13 June 2001
Greenpeace Press Release

Brussels, June 13, 2001, 10.50 am: Greenpeace activists protesting against US Government plans to deploy a star wars missile system and the US's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, today blocked the gates of the Brussels military airport where Bush arrived this morning.

A group of 17 activists chained themselves to the airport gates, made a human chain in front of the gates, carrying banners "George Bush -outlaws not welcome" and "GW Bush wanted for crimes against the planet" referring to rejection of key international treaties on climate change and arms control. The activists came from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Israel, and Australia.

Greenpeace volunteer Andy Tait one of the protestors involved in the airport blockade said, "The public in Europe do not want to return to the dangerous days of the Cold War, which is where President Bush is taking us. Governments have been silent on the issue which is why we are here today."

Bush cannot proceed on Star Wars without European support and participation. The US needs to use key radar facilities at Fylingdales in the United Kingdom and at Thule in Greenland, whose defence and foreign policy is controlled by Denmark.

Tait added, "Now is the time for the UK to take a strong lead and oppose Bush's dangerous Star Wars Plans."

A number of environment and peace groups including Greenpeace, For Mother Earth and War Resisters International, also demonstrated outside the NATO headquarters in Brussels this morning, where Bush was meeting with NATO Heads of State.

Greenpeace International disarmament campaigner William Peden said, "President Bush's promised consultations with his European allies over Star Wars deployment and climate change policies are a total sham.

Earlier this year he walked away from Kyoto, then last week the Bush administration said they will deploy some form of missile defence by 2004, so his message to the world is clearly 'like it or lump it'."

"European countries must stand up to Bush and defend international agreements on disarmament and climate change, by rejecting Star Wars and ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. If NATO member states support Star Wars they will be responsible for the start of a new nuclear arms race."

Today's blockade follows Greenpeace actions in Spain yesterday coinciding with President Bush's arrival in Europe, in France and Norway against US oil tankers, and in Finland over the weekend when US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed Star Wars with Baltic Defence Ministers.

For more information please contact Greenpeace Press Office on 0207 865 8255 or Louise Edge in Brussels on 07801 212993

(See also: Report from Mother Earth)


Global Network Yorkshire CNDCampaign for the Accountability of American Bases