Ulla Røder / Ulla Roder
The Trident Three on their way to work.
Source: Peace News.
Ulla Røder
Ulla Røder, November 2004

Røder, Bodil Ulla

Born August, 1954

A Danish peace activist, pacifist and organiser. Permanent resident and social work in Scotland from May 2000 till 2004 at a YMCA-community and education centre. The accident at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in 1986 and the continued French, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese nuclear tests beginning in 1995 onwards became epoch-making events for Ulla Røder. She became aware of that the fragile state of the world means that infinite little will have to happen to turn the world upside down. She became a member of several Danish and foreign peace organisations and groups: Founding member of the Danish Working Group Against Nuclear Tests protesting against the tests and development of a new generation of weapons including small tactical nuclear weapons = mini nukes.

A member of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Scottish Coalition for Justice not War; the Danish branch of the War Resister’s International; the Peace Tax Foundation; elected Secretary for the Danish Peace Commission of 1998 who published the report 'Elskværdig sikkerhed' as an alternative to the Defence Commission official report; the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, the Co-ordinating Committee of the Danish Peace Groups; Women for Peace; Women in Black and the June Movement and the popular movement against the EU. Took part in a campaign through the Baltic States in 1997 as well as in an OCSE-Shadow Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations in Warsaw on the development of new nuclear weapons and the expansion of NATO and the EU Union. In the same year participated in the protests against the NASA Cassini project.

Letter sent to the Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen July 18, 1998 regarding the pledge to prevent nuclear crime given to the group Trident Ploughshares, having joined this network. On March 12, 1999 a letter is sent to Danish parliamentarians critical to NATO’s first strike strategy, asking them to support Trident Ploughshares and this was followed up by letter to Mr. Nyrup Rasmussen in letter of April 29, 1999 telling him,

Prime Minister, I would really like you to change your mind and start working changing these developments so that less of our faxes are spent on military powers. Please use that money to build a better life for the Danish population and let us hope for enough solidarity to help the needy of this world on their way towards a higher standard of living. Then I believe a more peaceful world will automatically be established. Until this happens I will, as a responsible citizen, do everything I possible can to abolish military weapons by personally disarming them.”

On September 25, 1998 on behalf of Women for Peace mailed a letter to all members of the parliament on the illegality of NATO’s nuclear weapons under International law and their duties to ensure not to take part in crimes defined in the Nuremberg Principles.

Took part in an official hearing with Danish Politicians on the decision process on Danish support to The US planned attack on Iraq and NATO participation in Kosova, in the former Upper House floor in the Parliament building Christiansborg and the Women’s International League’s campaign Project Humanitarian Aid to the Iraqi people.

In 1996 she became a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Took part in the League’s Gertrud Baer’s Summer School in 1997 where the Leaque introduced her to non-violent direct actions at womens camps at the AWE Aldermaston and US NSA Menwith Hill bases; and as a member of the board Ulla Røder took part in the WIND campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons and took part in the daily work of the league.

Took part in the Hague Agenda for Peace conference 1999 and the March for Peace from the Peace Palace in The Hague to the NATO Headquarter in Brussels. Also same year took part in the peace-march from Aldermaston, Southern of England to Faslane in Scotland with campaigning at among others the Royal Ordinance Special Metals (Depleted Uranium) factory at Featherstone near Wolverhampton. Takes part in the Trident Ploughshares yearly disarmament camps in Coulport 1998 - 2004.

Ulla Røder disarmed partly Maytime, the military nuclear test laboratory for nuclear submarines in 1999, located at Loch Goil in Scotland together with Ellen Moxley and Angela (Angie) Zelter. Ulla Røder were subsequently remanded and charged for wilfully and malicious damage and theft. The Trident Three were found not guilty in all charges later same year.

The reasoning for the acquittal was the International Court of Justice in the Hague advisory opinion. For the defence were expert witnesses on International laws – including the Nuremberg Judgement.

Participates in the World Court Project leading to the international Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the legality of threat or use of nuclear weapons July 1996. Inger Bjørn Andersen from Women for Peace follows this up among others with a letter to the Danish parliament and the representative of NATO, July 1999. Erik Lau Christensen from the Danish Peace Tax Foundation writes to both the British and Danish governments August 31, 1999 "Concerning Nuclear weapons and observance of international agreements etc.": "We further beg the British Government to ensure that the decisions of the Nuremberg-tribunal following the World War 2 and all the juridical implications are carefully considered and used in favour of the accused in the actual case. "

Only few Danish politicians reflect on the correspondence; Danish newspapers published not much of the public letters regarding disarmament.

The Loch Goil action was criticised by the Danish branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: "the League as an organisation cannot support this kind of action in which Ulla has been involved. This is reaching far over the definition of non-violence and civil disobedience"; but Ulla Røder was supported by the War resisters international. Their Danish branch stated, "Continue the fight, because future generations will wonder why such a small number participated. As long as the actions are non-violent, responsible and open they have our full support". Ulla Røder’s action is also supported by the Peace Tax Foundation and by Women for Peace.

