A protest took place today (4th July 2011) at RAF Menwith Hill in celebration of “Independence from America”. The event is a yearly event, on the American Independence day and is organised by the Campaign Accountability of American Bases (CAAB).
Around 60 people marched around a section of the perimeter fence before congregating at the main entrance. The event received very low-key policing and the protesters were allowed to move freely.
Rights activist, Peter Tatchell addressed the group and called for greater accountability over the activities of RAF Menwith Hill “Many people want to see a change from bases under US control on our territory to an independent foreign policy based on peace and global justice
“It’s time Britain reclaimed it’s sovereignty and that we have control over military bases in this country and that these bases are accountable to us, the British people
“and that we as a nation or our government on our behalf refuse to kow-tow to every whim and fancy of US foreign policy
“This base is called RAF Menwith Hill but it should really be called US Military base Menwith Hill because less than 2% of the military personal at the base are RAF.”
He was asked what should be the next steps taken to make the base more accountable but acknowledged there wasn’t an easy answer but that people should lobby the government and the opposition, for greater scrutiny over the fact that only the US knows what actually goes on at Menwith Hill.
Peter Tatchell also talked more generally about human rights and gave special acknowledgement to US Serviceman, Bradley Manning who is being held on suspicion of leaking restricted documents.
John Sloboda (co founder Iraq Body Count) and journalist and activist Yvonne Ridley also spoke to the demonstration
The organiser acknowledged that the attendance was disappointing and that they needed a way of engaging young people for future events.