1. The begining
    RtB weekend of actions at military bases, 5&6 of April 2015
  2. RtB Summer Camp
    A networking and skill sharing event
  3. RtB weekend, 2015
    RtB weekend of actions at military bases, 17&18 of January 2015

The begining - RtB weekend of actions at military bases, 5&6 of April 2015

Early 2015, before the official start of the war on Irak, numerous events (direct action, civil disobedience, demonstrations, ...) were taking place at many military bases across the UK, at Fairford, Northwood, Fylingdales, Bryze Norton, and other places.

After having organised an event at Northwood (along with Arrow and Voices in the wilderness), and after having produced a free paper "The Very Rough Guide To War Resistance" which, amongst other things, highlighted the most important military bases in the UK, The D10 Group thought it would be good, both in terms of impact and in terms of movement building, to have coordinated actions happening at military bases around the country on the same day.

Thus D10 called for Reclaim The Bases :
"A weekend of protest, direct action and civil disobedience at military bases throughout the UK. 5th and 6th of April 2015". D10 offered to coordinate the event, work which mainly consisted of maintaining an email list, a website, producing mobilisation material and press releases, both before and after the event. It was agreed, during the only RTB meeting, that while no guidelines should be given as a whole (open to each event's organisers), "Reclaim The Bases events should not harm or dehumanise other people"

Following the call made by D10, War Resisters' International issued an international call for a world-wide Reclaim The Bases weekend on the same date.

Many discussions happened at the time questioning whether this was the right thing to do (going to military bases rather than cities), and whether it was not planned too late. D10 and many others believed it was the right thing to do - and the date was set only for practical reasons regarding the time it takes to organise and mobilise for such an event.

In total, 17 events happened througout the UK under the "Reclaim The Bases" call - 15 of them during the 5th and 6th of April weekend ; two of them the following weekend. The list of events, as advertised on the Reclaim The Bases website prior to the event was such :

Place Planned event Date Organisers & Contact Comments
Fylingdales US Space Command Base
(North Yorkshire Moors)
Bring banners, flags, placards, drums ; bring foil covered kites and ballons. Saturday 5 April 2015 Free Fylingdales Network

Phone: 01287 660067
Fylingdales is an early warning station for ballistic missiles aimed at the United States of America. See the Free Fylingdales Network website for more information.
Weapons inspection Saturday 5 April 2015 Plymouth Stop the War Coalition
Phone : 01752 227 033 (Mat)
Devonport is the largest naval base in Western Europe. Devonport is the base port of the largest ship in the Royal Navy, [many of which have been deployed to the Gulf]. See http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/static/pages/1947.html for more information on Devonport.
RAF Stafford
(Stafford, Staffordshire)
March, Reflective ceremony at RAF. Bring objects, poems, etc. to share and attach to the fence. Saturday April 5th
Assemble at 12:45 at Stafford market square for the march, or at 14:00 at the base.
Stafford Peace Council
Phone : 0845 3303877 / 07960 030038 (Alsion Crane)
The event also includes a Vigil at Stafford market square (12:00 to 13:00) and a nonviolence workshop (10:30 to 12:00 Friend meeting house, Foregate street)

