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Communique: No to war – No to NATO

Defense of Democracy and the demonstration celebrations

Five hundred people coming from 19 countries met for the activist conference at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, on February 14 and 15 2009, invited by the International Coordinating Committee * « No to war-No to NATO » and hosted by the “Collectif de Strasbourg anti-OTAN” against NATO, to prepare the activities of the counter- summit on NATO’s 60th anniversary which will be held in Strasbourg in April 1-5.

60 years are more than enough – this is the consensus uniting the participants of the peace and the alter-globalization movements, of leftist parties and organizations and of the Trade Unions and student initiatives. They stand against the war policy of NATO, against today’s wars, i.a. in Afghanistan and the Middle East, against the intervention strategy and reinforce their claim to “No to NATO”. They refuse to accept the EU linked with NATO and ask for a drastic reduction of military spending: « we do not want to pay for your crisis , nor for your wars. »

In the context with government-level celebrations of the 60th anniversary of NATO in Strasbourg and Baden- Baden on April 3rd and 4th 2009 the participants adopt a comprehensive program of actions and mobilization:

1. international village of resistance from 1.-5.4.2009 in Strasbourg with information points in Kehl and Baden- Baden

2. manifestation and actions of Civil Disobedience on 3.4.2009 in Baden- Baden at the instance of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers and the planned Gala Dinner of the Heads of State

3. International Congress in Strasbourg on the 3rd and 5th of April 2009 with plenaries, working groups, and a concluding “Peace Assembly”

4. Climax of the actions is the international demonstration “No to War! No to NATO” in the inner city of Strasbourg on the 4th of April 2009.

5. Actions of Civil Disobedience are being prepared by different organizations for the 4th of April 2009
in Strasbourg.

In the face the announcement of the authorities of Strasbourg not to allow non-violent demonstrations in the in the inner city, the participants reaffirmed the basic democratic right of assembly, demonstration and freedom of expression. They highlighted that they will express their protest and their will of freedom in the inner city. They agreed upon an international campaign of protest for a free and open Strasbourg as City of Peace and Democracy. For the support of the negotiation delegation the International Coordination Committee installed an international support group and a Back- Up group. With the power of the international extraparliamentary movements and supportive national and EU parliamentarians the democratic basic rights shall be defended.

These texts were agreed upon by the participants of the conference in the following protest call:

Call for support for the democratic right of the demonstration against NATO in the Inner City of Strasbourg on the 4th of April.

NATO plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary in Strasbourg in the presence of the heads of states including the new US President.

The signatories decisively reject the NATO politics which means wars, military intervention, use of military bases and new missile installations, enlargement, and permanent armament. We are working on the basis of the call “No to NATO, NO to War”. We reject:
the military intervention of NATO in Afghanistan
the logic of war and over-armament, especially the nuclear armament practiced by NATO
the reintegration of France into the military command of NATO

We want to express our rejection of this kind of politics and want to give the citizens of Strasbourg and the social movements the opportunity to publicize their rejection without any obstacles.

These are the demands for the prefecture which turned down the proposal of the NATO Preparatory Committee to demonstrate against NATO in the inner city of Strasbourg on 4th of April.

The implementation of the NATO Summit will turn Strasbourg into a fortress; this is not acceptable for its own citizens and for the thousands of peaceful demonstrators form all parts of the world.

Extraordinary security parameters will be enacted: the establishment of a red zone, the labelling of the citizens, the establishment of an all-encompassing new video surveillance system.

For us this staging of heads of states in the city centre of Strasbourg – a closed off city – and its inhabitants who will be unable to have a normal daily life, having no freedom of movement, is unbearable and makes it impossible for us to unveil NATO’s real face. Whereas the citizens will pay for the summit and the glorified presentation of NATO their dissenting opinion is to be marginalized.

The mobilization against the NATO summit started globally with great success. On 4th of April the citizens of the world will come to Strasbourg to express non-violently their “Hope for Peace” and “No to NATO”.

We want to mobilize for the redistribution of the financial means from war to a policy that tackles the social, democratic, economic, and environmental challenges of the people of the planet .

Raise the question what the globally spread image of Strasbourg will be?

A city turned fortress at the service of NATO or a city which celebrates the values of democracy and peace?

We want the right for the demonstration in the inner city. Our demand to the government of France and the local Authorities is the guarantee of the democratic right of a free, independent and peaceful demonstration.

Initiated by the International Activity Conference of more than 500 participants in Strasbourg, February 14/15th.

This Conference has been an important step to build the international mobilisation against NATO and the 60 the anniversary Summit, which began 6 months ago, with the « Stuttgart international appeal *». Different forces are converging from all over the world, to express their wish of a more just and peaceful planet. Let’s make Strasbourg open the capital of peace from April 1 to5.!

Further information please contact Reiner Braun, Arielle Denis, Frederick Henry (frederic.henry@wanadoo.fr ; arielle.denis@mvtpaix.org ; hr.braun@gmx.net) (0033687148933, 00491722317475)

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