Instruments of Disarmament – Rhythm beats Bombs

Protest Action at Büchel Nuclear Base

About 180 US nuclear bombs are still being stored in Europe for use by NATO in the event of a nuclear strike, although it is not clear who against. 20 of these nuclear bombs - left over from the Cold War - are deployed in Büchel in South Eifel (Rheinland-Pfalz), Germany.

The German government declared in 2009 in an agreement between the coalition governing parties that they would pursue the withdrawal of these nuclear weapons. This declared intention was strengthened by a parliamentary motion in 2010, supported by all parties. Despite these decisions, the actions of the present government are in stark contrast to their declared policy. In May 2012 at the NATO summit in Chicago, the German government bowed down to US pressure for modernisation of the B61 nuclear bomb – and now these new bombs are being developed.

We invite you to join us on August 11/12 in Büchel to demand, just prior to the general election, that the German government sticks to their original promise of withdrawal and also works for a complete ban on all nuclear weapons worldwide. The other host countries in Europe – Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey – would draw strength from a German decision to become nuclear weapon-free.

Here is our proposed schedule for the action:

  • August 2.-4.: Fast in Berlin in front of the Federal Chancellery,
    August 5.-9.: Continuation of the fast in front of the main gate of Büchel nuclear base with international participation. The fast will be broken at the time commemorating the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki at 11:02 - Organiser: Initiativkreis gegen Atomwaffen
  • August 5.-8.: Construction of a peace camp near the nuclear base;
    August 9.-12.: Preparation for action (formation of affinity groups, training in non-violent direct action). Training will continue at the gates for latecomers.
  • August 11./12.: 24-hour music blockade und happening at all the gates of the Büchel nuclear base: Music Programme
    August 11. at 5 minutes to 12am: Opening concert by LEBENSLAUTE at main gate
    August 11. at 2pm: Set off from the main gate to the other gates; further training at gates.
    August 12. at 6 minutes to 12am: End of blockade, groups return to main gate, followed at 2pm by a final meal at the main gate.

At each gate an official vigil has also been registered with the authorities for those who do not wish to take part in the blockade.

The working group on Büchel of the campaign “” (nuclear calls on all those who take part in direct action to desist from any use of violence or threats of violence, including verbal abuse or derision towards others and to threat them (including police, soldiers, and anyone opposed to our actions) with respect, even while expressing criticism of the societal role they are playing and any resulting behaviour.

Practical information
About the Peace Camp

The Music Blockade

A selection of the bands that will be playing in Büchel

Formed in 1986, the collective LEBENSLAUTE (sounds of life) meets in full orchestra strength once a year. In between, they meet in regional formations for smaller ensembles. As an open musical and action-oriented group, they make mostly classical music appear in the most unlikely spots: at military bases, airports being used for deportations, nuclear power plants, missile silos, immigration authorities and other places that are threatening to people.

The Wareika-trio celebrates a fusion of both instrumental and electronic sounds, creating a new genre somewhere in between House, Minimal, Jazz and Dub.

Nina Hagen
Nina Hagen, living legend of German punk rock, will be coming to Büchel and improvising an unplugged, rock concert!

Guaia Guaia
Are they a lifestyle, an experiment? Or just asking whether things could be done differently? Elias Gottstein and Carl Luis Zielke from Neubrandenburg have decided to make nothing but music throughout their lives. No other jobs, no security and no double safety net. Having published 4 albums in since 2009, ‘A revolution is much too little’ is their most recent single.

Rob Longstaff
Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Rob developed a vivid interest in social and ecologic topics. He will perform his combination of Soul-, Blues- and Popsongs for us.

Kokuryo Daiko
A new Japanese percussion group based in Munich, Kokuryo Daiko was founded in 2011. The group of seven employs a special solo-percussion technique and is still looking for new members, on their way to becoming the best Wadeiko group in southern Germany.

Music Programme

The Gates

Main Gate = Rhythm beats Bombs - Performance and dancing, Contact: Philipp
Lutzerather-Gate = LEBENSLAUTE, classical music
Gate 1 = Women's Resistance plus Drums, Contact: Silvia
Gate 2 = Interreligious Dialogue: Peace for a nuclear weapon-free world, Contact: Heidi
Gate 3 = Fueling the Bomb: Nuclear power, Contact: IPPNW
Gate 4 = Quotations and Texts
Gate 5 & 6
= Bikes beats Bombs, Contact: Bikers without Borders Tel.: 0157 – 860 48 715

Main Gate

Rhythm beats bombs

At five to twelve, the current time of the Doomsday Clock, a LEBNSLAUTE-concert will kick off the protests. Around 2pm, people will spread to the other gates, while dancing for peace continues at the main gate. Under the motto “Rhythm beats bombs”, different bands will play here, among them Nina Hagen, Wareika, Guaia Guaia, Klaus the Violonist, the usual suspects and many more. In between and in parallel, there will be many colorful and creative actions.