Trident Ploughshares' non-violent direct actions are not alone civil disobedience actions. To commit civil disobedience you will have to breach the law, but the International Humanitarian Law justifies the intervention of civilians when crimes against humanity are planned or being committed. From the Nuremberg Tribunal of 1946, the core of the law, "the Judgement of the International Military Tribunal said [in the Law of the Charter which is non-paginated: see the section immediately after dealing with Article 228 of the Treaty of Versailles], in the context of punishing individuals who order or participate in such Crimes, "individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the State".

April 2001, she participated in Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space Conference, Leeds.

At the demonstration May 1, 2001 in her hometown Odense Ulla Røder speaks about 'No more butchery – enough is enough'. Following this a full-page interview was made in 'Fyens Stifttidende'.

In 2001 the Lord advocate’s reference no. 1 of 2000 by her Majesty’s Advocate is launched, referring for the opinion of the high court on points of law in the case HMA v. Angela Zelter, Bodil Ulla Røder, Ellen Moxley, 30 March 2001, Lord Prosser, Lord Penrose, Lord Kirkwood, which is interpreted by the Scottish legal establishment as ruling out any justification for damage to property (unless under special circumstances). The appeal court the Court of Justiciary in Edinburg gave this opinion, but it was not an appeal case).

After this LAR ruling an action was taken in the Scottish Parliament April 4, 2001. Ulla Røder and 10 activists were arrested and a trial followed. The verdict was 'not proven'. Defending Ulla solicitor Joanna McDonald argued that the evidence led by the Crown had not been sufficient to meet the terms of the libel against her. Sheriff Craik appeared to agree and said: "A certain latitude of behaviour must be allowed in bona fide political protest".

At a demonstration against the British Nuclear Weapons at the MOD Naval Base, Faslane, Scotland August 2000 Ulla Røder is arrested together with 69 other British protesters as well as foreign protesters.

At the Big Blockade at Faslane in 2001 three hundred and fifty citizens are arrested among them also Ulla Røder.

Ulla Røder is remanded in HMA Cornton Vale Prison in Stirling, Scotland August 2001, being found guilty of 4 of 6 cases with charges of among others breach of the peace and malicious damage to fences at Faslane and Coulport bases; for her swimming to the Trident Submarine 'Vanguard' writing 'useless' on the hull. For these different 4 actions Ulla Røder is passed a sentence of three month total and the Procurator Fiscal recommended a deportation order. The Home Office later declined to deport Ulla Røder.

She starts Fylingdales Star Peace Camp May 2002 being concerned about president George W. Bush’s Star Wars Projects, which will start weapons proliferation and lead to deployment and use of Weapons in Space. This Camp she left after a demand of the bailiff in December 2002.

Again arrested together with Graham Kaynes in December 2002. They had cut through the two fences and Graham Kaynes had concealed himself in the razor wires when they were arrested. They tried to get access to an American Milsatcom satellite communication- and command facility, which is used as part of the US Space Command’s Long Range Plan of 1998.

February 2003 Newbury Magistrates Court 'rewarded' Ulla Røder two years suspended sentence and to pay a compensation to the Atomic Weapon Establishment Aldermaston for a fence cutting action during Trident Ploughshares yearly disarmament camp.

Before the illegal attack on the sovereignty of Iraq by the Coalition forces Ulla Røder spoke on the Labour CND conference in Glasgow, February, 14 - and joined the international mass-protest in London February, 15. She joined a demonstration at RAF Leuchars March, 8 and shortly before the outbreak of the war Røder enters the base and disarms a British Tornado Jet to prevent further crimes against humanity to be committed against the Iraqi people.

Since the official hearing on Iraq and the campaign against sanctions in Denmark in 1998 several public letters and protest letters to politicians have been sent and rallies have taken place. February 22, 2002 a 'Citizens Complaint against members of the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) and of Employees in establishments concerned with the Development, transportation, preparation, guarding and deployment of British Nuclear Weapons' were handed in at police stations across the UK. Ulla Røder handed the complaint to the police at the RAF Fylingdales Base: "Defence secretary Geoff Hoon suggested that the Government is prepared to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states if they ever use chemical or biological weapons to attack UK armed forces deployed against them. This is clearly directed against Iraq… Everyone, military and civilian has the legal duty to ensure that they are not involved in serious wrongdoing. We therefore hold each individual involved in the UK nuclear weapon system personally responsible for their neglect of the law, and for the preparation of crimes against humanity". The police as well as the British Government ignored these protests as well as the mass-protest in London and worldwide. The case was later forwarded to the International Criminal Court, who has received this, stating "with interest".

After the arrest at RAF Leuchars she were remanded – no bail in question at that time. She was released without bail conditions 8th August 2003 after the prosecution failed to have an interpreter in in the High Court in connection with an extension of the time on remand. This trial is not yet started. Ulla Røder 'took a leave' from the proceedings after 15 intermediate diets and the trial date adjourned for 5 times in order to protect her rights to a fair trial.

