Demonstrators climb over fence and sit on Dutch air base runway 

Royal Netherlands Marechaussee /

Ten people were arrested at the Volkel Air Base in the southern Netherlands after climbing the fence and positioning themselves on the runway on August 8, 2023. The activists were reportedly protesting against CO2 emissions as well as nuclear weapons.  

“10 people have just been arrested by Air Force security at Volkel Air Base,” the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee said on Twitter. “They climbed over the fence and sat down on the track. The 10 people were handed over by security to the Constabulary for further investigation.” 

A demonstration of around 60 activists took place at the air base entrance a day before, 78 years and one day after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. 

The Netherlands is involved in NATO nuclear sharing arrangements, which entail the storage of US-made B61 nuclear gravity bombs on its territory.  

These arrangements were secretly negotiated during the Cold War and aimed to establish a rapid response to potential nuclear threats originating from the Soviet Union.  

The member states participating are also required to possess operational combat aircraft capable of deploying the stockpiled bombs. 

Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Turkey are also members of NATO nuclear sharing arrangements. Sweden and Finland mulled joining while negotiating their entry into the alliance in 2022. 

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