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NATO to be targeted in France by Trident Ploughshares activists

Trident Ploughshares Press Release - 1 April, 2009 - For immediate release

Campaigners to join in nonviolent civil disobedience against NATO in Strasbourg

Five members of British anti-nuclear campaign group Trident Ploughshares will join peace activists travelling to Strasbourg this week from the UK to take part in international protests during NATO's 60th anniversary conference. The campaigners plan to join thousands of European activists taking part in the NATO-ZU / Shut down NATO nonviolent civil disobedience actions [see note 2].

Trident Ploughshares opposes NATO for the following reasons:
- NATO is today a belligerent military alliance that includes the UK. It has at its disposal hundreds of nuclear weapons spread across bases in Europe, violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. These include Britain’s submarine-launched Trident missiles. NATO has an illegal and immoral nuclear first strike policy.
- NATO forces are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Serbia and elsewhere over the past ten years alone.

- NATO is a relic of the Cold War. It came into existence in 1949, six years before the formation of the Warsaw Pact, which was dissolved nearly two decades ago, in 1991.

- Despite this, NATO continues to expand eastwards across Europe to Russia's borders. Its plans to incorporate the former Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine are visibly heightening tensions and souring relations between Russia and the West. The recent violent conflict between Russia and Western-backed Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia is symptomatic of this wider problem.

- There are fears that the US Ballistic Missile Defence programme in Europe - involving the UK, Poland and the Czech Republic - would be integrated into NATO’s defences, creating additional impetus for a new nuclear arms race and a new Cold War with Russia, and possibly China, destroying any hope of achieving global nuclear disarmament.

- We believe that the peaceful, nonviolent and equitable world we seek cannot be achieved through the military might, bullying and warmongering that characterise NATO, but only through a spirit of co-operation and dialogue between nations.

A spokesperson for Trident Ploughshares said:
“With the arrival of President Obama in the Whitehouse, we believe there has never been a better opportunity to move towards the disbandment of NATO. We are encouraged that the new US president appears committed to global nuclear disarmament and is reconsidering whether it is wise to push ahead with the provocative ballistic missile defence programme; but meanwhile his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan and his calls for NATO allies, including Britain to commit further troops to the conflict give cause for concern. We as citizens cannot stand idly by as NATO leaders plot further bloodshed, misery and destruction. We are here to set an alternative path, an agenda of peace.”


Notes to editor

1. Trident Ploughshares is a campaign initiated in 1998 to disarm Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system in a nonviolent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner. It opposes all nuclear weapons and rejects violence as a means of resolving conflict.

*Media enquiries: tp2000 (at ) gn(dot)apc(dot)org

2. Details of the NATO-ZU / Shut down NATO nonviolent actions can be found here:

Source: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/04/425901.html