VIDEO: Guantanamo Bay protest at Harrogate base

A Harrogate campaigner will fast for 24 hours at RAF Menwith Hill this weekend in a bid to encourage US authorities to shut detainment centre Guantanamo Bay.

Lindis Percy, Coordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB), will begin her fast at 7am on Saturday, to raise awareness of what she believes has become a human rights violation at the centre in Cuba.

Lindis Percy outside Menwith Hill.

Lindis Percy outside Menwith Hill.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and black hood, seasoned campaigner Lindis’ effort is one of the many demonstrations planned worldwide this weekend to mark 100 days of hunger strikes for many of the detainees.

Lindis explained what she hopes to achieve this week.

She said: “It is a call to action, international and national, to hold some sort of protest about what is going on in Guantanamo Bay, the US naval base in Cuba.

“There are 166 detainees there and are 130 on hunger strike because they don’t have any hope. Really, it is a human rights issue. It is shocking that President Obama, who promised to close Guantanamo Bay when he came to power, has not done it.”

RAF Menwith Hill, based just outside Harrogate, was built in 1954 and used to monitor Soviet Union communications. It is currently used to provide communications services to both the UK and US governments. Both the RAF and US Air Force use the base.

Lindis explained her fast: “It is about bringing awareness as to what is happening. It is appropriate to come here to an American base with links all over the world to highlight this. I will be doing a 24 hour fast in solidarity for these people who are being detained.

“There will be demonstrations in London, Birmingham, here and in the states.

“I think it is a very important base Menwith Hill, with links straight through to the Pentagon. I also believe that people working here on the base, some of them don’t like what’s going on at all.

“The shame of Guantanamo Bay is on America, and also on the rest of the world.”

Lindis is no stranger to demonstrations and Menwith Hill.

She was charged in 2012 with the alleged obstruction of three Ministry of Defence Police Agency officer during a weekly Tuesday evening demonstration at Menwith Hill in August 2011.

In April 2012, Occupy Movement protestors held a four day campsite at the base, hoping to ignite debate about the nature of activities at the facility.

Read more in Thursday’s Harrogate Advertiser.