Menwith Hill is the most important communications centre in the slaughter being inflicted on the Iraqi people. It houses, behind enormous razor wired fences, the military communications that make this war possible. Don't look for it on a map, it's not on any official map. It's supposed to be secret.
Despite the huge police presence in and around the base, over a thousand people came together to send a clear message to the warmongers. We don't want your war, and we don't want your bases either.
Meeting at the Main Gate on Menwith Hill Road, people of all ages marched and danced to sounds of the Sheffield Samba Band. Foil kites, balloons, wind funnels, hats, banners and placards.
We made our way around the base to the Nessfield Gate where calls were made to invade the base. People approached the gates and the fences, challenging the police presence. The atmosphere changed as more people moved towards the fences, pushing at them, testing them. The police numbers increased too, but that didn't seem to matter. Police attitudes began to change, safely behind the wired fence police intelligence teams started to film protesters. They were filmed back by activists.
As people moved on, having adorned the fences with foil, so we began to further test defences. Individuals, and small groups breached the growing police lines to reach the fence and decorate it.
At the Steeplebush Gate, with the Samba Band in full flow some people again slowly surged towards the gates, decorating them with foil to sabotage the communications equipment. Scuffles broke out as the police tried to intimidate and bully protesters. Police in a heavy handed manner tried to force people away from the gates. A cheer went up as a police helmet soared into the air.
Beyond the gates, the calls to invade the base increased. Groups of people began to surge through gaps in the outer small fences and ditches. A mass trespass of 'military land' happened as people surged through trees and bushes towards the base. This was met by police with dogs, and threats to arrest people. At least eight people were arrested, although most were released later.
Police clad in riot gear, blue helmets and the full gear, appeared from inside the base and some violence began. Some people were clubbed, kicked, and set on. Young women and men were dragged face down through bushes, mud, and trees and then ejected over fences - On the road people shouted 'shame on you' at the police over-reaction.
As I left I could still see people undeterred breaking through to reach the fences and the war machine beyond.
It was a wonderful, inspiring day where people of all ages showed their determination to oppose this war.
Lessons have been learnt. We will be back.
NO MORE WAR.