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Demonstrate against NATO in April 2009!
FW: [tribina] Pls. FWD //// Fw: Demonstrate against NATO in April 2009!
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 06:32:56 -0800
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [tribina] Pls. FWD //// Fw: Demonstrate against NATO in April 2009!
A quick update on the anti-NATO campaign launched by the Germans and French. Many orgs. in several countries are signed up thus far for the campaign and demo in Strasbourg (first week of April).
Reiner Braun of the German organizing committee came last month to talk to the French collectif; they don’t want only activist groups there – they want it to be a popular mass demonstration, like the Feb 2003 ones.
Carrying national flags at the demo is discouraged, placards and banners with anti-NATO slogans and/or peace symbols being preferred.
Strasbourg plans subject to change, but currently as follows:
Thurs April 2nd to Sun 5th:
Counter-summit. Peace Village.
Friday April 3rd
Day of direct action and civil disobedience
Saturday April 4th:
International demonstration against NATO and the spread of war
Sunday April 5th:
Final (main) day of counter-summit which will be addressed by Noam Chomsky, amongst others.
Germany will have a large contingent there: Die Linke is heavily involved.
Reiner mentioned that the situation in Germany is quite different compared to countries like France, in that the German Churches are highly active in the peace/antiwar movement.
Even though the police will be out in force in Strasbourg, he said protestors should not be intimidated – the more we are, the less we need to worry about police presence. (If, as seems likely, Obama is there, one may envisage an extra 5,000 US security guards…..)
Everyone stressed the importance of getting the word out about Strasbourg (only three months away); the organizers don’t want 10,000 people there, they’re aiming for a truly massive demonstration. They’re relying on every group to inform all their contacts and they ask every individual to spread the word.
Also raised was the fact that many people are ill-informed about what NATO is, not realizing that it’s a highly aggressive military alliance. So for those with fuzzy notions, the idea is to keep pushing a negative message and seek to get it imprinted in people’s minds; Denis of ACG said an eye-catching, easy-to-retain slogan should be chosen for use on all flyers, communications, website pages, concerning the campaign. He suggested NATO = WAR. The Mouvement de la paix people didn’t comment on that idea. No surprise there, as they don’t go in much for powerful slogans…… some of the other groups liked it, though.
I’m keeping you up to date as I know you’re interested – I believe I already sent you the appeal in English (attached again). Here is the list, to date, of the participating orgs. (the appeal is in German, the list is beneath it):
Please do mobilize your Serbian friends! and any others.
NO TO WAR – NO TO NATO
On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the NATO military organisation, we appeal to all people to come to Strasbourg and Kehl in April 2009, to protest against NATO’s aggressive military and nuclear policies, and to assert our vision of a just world, free of war.
NATO is an increasing obstacle to achieving world peace. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has reinvented itself as a tool for military action by the "international community", including the promotion of the so-called "war on terror". In reality it is a vehicle for US-led use of force with military bases on all continents, bypassing the United Nations and the system of international law, accelerating militarisation and escalating arms expenditure – NATO countries account for 75% of global military expenditure. Pursuing that expansionist agenda since 1991, designed to advance strategic and resource interests, NATO has waged war in the Balkans, under the guise of so-called "humanitarian war", and has waged seven years of brutal war in Afghanistan, where the tragic situation is escalating and the war has expanded into Pakistan.
In Europe NATO is worsening tensions, feeding the arms race with so-called "missile defence", a massive nuclear arsenal and a nuclear first-strike policy. EU policy is increasingly tied to NATO. NATO’s ongoing and potential expansion into eastern Europe and beyond, and its "out of area" operations are making the world a more dangerous place. The conflict in the Caucasus is a clear indication of the dangers. Each advance of the NATO border increases the possibility of war, including the use of nuclear weapons.
To achieve our vision of a peaceful world, we reject military responses to global and regional crises – these are part of the problem, not part of the solution. We refuse to live under the terror of nuclear weapons, and we reject a new arms race. We must decrease military expenditure – directing resources instead to meeting human needs. We must close down all foreign military bases. We oppose all military structures used for military intervention. We must democratise and demilitarise the relations between peoples and establish new forms of peaceful cooperation to build a more secure and just world.
We call on you to spread this message in your communities and movements, to come to Strasbourg and Kehl and to make this vision a reality. We believe that a world of peace is possible.
No to war – No to NATO
International protest activities will include a mass demonstration on Saturday 4 April, a counter-summit from Thursday 2 April to Sunday 5 April, direct action and civil disobedience, and a resistance camp from Wednesday 1 April to Sunday 5 April.
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