Anti-nuclear activists arrested at military base
8 August 2005
BRUSSELS — Seven peace activists are arrested at the Kleine-Brogel military airbase in Peer in an anti-nuclear protest to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the atom bomb attacks against Japan in World War II.
Two protestors were arrested on Monday afternoon and five peace activists were held in the morning after encroaching onto the base’s runaway at 9.30am.
The five activists spread paper Cranes, but were later taken into police custody for questioning, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported.
Paper Cranes are the international symbol for the movement aiming for a global ban on nuclear weapons. The Crane is also Japanese symbol for long life.
As members of the peace movement For Mother Earth (Voor Moeder Aarde), the activists were protesting against the training of F-16 pilots for nuclear attacks.
They claim Belgium is partly responsible for the further spread of nuclear weapons to countries such as Iran by maintaining its nuclear capabilities.
The protest action was also in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
“Belgian pilots train in Kleine-Brogel to use an estimated 20 American nuclear bombs which have a destructive power 280 times that of the Hiroshima atom bomb, which killed more than 140,000 in 1945,” spokesperson Pol D’Huyvetter said.
D’Huyvetter lives in Diksmuide, the mayor of which is a member of the movement Mayors for Peace. The mayor also met with a Hiroshima survivor, the 74-year-old Yoshio Sato, on Monday.
The Mayors for Peace association campaigns for a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons by 2020. For Mother Earth hopes to persuade more than half of Belgium’s 589 mayors to join the association.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news