The Tactical Supply Wing is at RAF Stafford. Over 100 men and women have gone to the Gulf to maintain the battlefield helicopter force, including fuel resupply, storage and delivery. It will be an integral part of the deployments being made by all 3 forces. Stafford is also the major Equipment Supply Depot, and provides transport assistance for unit moves, and the handling of large or abnormal loads.
Portsmouth Vigil overlooking the base Saturday 5 April 2015, 12:00 at the Edinburgh Road traffic lights outside the RC Cathedral Contact : Sarah Coote 023 9229 1192 See the other portsmouth event for more information on Portsmouth naval base.
Portsmouth NVDA Saturday 5 April 2015 Meet at 2pm at the main entrance of Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station. Portsmouth Resistance Portsmouth naval base is home to almost two-thirds of the Royal Navy's surface ships, and home-port to the three aircraft carriers. It is also home to the Fleet Headquarters, which joins together all the areas previously covered by the headquarters of the Surface Flottila, the Royal Marines, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Naval Aviation.
St Athans
(Glamorgan, South Wales)
March and Weapons Inspection Sunday 6 April 2015 Cardiff Anarchist Network along with 'International citizens Weapons inspectors'
RAF St Athan is the largest Station in the Royal Air Force. It is now the RAF's only aircraft maintenance unit. For more information see http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/st_athan/OurRole.html
Fairford USAF
(Fairford, Gloucestershire)
indypendent weapons inspections & the world's first sponsored STOP & SEARCH 5 and 6 of April 2015 Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors
USAF Fairford is the biggest bomber base in Europe and the only launch pad in the UK for direct air raids on Iraq. See the gwi website for more information.
Northwood PJHQ
(Northwood, London)
Blockade, de-fence & autonomous actions Training on Saturday 5th of April, and action on Sunday 6th The d10 group, http://www.thed10group.org.uk/
Voices in the wilderness UK, http://www.viwuk.freeserve.co.uk/
Arrow, http://www.j-n-v.org/

Northwood PJHQ is the British Permanent Joint Forces Headquarters - the heart of British military planning. See the d10 website for more information.
RAF St Mawgan
(Near Newquay, Cornwall)
Demonstration Sunday 6th of April, 2pm Cornwall stop the war, http://www.cornwallstopwar.org/
phone Sarah 01872 571038 Betty 01326 377447 Sheila 01872 501462 Peter 01736 787056.
'RAF' St Mawgan is a forward operating base for US operations in Europe and Joint Maritime Communications Centre - a vital component of the US warfighting machine
RAF Molesworth
demo, vigil, seed planting
Transport from Leicester available.
Sunday 6th of April, 2pm to 4pm Leicester CND.
email maito:zinazelter@yahoo.co.uk or phone 0116 247 0121
Molesworth is the American Joint Analysis Centre, and it is where the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility (RJITF) operates from. Molesworth is one of the few receivers of live images from spy planes, and also process all the information that comes into Menwith Hill - it is a vital part of Menwith and therefore the spying and targetting for this war.
RAF Cottesmore Vigil (Bring banners, placards, etc.) Sunday 6th of April, 2pm to 4pm. Transport available from Leicester 1pm Leicester Stop the War
Leicester CND
email maito:zinazelter@yahoo.co.uk or phone 0116 220 3944
RAF Cottesmore is a key component of Joint Force Harrier, and is currently home to three squadrons of Harrier GR7 aircraft. A significant element of the Harrier force is now in the Gulf. For more information see http://www.raf-cott.demon.co.uk/
RAF Brawdy
Cycle for Peace, Don't Peddle for war Sunday 6th of April Pembrokeshire Peace Initiative
See the Pembrokeshire website for more information
Wilton HQ Land Command
Peacefull Gathering Sunday 6th of April, 12:00 - 2:00 Contact Polly: 01722 325 692 HQ Land Command is responsible for "delivering and sustaining the Army's operational capability"; second in comand to Northwood HQ
RAF Welford
(Near Newbury, Berkshire)
Sponsored Stop & Search.
Transport available from Reading.
More information
Sunday 6th of April, Meet at the footbridge over the M4 just to the south-west of RAF Welford at 2.00 pm Bershire CIA email berkshirecia@hotmail.com or phone Peter on 07790 412339 RAF Welford is one of the largest bomb-stores in Europe, and weapons from the store are currently being trucked to Fairford, where they are loaded onto US B-52 bombers and then dropped on Baghdad. Both Welford and Fairford are currently under special police powers invoked under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, which are being used to stop and search and generally hassle peace protesters in the area.
Aldermaston Aldermaston Women's SUPRISE Peace Camp
Just for women, thanks
From 11 to 13 of April. Meet at Falcon Gate, Tadley, between 7 and 9 pm Friday 11 April. Aldermaston Women's Peace Campaign
Phone : 07904 450 307
The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston and its sister site at AWE Burghfield six miles away, are at the centre of Britain's nuclear wepaons industry. Since the 1950s, as Britain developed the Polaris system, Aldermaston has been the "factory" where Britain's nuclear weapons have been researched, developed, produced, and eventually decommissioned. See the aldermaston web site for more information.
USAF Lakenheath
Celebrate the Footpaths! Sunday 13th April 2015 Lakenheath action group
There are around 30 US nuclear weapons deployed at U.S.A.F. Lakenheath in Suffolk. See the Lakenheath Action Group website for more information.

