An eventful peace-weekend lies behind us: a particularly successful action conference of our network “No to NATO – no to War” paired with a contextual conference opened the last stage of preparations of our protests against the new NATO strategy.
Again and again the conference contributions pointed out focal points of the new NATO strategy that are enumerated below:
1. NATO insists on nuclear weapons as absolute necessity for the politics of deterrence. Nuclear weapons are to be continuously deployed and modernized, the British Trident Fleet Ballistic Missiles as well as the American strategic nuclear weapons. All plans concerning the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Europe and the abandonment of nuclear sharing are cancelled.
2. The essence of the new NATO doctrine is the takeover of US plans concerning an American missile defense as a central NATO project. Europe is to be protected by an antiballistic missile defense shield. This is said to be the only way to realize the concept of deterrence and security in the 21st century.
3. The war in Afghanistan is seen as the topical challenge of NATO and shall be continued with reinforced efforts of civil-military cross-linkages until the war is won.
4. All member states are asked to intensify their defense mechanisms and to render them more effective.
5. Although NATO does not perceive itself to police the world, it does understand itself as an interventional force if its member states’ “interests” (worldwide, but particularly within the European-Asian area) are endangered. These interests explicitly include the protection of the member states’ “natural resources” and trade routes.
6. Another aim is the Eastern expansion of NATO – yet not as distinctly phrased as in previous official documents. The Eastern expansion shall include new partnership alliances with the former Southern Soviet republics as well as Indonesia and Malaysia, and also Australia and New Zealand. Japan is to be integrated in an innovative partnership.
7. According to the new strategy paper, EU-Europe is seen as partner and second pillar of NATO with a military alliance of its own, with which a “burden sharing”, a division of tasks and duties, is envisaged. This involves a significant revaluation of the EU military and defense policy as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty.
8. The need to reinforce electronical warfare is emphasized, regarding both NATO’s own action and recruitment realm and the scope of response to attacks directed at computers, communications- and power networks. The so-called “cyber war” usually includes the depletion of democratic civil rights and a further militarization of research (as regards security related topics).
9. Furthermore, the strategy paper highlights the “new” role of NATO, which shall manifest itself inter alia in the fight against global warming and other global challenges. The “security” against the consequences of climate change (migration flows) is to be ensured militarily.
10. All these challenges are classified as part of the “war against terrorism”. This war is among other things exploited for the feigned legitimation of global interventional operations of NATO.
Anti-war activities during the NATO summit
The international network “No to War – No to NATO”, which comprises more than 650 organizations since the protest actions against the NATO summit in Strasbourg 2009, already agreed on its annual conference in October 2009 to enforce its endeavors of using NATO summits as platforms of protest against war and militarism.
Since then, we intensely prepared our anti-war activities.
In Portugal, a national coalition named “PAGAN” has congregated. PAGAN is a Portuguese diverse alliance against NATO and in favor of NATO’s abolition that was founded two years ago. It comprises individuals from various organizations engaged in the promotion of peace such as Pax Christi, but also environmentalism and human rights organizations, student and youth organizations, as well as former officers of the Portuguese Revolution from 1974 and individuals from leftist parties such as “Blocco” (comparable with the Left Party in Germany). It is a truly broad, pluralist network, which is unified in its refusal of NATO and its politics of war.
The action conference on the 16th / 17th October 2010 in Lisbon has amended and finalized the course of action for the NATO counter summit in November 2010:
1. Regional and local operations from 15th until 21st November 2010. As a central meeting point for activists and interested individuals we will install a “Square of Peace” in the proximity of the NATO counter summit, including information desks, creative actions and musical/artistic contributions for a world without war and violence.
2. A counter summit on Friday, 19th Nov., on the morning of 20th November with a public event in the city and as concluding event on Sunday, 21st November an “International anti-war Assembly”. The centerpiece of the congress is the refusal of NATO and its martial strategy, including an analytical analysis of the strategy paper. We would like to elaborately discuss peaceful alternatives. There will be presentations of peace initiative actions and arrangements for further intensive international cooperation on the subject. Furthermore, considerable time for discussion is envisaged concentrating on differing positions: we strive to learn from each other in order to act more effective in the future. On Saturday, 21st Nov. 2010, there will be a public event on a central square in Lisbon with international representatives of peace- and other social movements and politics. The event focuses on various aspects of peace and war and includes the discussion of approaches of political solutions.
3. The support of a big peaceful international demonstration on Saturday, 20th Nov. in Lisbon.
4. Actions of civil disobedience which will be intensely prepared.
5. For the first time a web live-stream during the time period from 19th until 21st Nov. 2010 with live coverage from both conference days (for further information please consult the attachment). Our actions will be broadcasted worldwide so that every individual has the opportunity to at least indirectly participate in the events in Lisbon. This is how the protest can be carried into every peace initiative.
The international meeting in Lisbon was held in a very positive atmosphere. The preparations of the scheduled anti-war activities are mostly completed! Further steps of preparation are now to happen in the individual countries. This includes first and foremost to announce the new NATO strategy and to emphasize that it is a war- and arms strategy.
The best protest against this strategy is to participate in the anti-NATO activities in Lisbon. Please promote the greatest possible appearance at the Lisbon activities within your respective organizations. The more participating countries, the more attendees, the bigger will be the public attention for our protests.
Please get registered now!!! for the counter summit. This protest as well has to be organized in advance, therefore it is important to get registered in time.
The chances to demonstrate in good publicity and emphatically for peace and disarmament are given now in Lisbon – particularly due to the great work of our colleagues on site. What we will make of it is now in our hands and in the hands of each individual in his or her organization.
Please mobilize against war! Follow us to Lisbon! It is in your hands to work against NATO and for peace.
Hoping to personally meet many of you soon, we remain
with peaceful greetings,