Seven U.S. Activists in Seven German Cities in April 2016
(April 6, 2016, Washington, DC & Berlin, Germany) Seven representatives of the multiple award-winning U.S. peace organization CODEPINK are on a speaking tour in Germany this month. Their main goal of this trip is to bring more attention to German complicity in U.S. killer drone attacks. The group will also visit the German Air Force base, Büchel, where the U.S. government plans to modernize the last U.S. atomic bombs remaining in Germany.
One year ago, documents uncovered by German and American journalists revealed that the U.S. Air Force Base in Ramstein, the largest American military base located on foreign soil and headquarters for the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), is involved in virtually every U.S. drone attack. As German outlet Der Spiegel reported at the time, “even if the pilots are sitting at Air Force bases in Nevada, Arizona or Missouri, and even if the targets are located on the Horn of Africa or the Arab Peninsula, USAFE headquarters at Ramstein is almost always involved.” A fiber optic cable connects Ramstein AFB with Creech AFB in Nevada, the most important U.S. military base for drone warfare.
Five of the seven CODEPINK delegates engaged in protests and blockades at Creech AFB last week. CODEPINK believes that the illegal U.S. drone attacks are a main cause of rise in terrorism and the flight of refugees from their homelands.
CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots movement for peace and social justice that was founded in the U.S. on October 2, 2002, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Creative campaigns and a commitment to nonviolence are characteristic of CODEPINK. Serious issues are often tackled with a sense of humor, whether in lobbying efforts in the U.S. Congress or through spectacular media appearances and civil disobedience. The name CODEPINK is an allusion to the color code system that the government under George W. Bush introduced in the U.S. as part of the "War on Terror" following the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Via the color codes citizens were to be kept constantly up-to-date on the supposed degree of terrorism risk, according to Department of Homeland Security, and were asked to conduct themselves accordingly.
The remarkable peace group has received many awards, including the Aachen Peace Prize in 2014. During the 2016 visit to Germany, the group will receive yet another honor. On February 24, 2016, the City Council of Bayreuth confirmed that CODEPINK is the recipient of the 2016 Tolerance Prize. The formal award ceremony of the City of Bayreuth will take place on April 15, 2016.
A complete schedule of events in the CODEPINK German Tour can be found here. Members of the delegation are available for interviews and may be contacted in advance of and during the trip through Sam Ritchie at +1 (347) 452-0008 / [email protected] or Elsa Rassbach at +49 170 738 1450 / [email protected].
What: CODEPINK speaking tour on the German role in the deadly U.S. drone attacks
When: April 7 - 19, 2016
- Toby Blomé, organizer with San Francisco CODEPINK
- Barbara Briggs-Letson, peace-activist grandmother, retired nurse & lay-midwife
- Leslie Harris, coordinator for CODEPINK Greater Dallas, the North Texas Light Brigade, and Veterans For Peace Chapter 106
- Martha Hubert, activist with San Francisco CODEPINK
- Josie Lenwell, anti-war activist
- Elsa Rassbach, co-founder of the German Drone Campaign network
- Col. Ann Wright, retired U.S. diplomat and Army Colonel
- (Full bios available here: English, German)
Where: Cologne, Büchel, Leipzig, Berlin, Bayreuth, Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart, Munich.