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Against NATO: Continuing the struggle – until the summit in Portugal (and beyond)

From 15-18 October a series of meetings took place in Berlin, to discuss the continuation of work against NATO and the war in Afghanistan after Strasbourg. A special focus was on European and international co-operation.

On 15 October groups that participated in the nonviolent blockade of Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU in Strasbourg met: the Werkstatt für gewaltfreie Aktion Baden, Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie, DFG-VK from Germany, and War Resisters' International, Vredesactie (Belgium), AA-MOC (Spain), ofog (Sweden), Trident Ploughshares (Britain), AKL (Finland), Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-Nato (PAGAN – Portugal), Ne zakladnam (Czech Republic), Mirovna Akcija (Macedonia), and some more. The purpose of the meeting was to build on past European co-operation and to improve coordination of our work in the coming year, and to discuss possible activities for the NATO summit in Portugal. The groups present decided on a range of joint activities:

  • joint participation in the blockade of the British nuclear weapons factory AWE Aldermaston on 15 February 2010. Linked to this it is planned to organise a joint seminar and training;
  • A day of decentralised actions on Easter 2010, with actions on all European nuclear weapon bases. This day of action is linked to the review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will take place from 3-28 May 2010 in New York. The actions should especially highlight the role of nuclear weapons in NATO's strategy;
  • A day of decentralised actions against NATO and infrastructure for military interventions. The Spanish groups proposed to hold this day of action regularly, but there was no decision on a concrete date.
  • Actions of civil disobedience during the NATO-summit in Portugal. The groups are now discussing what is possible in Portugal.

In addition, there was a lot of discussion on the violence in Strasbourg, and how this can be avoided or minimised in the future.

At a meeting of the International Afghanistan-Network on 17 October in the city hall of Berlin more activities against the war in Afghanistan have been decided, especially an alternative or counter-conference to the international Afghanistan conference in Germany or France, proposed by French President Sarkozy and German chancellor Merkel for spring 2010. Also, the 8/9 October were set as dates for an international day of action against war and occupation in Afghanistan.

On the weekend 17/18 October an international working conference No-to-NATO took place with more than 100 participants. This conference discussed the continuation of the work of the International Coalition No-to-NATO after Strasbourg. Here too the discussion on the violence in Strasbourg took a lot of space. As a result of this discussion it was decided to do a realistic threat analysis for future activities and to organise observer teams to document police violence and other assaults. It was also decided to form a working group on nonviolence training, which will especially work on training concepts for de-escalation.

Besides the activities mentioned above, the conference decided for an international conference in Georgia in June 2010. Regarding the NATO summit in Portugal, it was decided to aim for an action concepts that – similar to Strasbourg – will include a demonstration, an action camp, a counter-conference and actions of civil disobedience. It is also planned to organise an Activist Conference in Portugal in September 2010.

The conference also appointed a new International Coordinating Committee, which will coordinate the work of the international anti-NATO coalition in the future. It includes representatives from Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, the Czech Republic and the USA.

Andreas Speck

Information:



International Anti-NATO coalition: http://no-to-nato.org (will be reworked in the near future)
NATO pages of WRI: http://www.wri-irg.org/campaigns/shutdown-nato
PAGAN, Portugal: https://antinatoportugal.wordpress.com/

Contacts:



Aldermaston: Angie Zelter, Trident Ploughshares. reforest@gn.apc.org or info@wri-irg.org for international participation
Day of action, Easter 2010: Vredesactie, hans@vredesactie.be
Actions of civil disobedience in Portugal: War Resisters' International: info@wri-irg.org



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Article | by Dr. Radut