"60 Years are more than enough: No to NATO. No to War!"
7 April 2009
Joseph Healy, one of the Green Party's European Parliament candidates for London, recently attended the international protests to mark the 60th anniversary NATO Summit in Strasbourg and the counter summit held on the following day.
In the protest march, he carried a banner with Kate Hudson (CND) and Andrew Murrary (chair, Stop the War).
We reproduce here the statement from the International Coordinating Committee of "No to NATO" (a coalition which includes Stop the War and CND), issued on 5th April 2009:
Our actions against aggressive NATO military policy during its 60th birthday from April 1st to 5th 2009, and at the end of the worldwide week of action of the World Social Forum in Belem, have been a great success despite massive obstructions. Our goal is to dissolve and dismantle NATO.
Along the lines of 'No to NATO - No to War!' thousands of people protested and participated in the international demonstration, the international conference, actions of civil and pacifist disobedience and the camp.
People from peace movements from all NATO countries were united to democratise and demilitarise the relationships between the people and to search for new forms of peaceful cooperation.
The German and French governments' fear of their own citizens was obvious. It is the only explanation for the massive obstruction for the people living in this region, the police brutality, the many chicanes, the partial closing of the borders and the invalidation of the Schengen Treaty. Basic democratic rights were trampled on. Violence comes from the powerful and ruling. We want the end of the militarisation of the interior. We are defending Democracy.
The old NATO of confrontation of the two blocs with arms races, nuclear missiles, nuclear war plans lost its function at the end of the cold war. The new "global NATO" threatens with worldwide, unlawful military policy of intervention - hundreds of thousands of people and the environment, prevents the civilising of international politics, and blocks solutions to global challenges. With the adoption of the preemptive strike strategy from the Bush era, the danger of new wars, even with nuclear weapons, threatens.
Because of this, we demonstrated on April 4th 2009 for a political and peaceful answer to international conflicts, for the withdrawal of all troops - and an end to the war - in Afghanistan, disarmament, countering poverty, the protection of the environment, social justice and the realisation of human rights.
We are against the militarisation of the European Union and against the Lisbon Treaty, because it imposes a role for NATO on the EU. We want all foreign military bases, and all military structures used for wars, to be closed. We want the military budgets to decrease noticeably and the transfer of the resources to counter the rising global social problems, all the more in the biggest crisis for 80 years. The way out of the global crisis is not the martial rearrangement under the dictate of capital.
Our goal is a peace - spreading Europe in a world of solidarity. This is what we are going to work for.
Our participation in the 'birthday celebration' of NATO and other actions on April 4th in US, Turkey, Cyprus etc, were the start of numerous further actions against NATO in 2009 and in the following years. We stood up for freedom, we will resume our resistance against war and authoritarian states. We will continue our international cooperation 'No to NATO. No to War!'
60 years after the founding of NATO, and 20 years since the end of the Cold War confrontation of the blocs, we say "No to NATO" as a requirement for a world without war, for peace, justice, solidarity and democracy.
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