Fighting on All Fronts


Lindis Percy as KPC guest speaker


26 people came to our November meeting to hear peace campaigner and non-violent direct activist Lindis Percy talk about ways of confronting authority and making a difference.  In our secretive society, decisions that affect us all are often made behind closed doors, so it becomes a challenge even finding out the facts so that protest can be started before the decisions are set in concrete.  Part of Lindis’ work consists in regular research on planning applications, and briefing MPs to ask parliamentary questions, especially on the recent plans to upgrade Menwith Hill and Fylingdales spy stations.  Defence Secretary Hoon, asked many times to place in the House library a copy of the secretive Memorandum of Understanding between Britain and the US on missile defence, and refusing to do so on grounds of confidentiality, has finally yielded, and the memorandum can now be read by MPs, though not yet by the general public. 

Lindis’ MP is John Prescott, and she is a regular visitor to his surgery.  She advises such face to face contact with MPs, in addition to writing.  After receiving an often vague reply from your MP to your written question, she advises writing again with another question arising out of his answer, to focus his mind better on the issue.

Another method of bringing questions out into the open often used by Lindis is not for the faint hearted.  She tests the legality of byelaws especially around Menwith Hill by provoking arrest for removing the signs as being misleading to the general public, and for ‘trespass’.  She has been arrested many times, and thus brings before the courts the question of the legality of Menwith Hill and US air bases.  There are ten US air bases in Britain.  They are described as RAF bases, with a token RAF liaison officer, but are under total US control.  Her aim is to reduce this number to zero.

She will not readily accept court decisions, and has had illegally-imposed bail conditions removed by magistrates on appeal. 

Lindis, together with Anni Rainbow, has formed the organisation Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB).  They maintain a regular vigil at Menwith Hill, and focus their attention on increasing awareness of the absurd Star Wars project, of which Menwith Hill and Fylingdales are an integral part.  Now that Bush has been elected US president, this comic book military scheme will probably go ahead as part of the US aim to militarise space.  Lindis explained that the objective at these sites is not purely military.  Menwith Hill is the largest intelligence-gathering facility in the world,  surveying all forms of electronic communication, and is used for US commercial as well as military spying.  [According to a Hoon parliamentary reply, we taxpayers pay £20 million every year operating the Fylingdales radar (19/6/03), though it is unclear whether we are given any commercial info in return.  Probably not.  HD]

Those who know Lindis only through her famous climb of the gates at Buckingham palace to protest Bush’s recent visit, should have come along to our meeting to meet this feisty and intelligent lady.


You can support this vital work by sending a cheque directly to:  CAAB, account number 50095311 , the Co-operative Bank plc, 6 Tyrell Street, Bradford, BD1 1RJ