In November 2004 she turns up at an action in the Danish Parliament going to vote for an illegal continuation of the Danish military presence in Iraq and delivered the official statement from the Danish Campaign 'Nej til Krig' of November 23, 2004.

Have received the Danish branch of War Resisters International 'Fredsrose' 2000; The Peace Tax Foundation’s grant 1999; and the Right Livelihood Award, 2001 in the Swedish Parliament.

Selected literature

Terp, Holger: Ulla Røder biography in Danish. With many links and online articles.
Atom u-både under belejring. In: Socialisten, 08/11/2000.
Bjerre Christensen, Nynne: For verdens skyld. In: Berlingske Tidende, 05/06/2001.
Bjerre Christensen, Nynne: Ildsjæl mod atomvåben. In: Urban, 12/13/2001.
Bjørn Andersen, Inger: World Court Project. In: Køkkenrullen, 1999:7 p 5.
Bundgaard, Bente: Star Wars : Fredsfolkets usynlige fjende. In: Information, 06/07/2002.
S1M-220 Dennis Canavan: Illegality of Nuclear Weapons
BUSINESS BULLETIN 81/1999, Monday 1 November 1999
Section F - Motions and Amendments
DR TV 1: Magtens billeder : Ullas vrede, 06/02/2004.
A Faustian Bargain : Why Stockpile Stewardship is Fundamentally incompatible with the process of disarmament / Andrew Lichterman ; Jaqueline Cabasso. – Oakland Ca.: Western State Legal Foundation, April 1998.
Fredsnydt : Højdepunkterne i fredsgaktivisten Ulla Røders karriere. In: ATS, 03/15/2003.
Hansen, Arne: Ulla Røder får dom 11. september. In: Dagbladet Arbejderen, 08/22/2002.
Harris, Richard: Druid and peace campaigner’s Star Wars fears. In: Whitley Gazette, 06/11/2002.
Jensen, Mona: Støt fredsaktivist. In: Dagbladet Arbejderen, 06/25/2003.
Møller, Grete: Ulla Røder hædret med Fredslegat. In: Køkkenrullen, 2000:1 s. 6-7.
Nepper-Rasmussen, Kirsten: Dansk kvinde frikendt for atom-hærværk. In: Fyens Stiftstidende, 10/22/1999.
Nürenberg Dommen, International Military Tribunal Nürnberg 1946, official documents, XXII, 411, 461-466, 497-498.
Ritzaus Bureau: Dansk fredsaktivist forsvundet i Skotland. In: Information, 10/16/2003.
Røder, Ulla: En lille historie.
Røder, Ulla: Not endless discussion : Real Disarmament NOW.
Røder, Ulla: Nyhedsbrev fra Ulla. In: Køkkenrullen, 2001:3 pp. 5-7.
Røder, Ulla: Thuleradaren er trædesten for Bush rumkrigsprojekt.
Røder, Ulla: USA’s langtidsplan for militarisering af rummet.
Røder, Ulla: Visit the Block the Builders Site. In: Køkkenrullen, 2004:8 pp. 4-6.
Røder, Ulla: Vær med til at blokere udbygning af Aldermaston i UK for at hindre udvikling af nye atomvåben.
Røder, Ulla: Årets gang for Ulla. In: Køkkenrullen, 2001:5 s. 10-12.
Statement of Ulla Roder 18th december 2003 : Trial in Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for damaging a Tornado Jet at RAF Leuchars 11.03.03.
Strid om vidner udsætter retssag. In: Information, 09/20/2003.
Trident Court Testimony
Trident Ploughshares: Scottish High Court Quashes Peace Activist's Supervised Attendance Order.
Trident Ploughshares: Speed the Plough... Newsletter.
Ulla Røder i Folketinget. In: Arbejderen, 11/27/2004.
Won Nuclear War. In: the Sun, 10/22/1999.
Zelter, Angie: Trident on Trial : The case for people's disarmament.
- Edingburg : Luath Press, 2001. - 312 pp. - ISBN 1-84282-004-4


Ulla Røder. Wiston Lodge, Wiston nr Biggar, Lanarkshire, ML 12 6 HT, Scotland.
e-mail B_U_R_2003@yahoo.dk.
Trident Ploughshares Affinity Group "Douglas Water":
Ian Thomson, 24 McCauslan Terrasse, Douglas Water, Lanark ML 11 9 LN, Scotland
Star Peace Camp at Fylingdales contact:
Ann Lee: flossiemintballs@aol.com
Neil Bye: neil_bye@hotmail.com

Spokeswomen for WoMENWITH WOMENS PEACE CAMP, Helen John,
Telephone No 00441943468593

Ulla Røder’s address in the Scottish Prison:
HPM Cornton Vale
Women’s Prison
Cornton Road
Scotland FK9 5NY

Support-account Manager Denmark
Women for Peace:
Birgit Arrenakke
Smedebakken 9,
DK-8400 Ebeltoft
IBAN-account number:
[DK 3353940000674093]

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