Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group joined many other groups from all parts of the country at Menwith Hill near Harrogate, on Sunday (17 October 2011), to call for the closure of the communications base, there, which provides intelligence support to the United States military.
The RAF describes the Menwith Hill base as being “owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and made available to the US Department of Defense (DoD)” (see http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/rafmenwithhill.cfm ). The RAF says that “the administration of the base is the responsibility of the US authorities.” and, in July 2007, the then Defence Minister, Des Browne, admitted that Britain had agreed to Menwith Hill being used by US forces as part of its controversial missile defence (‘Star Wars’) system.
Pat Sanchez, on behalf of the peace group said:
“It is outrageous enough that the US military are allowed to spy on the world from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Pennines, but even more frightening that they are being allowed to absorb Menwith Hill into their dangerous plans for sending missiles into space. We do not want our countryside used for the Pentagon’s Star Wars fantasies. We do not want our world to be intimidated by US missiles and we do not want people in the Pennines to become a target during a future military conflict.”"The decision to let the US use Menwith Hill in this way was made without any debate in Parliament or even the pretence of consultation with the public. There was no chance for MPs, let alone the public to discuss the decision to tie Menwith Hill into the so-called missile defence system." This totally unnecessary system will protect no-one, but it will threaten all of us, by giving the US the ability to strike without any fear of retaliation," she added.