About 1000 people from 17 European countries went to the NATO headquarters in Brussels this morning to take part in the international non violent action NATO GAME OVER. 5 years after the start of the Iraq war and 10 days before the Bucharest NATO summit, peace activists from all over Europe show that preventing war starts here in Europe.
NATO agreements make European countries into logistical hubs for the US military. Through our ports, airports and highways the US war machine is transported to Iraq. And our own military is involved in Afghanistan as well. Iraq was invaded and Iran threatened because they are supposed to have, or to be developing weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile NATO has 350 US nuclear weapons deployed in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Turkey. According to international humanitarian law these weapons are as illegal here as elsewhere.
As from the beginning of the afternoon, peace activists walked in big numbers in the direction of the NATO and tried to get inside the site in a non-violent way. There was a huge contrast between the non-violent attitude of the peace activists and the aggressive behaviour of the police forces, who where massively present and used dogs, horses, pepper spray, sticks, water canons,... Around 500 people have been arrested. Despite this, more than 50 activists have been able to get inside the military compound to close it down.
NATO GAME OVER is not only about preventing a crime, but also about restoring a piece of democracy. The peace activists were faced with a huge amount of police, preventive arrests, kilometers of barbwire,... This is a pity. When citizens commit a crime, they are punished and their crime has to be repaired. But now that our own authorities are committing a crime, they use the police not to stop the crime, but to keep it in place.
Without NATO the war in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be possible
5 years ago the war in Iraq started. All over the world anti-war demonstrations are taking place. With NATO GAME OVER we target the military structures which make the war possible. In Afghanistan soldiers from European NATO countries fight in the US-led war on terror. NATO agreements make European countries into logistic hubs for the US military. In 2003 54000 Europe based US military personnel were deployed or worked in direct support of the war against Iraq. The US Army was deployed out of Germany and Italy, while bombing flights departed from UK bases and aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. In 2006 two thirds of the Europe based US military were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, preparing to depart or had just returned. Without Europe the Iraq war was impossible.
NATO is creating more problems than it solves
NATO is discussing its future. Ten days after NATO GAME OVER the NATO-summit in Bucharest takes place. In a lot of European countries a large amount of the population disagree with the choice of world leaders to use war and military threats to solve conflicts. Missile defense, nuclear weapons, new military bases, soldiers to Afghanistan, ... the people do not want it. But governments do not listen to these wishes. Everytime NATO stands in the way. NATO is creating more problems than it solves.
NATO GAME OVER: an international action day
On 22nd March activists from 17 European countries have nonviolently attempted to enter NATO HQ, Brussels, in order to close it. Action groups from all over Europe give the signal that nuclear weapons have to disappear. Activists from Germany, Italy and Spain make clear they do not want new military bases or infrastructure. Czech and Polish peace activists find missile defense installations with a NATO flag as unacceptable as with a US flag. Croatian, Macedonian, Finnish and Swedish activists do not like their country joining NATO or developing a narrow military relation with NATO. Also from the Netherlands, France and the UK comes a NO against the war policy.