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    The flags of the United States and Germany fly behind a sign at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

    Protesters Demand Closure of US Nuclear Base in Germany

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    Protesters gathered at the Ramstein US military base in Germany over the weekend to protest the placement and modernization of nuclear weapons in western Germany.

    Around 1,500 protesters gathered to demand the closure of the Ramstein US Air Force base in Germany in a rally organized by the "Stopp Ramstein" activist group.

    According to organizers, it was the biggest protest at the US military base in 25 years. The protesters also demanded that the German government ban military operations involving drones on the country's territory. Reiner Braun of the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms told Sputnik Deutschland that the group aims to stop the likelihood of retaliatory strikes against the region because of its military base.

    "We are rallying against the anti-air system controlled from Ramstein, which increasingly tightens its encirclement of Russia. We reject the modernization of nuclear weapons. Because of this, we want the base to close," Braun told Sputnik Deutschland.

    Stopp Ramstein ist gestartet

    Posted by Jürgen Lutterkordt on Saturday, 26 September 2015

    Braun added that the protest was a prelude to a multi-year campaign against the base, and that the protesters aim to return next year in larger numbers. According to Braun, the nuclear weapons at the base present a danger to local residents. The group also protests against the placement of new B 61-12 nuclear bombs at the base by the United States military, recently reported on by Germany's ZDF television.

    "Where weapons are placed, retaliatory strikes take place. So in case of war, retaliatory strikes will hit the regions where military bases are located. Because of this, the population of Kaiserslautern and adjacent territories is subject to critical risks in case of war," Braun added.

    Braun also said that the group seeks to dissolve NATO, saying that Germany's departure from organization would weaken the alliance but not liquidate it. To overcome NATO, a structure similar to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should be created, according to the activists.

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    Tags:
    nuclear weapons, protest, US Air Force, Ramstein, Germany
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