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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Village protest at missile defence
Menwith Hill
A protest is also taking place at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire
Campaigners are descending at an airbase in south Northamptonshire to protest against US plans to set up a space-based missile defence system.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) scheduled the event because the group believes RAF Croughton could play a role in the new American "Star Wars" programme.

The US plan to develop a defensive screen to track and destroy incoming ballistic missiles depends on the use of early warning systems in Greece and the UK.

CND opposes the system believing it could start a new arms race among nuclear powers.

Villager's fears

Ken Barfoot, who lives in Croughton village, told BBC Radio Northampton the prospect of a new weapons system being based there was frightening.

He said: "If there were to be any chemical, biological, nuclear or any kind of attack against the Americans I would be a target.

"I would be on the firing line, and I don't like that. I've got six children, and I've got their interests at heart.

"I don't like having to leave my village and drive past servicemen with loaded guns each time I leave the village."

RAF Croughton was established as a base prior to the Second World War, but began a communications role with the establishment of a USAF Global Airways Station in 1951.

Campaigners have organised a walk round the perimeter fence to view satellite dishes and aerials at the base, followed by a rally and a picnic.

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