Full program (German)

Luzerath Gate

Up the Volume to down the Nukes!

After their opening concert at the main gate (11:55 am on Saturday), LEBENSLAUTE will continue protesting at Luzerath Gate.

They will play pieces by Bach, Mendelssohn, Eisler and Janacek, along with some a-capella choirs.
LEBENSLAUTE is a group of musicians from all over the Germany. Since 1986, they meet in orchestra formation at least once a year. As an open music and action-oriented group, they play mostly classical music in places, where this is least expected: at military bases, deportation airports, nuclear plants and missile silos, alien departments and other menaces of the human condition.

More information:

Full program (German)

Gate 1

Women’s Resistance

The first women’s resistance camp occurred 30 years ago in Hunsrück, in protest against the deployment of Cruise and Pershing II missiles. In Büchel, pioneers from the days of Hunsrück, Greenham Commons and Mutlangen will be present, share their experiences, screen a film on Greenham Commons and keep the fire going. Talking, laughing, dancing, drumming and singing – don’t forget your drums and sleeping bags!

Full program (German)

Gate 2

Interreligious Dialogue

Representatives of the large world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism – will have opportunities to pray. The musical program includes gospel choirs, Japanese percussionists and jiddish songs. The common foundation, the WÜRDE of live / the creation / nature / the universe will be addressed in short statements. We will share what the religions have developed on the issue of nuclear disarmament in expositions, films, texts, books etc.

Full program (German)

Gate 3

Fueling the Bomb: Nuclear power

The so-called “peaceful” use of nuclear power derived from the military nuclear programs. Millions of radiation victims later, the fight against nuclear power plants and in favor of renewable energies is at the same time a fight against the continued threat posed by nuclear weapons. Gate 3 will see an exposition, “Hibakusha Worldwide”, remembering victims of the nuclear chain globally: beginning with Uranium mining, over reactor accidents to nuclear detonations. A wishing tree will collect our wished for a world free of the nuclear threat. We will sing, dance and listen to live musicians.

Full program (German)

Gate 4

Quotations and Texts

“So long as one human starves, any weapon will remain a blasphemy.” This quote is attributed to German Literature Nobel Prize Laureate Heinrich Böll. Two years prio to his death, he participated at the Mutlangen missile silo blockade, almost 30 years ago (1-3 September 1983). Participants at Gate 4 are encouraged to bring quotations and texts against arms and the military and in favor of peaceful resistance. During our 24-hour blockade, we shall sing songs by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Joan Baez and read texts by Erich Kästner, Henry David Thorau, Albert Einstein, Kurt Hiller, Boris Vian, Martin Niemöller, Bertolt Brecht, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Walter Mossmann, many more and our own! Bring along some copies and share your favorite texts!

Gates 5 & 6

Bikes beats Bombs

The biker camp “Bikes beat Bombs” is part of the action “Rhythm beats bombs”. Friday (9 Aug) will see bikers arriving after 5pm (setting up of tents, getting to know one another by the fire etc.). Saturday at 11am, the big tour around Büchel will start, while Sunday at 2pm further Motorcycle-tours will encircle the nuclear weapon site. Meeting places for Saturday and Sunday is the Main Gate, while on Sunday afternoon, Gate 6 will be the biker gate. All motorized cyclists are warmly invited, even for short stints. Important: bike actions are just as peaceful. We are happy to renounce partisan political campaigning.

More info with “Motorcyclists without borders”, Tel.: 0157 – 860 48 715

Clowns-Aktion in Büchel 2008. Foto: Lars Mittehauser
Support the action!

Sign the Call

The call to action at the Büchel nuclear base on August 11./12. is waiting for your signature! We need as many supporters as possible for the action to be a success. We can only do it with your help. So please sign the call and donate to the action fund - we need all the financial help we can get to provide infrastructure and to mobilise for the action. Thanks!

Sign the call

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Any questions? Call: 0160-66 37 306

also performing from the movement

Rebecca Johnson, Greenham Common Woman and ICAN Co-Chair from the UK

John LaForge, Nukewatch, USA

Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of the Parliamentarians for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament PNND from New Zealand