Anti-governmental spying march in Britain

NSA spying scandal in the USA, cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yorkshire marks century of activism

Monday 17 June 2013

by Peter Lazenby

Peace campaigners announced plans today to march to a US intelligence-gathering base in Yorkshire next month, marking 100 years of activism.

Politicians and human rights groups were left shocked earlier this week following revelations about the spying activities of the US National Security Agency‘s (NSA) base at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire.

The British government’s equivalent of the NSA, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has staff at Menwith Hill, which is located outside the town of Harrogate.

Leaked documents revealed NSA involvement, along with GCHQ, in intercepting politicians’ emails and other “intelligence-gathering” activities.

Peace activists including the Yorkshire-based Campaign for Accountability of American Bases (Caab) have long campaigned for the closure of the base.

This year’s protest will have special significance.

In 1913, when the first world war loomed, northern pacifists formed the Northern Friends Peace Board.

They supported conscientious objectors who refused to take part in the imperialist war.

Many objectors were imprisoned at Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire.

On June 29 a party of 18 peace campaigners will set off to walk 35 miles from Richmond Castle to Menwith Hill to join the demonstration on July 4.

Birmingham Stop the War Coalition chairwoman Salma Yaqoob and Guantanamo Files author Andy Worthington will speak at the demonstration.

Caab co-ordinator Lindis Percy said: “This year the demonstration is particularly pertinent and important given the recent release of documents by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealing what the NSA has been up to.

“Menwith Hill is also crucial to the US Missile Defence System.”

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10 thoughts on “Anti-governmental spying march in Britain

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