"RAF" Croughton, it is called; but in fact it is a piece of America, occupying a large area of our countryside. It is surrounded by giant fencing and no one is allowed in, except the American service people. They are not accountable to the British public. The giant balls of the radomes and the satellite dishes serve to relay communications across the continents to American establishments, both diplomatic and military. They serve America's global imperialism and war fighting. They even help to extend America's military might to space, with a view to achieving "full spectrum dominance" by land, sea, air - and outer space.
Huge sums of money are wasted here. The Croughton Picnickers want to confront this monstrous waste of resources - human, technical, material - with words, arguments, art, music - and a reminder of simple humanity as they sit on the grass and share a meal.
John McDonnell, Labour MP and a candidate for leadership of the Labour Party, will be speaking; also Felicity Arbuthnot, investigative journalist with particular knowledge of Iraq, and David Platt, committee member of CANA (Clergy Against Nuclear Arms).
The US Government currently has over 100 nuclear weapons sited in Britain (figures issued by SIPR, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). The Croughton facilities are directly involved in the command and control of these weapons.
When Lindis Percy, a veteran protester, walked into the base some months ago - their security is not very good - and spent some hours putting up leaflets for "CIA" - Campaign for Independence from America - she was, when she finally drew attention to herself voluntarily, flung to the ground, her arm held painfully behind her, while a heavyweight Security Guard sat on her and handcuffed her. She was left lying in this painful position for a long time. No one tried to treat her humanely.
The rally and picnic is suitable for all ages, with families particularly welcome.
The protesters plan to walk on the bridleway around the perimeter of the base, and then hold a picnic with speeches and music provided by the Sea Green Singers.
Transport is available from Oxford and Bicester: ring 01865248357
David Gill & Irene Gill
David and Irene Gill (published by eileen)