In addition to the 15 events that happened across the UK on that weekend, 10 actions at bases happened in Germany, and also in Italy, Greece, Japan and in the USA following WRI's call.

In the UK, while some of the events were small, several gathered over 100 protesters, Portsmouth Naval HQ was closed, the police were forced to abandon their stop and search intimidation techniques at Fairford and Wellford, protestors were illegaly detained by the police at PJHQ Northwood, civilian inspectors were refused entry at several bases - though some made their way in anyway - and many gates got decorated for peace. There is a full report here.

It is hard to evaluate what impact Reclaim The Bases might've had. There wasn't a big turnout, media coverage was low and the war went on.

On the other hand, judging on how often all the different military bases were accessing the Reclaim The Bases website, they were certainly concerned ; MOD police has certainly been stretched (5 different police forces were brought in to police the Northwood event), and one can assume that bases were security is paramount were on a "key-staff only" basis.

And perhaps most of all, several groups that would never have organised actions at bases otherwise did so, many people who wouldn't have been at bases otherwise came there. Through it's publicity Reclaim The Bases helped to highlight - even for all of those that didn't come - the role of the military (so often forgotten for politicians), and it's omnipresence in our society.

RtB Summer Camp

Following on the RtB weekend, D10 thought about organising a camp to bring together all those people who campained and organised events at military bases (or wanted to get involved!), to share skills and think of the future. After consultation on the RtB mailing list, it was decided to organise the camp. The camp was not an action camp - it was advertised in this way :

"22-25 August 2015 at Bluebell wood AWE Aldermaston, near Reading
D10 proudly presents Reclaim The Bases summer camp : Skill sharing, training, workshops & tips on NVDA, anti-militarism, military bases and legal issues with a focus on practical actions."

Over thirty people came to the camp, people involved in different bases such as Aldermaston, Northwood, Fairford, Menwith Hill, Portsmouth, as well as people not involved in any specific base but coming from a general antimilitarist/antiwar perspective. The programme, as it actually happened, was :
And of course, much networking and skill sharing happened informally, around the camp fire (beer recomended) or elsewhere. A good time has been had by all, and, as a bonus, several ideas were decided on for the future of RtB :
  1. Another weekend of events at military bases around the UK
    It was agreed to call for this for the 17th and 18th of January 2015
  2. A central resource (website) for nvda events
    It was proposed that we all use the nvda-uk website (http://www.nvda-uk.org/) as a calandar for events.
  3. A central resource (website) for information on bases
    It was proposed to use the RtB website (http://www.reclaimthebases.org.uk/) as a central point to gather all information about military bases of use to activists. SEO Expert

RtB Weekend, 2015

As planned during the RtB Summer Camp, there was a RtB weekend of actions at military bases happening on the 17th & 18th of January 2015. Smaller in scale than the previous weekend of 2015 - as the war seemed further away - there was still events happening at 6 military bases around the UK on the same weekend : RAF Molesworth, USAF Lakenheath, USAF Feltwell, USAF Mildenhall, Northwood HQ and the army amunition depot at Kineton.

Fourty to Fifty people went to Northwood HQ to enact the bases' bloody history (see here for full story), a smaller group of 9 people (and a very large dog) protested at RAF Molesworth (see here for full story) and a very motivated group of human nukes (and their mushroom clouds) visited USAF Lakenheath, USAF Feltwell and USAF Mildenhall (see here for full story), while an undefined group of anarchists and anti-war protestors were visiting the army amunition depot at Kineton (see here, as a comment to the main message).