a report by Pat Elder
This past week, thousands of people from 13 NATO countries converged on the U.S. Ramstein Airbase in a remote area of western Germany to demand its immediate closure. World BEYOND War was represented by Pat Elder who sent us this report.
Ramstein is the central location for the U.S. drone war against much of the world. The slaughter of thousands is planned and orchestrated from this location. The base is home to 57,000 American soldiers.
The weekend included an opportunity for people to participate in a host of activities including seminars at various locations. On Friday evening 700 packed a church in nearby Kaiserslautern to hear well-known activists, including American Ann Wright who called for Ramstein to be shut down immediately. Organizers set up a sprawling outdoor campsite for hundreds of campers who came from all over. The scene was refreshing for its youthful component. Throughout the weekend aging peace activists took strength from the uncharacteristically high number of young people. Organizers like Reiner Braun are envisioning this kind of scene to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the establishment of NATO in April 2019, possibly in Washington, D.C.
The weekend climaxed on Saturday with a demonstration at Ramstein’s main gate that included a spirited and determined blockade carried out by 300 who sat in the road and blocked traffic for more than an hour. Police forcefully carried away 25-30 once the order was given to clear the streets. These actions are part of ongoing protests in Europe, America, and around the world against the murderous drone warfare.
The rousing demonstration was addressed by Sahra Wagenknecht, a leader of “The Left” block which contains 10% of the seats in the Bundestag, the German parliament. Wagenknecht called for shutting down the base and said the German people should not be a party to the killing.