The U.S. stations about 100 nuclear gravity bombs called B61s at bases in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Turkey, where foreign pilots flying foreign fighter jets train to attack Russia with them. A German coalition of over 70 organizations including Nukewatch, and other European groups are working to see the U.S. nuclear weapons ousted. For over 10 years LaForge has worked in the coalition, organizing delegations of U.S. peace activists to Germany where they joined demonstrations at the German air base Büchel which holds some of the US bombs. In 2023 he was the first U.S. citizen to be imprisoned in Germany for civil resistance at the base and served 50 days. He will present an overview of the German campaign, which has included lobbying, marches, peace literature, nonviolent action, trial court and appeal court arguments, and jail-going, all aimed at seeing the permanent withdrawal of the nuclear weapons.
Marion Küpker has worked over 26 years for a nuclear-free Europe and is a member of the Campaign Council of the German-wide organization “Büchel is Everywhere!” which is made up of 75 groups committed to the permanent withdrawal of the U.S. H-bombs from Germany, a Europe without nuclear weapons, and German ratification of the 2017 Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Her focus is nonviolent direct action, and she has coordinated, supported and informed protest groups at a dozen international peace action camps outside Büchel air base where 20 U.S. nuclear weapons are stationed. She writes regularly for German civil society magazines on nuclear weapons and feminism. She is a recipient of Germany’s 2019 Aachen Peace Prize and the 2019 Oberhausen Prize.
John LaForge is a disarmament activist and has been a co-director of the nuclear watchdog group Nukewatch, and co-editor of its Quarterly, since 1992. He is co-editor with Arianne Peterson of Nukewatch’s 2015 revised edition of Nuclear Heartland: A Guide to the 450 Land-Based Missiles of the United States, and is a regular contributor to CounterPunch.org and ZNET.org, and is syndicated by PeaceVoice.org, where he writes on nuclear weapons, reactors, militarism and nonviolent resistance. He has testified to British and Dutch parliamentarians on the illegality of depleted uranium weapons used extensively by the U.S. military, and is a co-recipient of the 2004 US Peace and Justice Studies Association’s Social Courage Award, and the 1986 War Resisters League Peace Award.