29, cut a five foot high and four foot wide hole in the fence on the northwest corner of Lakenheath airbase. The other seven citizens then cycled through the hole in the fence, while Zelter and Eris stayed by the hole, with banners reading “No nukes no war” and “No War for Oil” to take full responsibility for their action. They were arrested at midday.
Once inside, the other seven spread out widely on their bicycles. One of the citizens cycled up and down the main runway, while 6 others locked themselves down or lay down on the old runway.
The participants in the action entered the base because they believe that Bush and Blair seem set on war despite massive international opposition to such a course. Samantha Maher, one of the cyclists, said, “It is my duty as an international citizen to uphold the law and keep the peace.”
Zina Zelter added that Lakenheath has been involved in bombing Iraq since the Gulf War and is already playing an important part in this war, making actions at “RAF” Lakenheath particularly important.
And according to Rupert Eris, “I believe that the massive attack that the U.S. and the U.K. governments are preparing and those parts of that are already happening, such as increased bombing and special forces activity within Iraq, are equally illegal.”
The nine citizens decided to carry out the action completely nonviolently, including being fully accountable. They are prepared to be arrested and go to court to defend their action should it be necessary.