Over 5,000 Germans turned up to a protest on Saturday against the US air force's use of the Ramstein base in south-west Germany. The US military uses the base to control drone strikes which kill innocent civilians, which protestors say is breaking German and international law.
Despite the considerable public opposition to the base, the demonstration received barely a mention in the German press. Of the leading German broadcasters, only the regional Suedwestrunk (SDR) reported on the protest.
"The media in Germany leaves no doubt that it is necessary to raise Germany's firm anchor in NATO as a pledge of peace and democracy," Klaus Hartmann, Chairman of the German Free Thinkers Association told Sputnik Deutschland at the peace festival which was held later the same in the nearby city of Kaiserslautern.
"There is great anger that such a big center for drones is tolerated here in Ramstein, such a center for espionage, whose terrible effects even have an indirect relation to the conflict in North Korea," Dehm said.
The festival and the human chain protest were organized by the Stopp Air Base Ramstein group of activists. The human chain was 5.2 kilometers long and stretched around the perimeter of the airbase, which serves as headquarters for US Air Force Europe, and is also used as a NATO base.
In December, the German government finally admitted that the US air force is using the base to carry out drone strikes which are used in anti-terror operations and to carry out extra-legal killings.
Die Linke deputy Andrej Hunko told Sputnik that at the least, the government needs to carry out a review into the US activities at Ramstein.
"They kill one or a few terrorists, but they also kill a lot of innocent people too. For many people in these regions there is a permanent fear that a drone could hit them at any time."