Peace activists to rally outside Ramstein base
By JENNIFER H. SVAN AND MARCUS KLOECKNER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 3, 2016
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — German peace activists will deliver their anti-war message on bicycles outside Ramstein Air Base and other locations in Kaiserslautern on Saturday, officials said.
DFG-VK Bavaria says it is a group of “peace cyclists” demanding that Germany send all foreign troops home and withdraw all nuclear weapons from the country.
Air Force officials said the protest near the base, scheduled to take place by the Construction and Training Squadron compound starting at 1:30 p.m., is expected to be peaceful, but they suggest the public avoid the area as a precaution.
Protesters could number 100 or more, as DFG-VK Bavaria will join forces with another activist group on bicycles called the “Pacemakers,” said Thomas Roedl, a spokesman for DFG-VK Bavaria. “We are against war and for disarmament in general,” he said.
DFG-VK Bavaria organizes the annual “peace-bike tour” to military and defense industry sites around Germany, the group says on its website. Underlining the urgency of this year’s protests, they say that “the ongoing war against terrorism, in which now Germany is also involved, and the confrontation of NATO against Russia awakened in many people the fear of war in Europe.”
Roedl said demonstrators hope to hand out fliers to U.S. military personnel about Ramstein’s alleged role in the U.S. drone war. They will carry signs with the names of children killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, he said.
The demonstration outside Ramstein is one of several on the protest cycling circuit, which began on July 30 in Ingolstadt.
The group has additional protests planned in the Kaiserslautern area on Saturday morning, including downtown Kaiserslautern near the Stiftskirche and in Kindsbach. In Kaiserslautern, they will perform an anti-war play with disabled air rifles.
Two protests are planned in Mannheim: on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Paradeplatz, and on Friday at 10 a.m. outside Coleman Barracks.