Participants: Jackie Cabasso, Alexander Muth, Matt de Vlieger, Joseph Gerson, Kees Kalkmann, Frank Feiner, Coralie Beyens, Alain Rouy, Reiner Braun, Claus Montonen, Ludo de Brabander, Leo Gabriel, jaroslava Healck, Lucas Wirl, Kristine Karch
Opening of the annual meeting
Kristine Karch welcomes the participants and asks for acceptance of the proposed agenda (enclosed). The agenda is accepted by all participants and a round of introduction starts.
Actions against the next NATO summit 2017
Ludo de Brabander gives a report on the preparations of actions in Brussels.
In consultations in 2 international preparatory meetings, the following is being prepared:
- On May 24 an international demonstration will take place from 5 to about 8:30 pm.
In the beginning will be speeches, then there is a march through the city center of Brussels and the march will end with a concert.
The demonstration is organized in a broad coalition with strong participation of the Belgian peace movement. It was initiated by students on facebook once they heard that Trump is coming to Belgium for the NATO summit. Therefore it focuses on Trump and the peace movement will bring peace in the demonstration (Ann Wright is a speaker). In the two international preparatory meetings it was decided to not have an own demonstration but to join forces with the broad coalition of organizations. More information can be found at: https://www.trumpnotwelcome.be/
- On May 25 an international conference will take place. The conference was developed in a working group established at the preparatory meetings. The program will be published in the next days.
- Direct actions are organized
- A peace camp is planned from May 21 to May 26.
The obstacle right now is that the Mayor of Brussels promised a location for the camp and has not come up with this.
A discussion evolves discussing among others the politics of the NATO summit, mobilization and how to make peace more visible along the other topics which are being addressed.
o Global NATO will be discussed alongside a NATO strategy for East Asia, partnership for Peace
o 2% will mean for European member states a total military spending of 170 billion USD (right now it is 1,3 %)
o The expansion to the East (Montenegro, Cyprus, Georgia) and deployment to the East will be topic
o Busses are organized by the Dutch, the French and the Germans
o A press release of the No to NATO network should be developed and send soon.
o Messages of support from other countries can be sent to Belgium
o A briefing call on NATO will take place on May 23 in the USA
o Press from all over the world is accredited in Brussels (because of EU institutions, NATO, …) Each organization is asked to inform their national press living in Brussels.
How to make peace more visible in the demonstration
o European militarization and military spending should be mentioned
o The Belgians will prepare many peace posters for people to take with them
o Everybody is asked to bring posters, slogans, etc.
o Is a “peace car” with a sound system possible in the demonstration?
o Ludo is asked to find out if (international) peace organizations’ logos can be placed on the demo website.
o The No to NATO network will produce a banner and a flyer for the demo.
Report of activities of the network 2015/2016
Lucas Wirl presents the report of activities (https://www.no-to-nato.org/2017/05/annual-meeting-2017-report-of-activities-since-annual-meeting-helsinki-6-september-2015/). In his presentation he presents ideas for future work.
Further actions and activities 2017/2018
A discussion evolves on the different proposals and new proposals are being made (see agenda point “Election of the ICC and decisions”.
Elections of the ICC and decisions
Lucas Wirl gives a brief introduction and makes a proposal for the elections. At the annual meeting in Helsinki in September 2015 it was decided to not have an email election. In several mails it was announced that there will be elections of the ICC in Vienna and that proposals for candidates should be turned in. Some proposals were received. The members of the ICC were asked if they candidate again; there were only positive replies.
Therefore Lucas introduces the candidates
Chris Nineham Stop the War Coalition UK │ Dave Webb UK Space 4 Peace │ Reiner Braun Germany International IALANA, International Peace Bureau IPB │ Ingela Martensson Women for Peace Sweden │ Joseph Gerson USA American Friends Service Committee │ Kate Hudson UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament CND │ Kevin Martin Peace Action USA │ Kristine Karch INES │ Lucas Wirl Germany Scientists for Peace Germany (NatWiss) │ Ludo De Brabander Belgium vrede vz │ Tobias Pflüger Germany Information Centre Militarization IMI DFG-VK │ Michael Youlton Ireland Irish Antiwar Movement and Peace and Neutrality Allicance │ Yves-Jean Gallas and Alain Rouy (Deputy) Mouvement de la Paix │ Joe Lombardo, UNAC, USA │ Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright, Code Pink, USA │ Claudia Haydt, European Left
In the discussion NN War is no Solution and Kees Kalkmann, The Netherlands are proposed as candidates. Kees Kalkmann accepts the nomination and will ask War is no Solution for a representative. (update 2017/05/20 Jan Schaake Oorlog is Geen Oplossing (War is no solution) Netherlands confirmed to be a member)
Lucas proposes to vote the candidates for the ICC en block and openly. This proposal is being accepted by all participants. Lucas asks who is allowed to vote, 10 persons represent an organization of the No to NATO network. Lucas asks if the representatives vote in all the candidates to the ICC. The candidates are elected unanimously to the ICC.
After the election of the candidates decisions for future actions of the No to NATO network were made. They should serve as a guideline for the future work of the ICC:
- The ICC is asked to decide on signing a Solidarity statement South Korea. Kristine should send the statement to the new ICC via email and propose a decision making process.
- Events which the No to NATO network engages in: G20 in Hamburg (www.friedensdemo.org, http://g20-protest.info/), Air Base Ramstein and international drones actions (http://www.ramstein-kampagne.eu/).
- The network together with Polish colleagues may conduct an event on “Missile Defense and Military Bases in Poland”. This depends on the Polish colleagues. Lucas will contact them.
- A Congress “NATO and the Balkans and migration/refugees incorporating 20 years War against Yugoslavia” should be prepared for 2019. A first conference call should take place by the end of year.
- Congress/event NATO and EU / European militarization in 2018, conference call after NATO Summit 2017.
- NATO expansion towards East: Balkans next, Georgia, Belorussia, Finland (host nation agreement), Sweden (host nation agreement), Cyprus (develop contacts).
- NATO industry forums and European Defense Agency Conference will become more important with the 2% aim. Monitoring these conferences should play a more important role in the network.
- The world social forum places calls for global action days on different topics. The no to nato network could lobby for action days against NATO or for peace issues.
- Cooperation instead of confrontation is very important and a Helsinki II process could pave the way to more cooperation. The ICC is asked to discuss and exchange information on how to get to such a process. These discussions should also be opened to an interested public. The ICC is asked to prepare a discussion.
- Fake news/ propaganda by NATO are very present. A video on fake news by NATO (i.e. “we need to militarize because of Russia”) should be made to counter these lies and to educate an audience which we do not reach by writing texts. Ludo, Reiner, and Lucas are being asked to take over responsibility for this project after the NATO summit.
- Nuclear weapons
• Support Women’s March and ban treaty action, June 17. (https://www.womenbanthebomb.org/)
• B61-12 tests happened: monitor the process of development.
- Press release of today: AM and NATO Summit.
• Exchange of information on nukes in English.
• Solidarity messages in both ways of the Atlantic.
• This year have a conference call on how to prepare a large conference.
- Next ICC-Meeting (face to face) in Brussels, Friday May 26, 2017, 09:30-12:00 h
Minute taker: Lucas Wirl
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