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Event ID:  238
Contact Name:  Lindis Percy
Contact Email:
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Organization:  CAAB (Campaign for the Accountability ofAmerican Bases)
Event Web Site:
Dates:  13th October 2007 to 13th October 2007
Physical Event: 
Type:  Public
Start/End Type: 
Country:  United Kingdom
State/Province:  Yorkshire
City:  Menwith Hill
Location:  NSA Spy Base
Event Name:  Keeping SPace for Peace at Menwith Hill
Event Description:  Demonstration at NSA Spy Base, Yorkshire 12:00-4:00 pm
Promotional Image:  No Image.
Report on the Results:  For the seventh year CAAB participants gathered during Keep Space for Peace Week at Menwith Hill, the huge secret U.S. spy base in Yorkshire which collects information from cyberspace. It is the largest intelligence gathering and surveillance facility outside of the United States and is not accountable even to Parliament. The Manchester Samba band emphasized the theme and speakers called for an end to Britain's involvement in the U.S. missile defense system, calling it an outrage that doesn't even work and is causing a new arms race. They emphasized the comparison between the amount of resources spent on this dangerous weapons system in space, and the money that should be spent on providing basic human needs around the world. Supporters included teh well known playwright and author Alan Bennett, comedian Mark Steele and several British members of Parliament and of the European Parliament. During past demonstrations CAAB has kept good relations with police, but after the government's agreement in July 2007 to allow the U.S. to actively use Menwith Hill in its growing missile defense system the police imposed strict new restrictions. They would no longer allow participants to walk around the perimeter of the base. Civil liberties lawyers have emphasized to the police that CAAB members have the right to demonstrate peacefully and that it is the duty of the police to uphold and enable the demonstration. On this day, however, police were adamant that the walk could not proceed and there was a heavy police presence including police horses, police on cycles and motor cycles; with van loads of police waiting in the background and on the approach roads. Inside the bases there were many Ministry of Defense Police Agency officers, some on quad bikes, and every gateway to the base was covered. After the rally at the front gate the group attempted to walk around the perimeter of the base as in past years, but despite concerted negotiations with police, they were not allowed to continue. In the end they returned to the main gate for drumming by Honey Drum, wonderful drummers who performed for about an hour. Look North TV and Radio York were present for the Menwith Hill event. Radio York covered the demonstration in their Sunday morning radio news and BBC screened a report in the late evening news. In addition a BBC reporter, Jane Downs, interviewed two Harrogate District residents briefly about their concerns at the recent developments at Menwith Hill.
Attendance:  0
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