[fyeg_gen-l] Maltese peace activist arrested in UK

Natalie Debono ndebono at ba-malta.org
Tue Oct 7 11:11:18 CEST 2003

Hi people

I am forwarding you this article that appeared in today's newspaper.  John
Axiaq who was arrested in England and previously in Belgium, works for
Motherearth and had written about Nukes in FYEG's  July/August Ecosprinter.

natalie has sent you an article from timesofmalta.com.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Maltese peace activist arrested in UK >

A Maltese man was among 11 peace campaigners arrested yesterday following a
protest by the Lakenheath Action Group at a US air base in Suffolk, UK.

John Axiak, 19, from Zurrieq, was arrested while taking part in an
international "citizens inspection team", according to the group, which
maintains that RAF Lakenheath is the primary US tactical air base in Europe,
storing nuclear weapons. The group opposes the US presence at the base.

Mr Axiak, who is living in Belgium and does voluntary work for the
Ghent-based non-governmental organisation For Mother Earth, was in the UK
specifically for the action, the group said.

He joined activists from around the UK and elsewhere in Europe to take part
in a day of non-violent direct action.

Mr Axiak was arrested for criminal damage after entering the base, where he
had intended to carry out a "citizens weapons inspection", and is now being
held in police custody, the action group said.

Anu Korhonen, legal support for the international citizens weapons
inspection team, said they travelled to Lakenheath to search for evidence of
weapons of mass destruction.

"We are appalled at the hypocrisy of the US, which is willing to go to war
over unconfirmed reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, while they
maintain their own illegal nuclear weapons at Lakenheath and threaten to use

The inspection team plans to send a copy of its inspection report to members
of the UN security council.

The group said it had spoken to US military personnel guarding the base, who
could "neither confirm, nor deny" the presence of nuclear weapons.

Despite the official policy of silence, it was clear from the nuclear safety
awards that the base has received that nuclear weapons are present, the
group maintained. It is not the first time the 19-year-old Maltese has had a
brush with the law.

Last February, Mr Axiaq was arrested in Belgium and faced deportation for
participating in a non-violent protest against the war on Iraq.

Together with other peaceful protesters, he was trying to block a train that
was claimed to have been transporting weapons and other military material
for use in the war on Iraq.

The peace activists intended to tie themselves to the train when it stopped
to change tracks, but never did so as it did not come to a halt.

This article may also be viewed at

More information about the fyeg_gen-l mailing list