The citizen movement NO MOUS is composed of a network of local committees, which are responsible for regional coordination, and other organized groups.
In the founding declaration, adopted on November 18, 2012, MUOS is described as “a non-partisan and non-denominational movement that can be joined individually; it is composed of different people and cultures and diverse political beliefs, but all of them have committed themselves to the indispensable values of freedom, equality, solidarity, anti-fascism, anti-militarism, anti-racism and the fight against the mafia and homophobia.
Since its foundation, the main task of the movement has been the fight against the establishment of MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) , a system of military satellite communications (SATCOM) of high frequency (UHF) and low bandwidth (not exceeding 64 kbits /s) under the direction of the Department of Defense of the United States.
MUOS was built inside the Naval Radio Facilities Transmission (NRFT) No.8 Communications Military Base, a few kilometers from the city of Niscemi, in the middle of a forest called “Cork Oak Forest of Niscemi”. This area has been declared a site of EC interest !
MUOS is a complex, planetary military system with 4 stations (Sicily, Virginia, Hawaii, Australia) and 5 satellites worldwide, which allow global coverage of the terrestrial area and an unprecedented speed of communication, so that the control of drones and electronic weapons from a distant control center is no problem.
This is the most modern military technology, which introduces us to so-called “Star Wars”.
The fight against MUOS meant not only to prevent the construction of a new military facility in Sicily, but above all to block the acceleration in warlike politics all over the world.
Beyond this important fundamental motive, there are other reasons of a local nature, such as the prevention of harmful electromagnetic radiation on the population of Niscemi and southeastern Sicily, and also on the whole environment with its flora and fauna.
It was also an attempt to reawaken the renewed commitment to the demilitarization of Sicily. The island has been used since 1945 as a natural aircraft carrier in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with very powerful military bases such as Sigonella, Augusta, Trapani, Lampedusa etc. from which fighter bombers, warships, nuclear submarines take off and return from war missions to the hottest regions such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, North Africa, East Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2016, in spite of great fighting and incessant resistance of the population, MUOS was completed and put into operation immediately after, thanks to a number of forced legislative decisions. The goal of our movement remains the dismantling of MUOS, as well as of the NRTF military base (Naval Radio Transmission Facilities), in order to give back to the city of Niscemi its cork oak forest and finally transform Sicily into an island of peace in the center of the Mediterranean, with free access for migrants and refugees who are looking for a life in dignity. We do not want to be a wall of “Fortress Europe” !
In recent years, the movement has practiced various forms of resistance: road blockades, occupation of military antennae, mass invasion of the military base, counter-information in Niscemi and throughout the island, scientific studies on the harmfulness of electromagnetism, legal action, events, conferences, symbolic actions, camping siege…
A long experience of protest and resistance was accumulated, accompanied by various victories, such as the confiscation of the MUOS construction site for black construction or the court decision of the regional administrative court that confirmed the harmfulness of the military facility.
However, these partial victories and the ongoing mobilization have not been able to expand correspondingly beyond Sicily and create a national and international opposition front against the war at the level of the goal, if we consider what was said before, namely that MUOS is not just a simple military facility, but a link in a complex worldwide system for the new technological wars.
For this reason, the United States Government, together with the Italian Government, has put into effect highly restrictive initiatives with the intention of introducing some legislative measures and advising the regional government on some administrative measures that have allowed MUOS to be completed and put into operation.
The repression against activists has been and still is particularly severe: they have been the target of hundreds of lawsuits, fines, arrests, bans and pressure of all kinds (mafia, political and psychological). But despite all this, the actions in our movement have never stopped, nor has the pool of lawyers and scientists who accompany our movement given up.
But although the will to continue our struggle is there, fatigue, the emigration of many activists to the North (Sicily is and remains a country beaten with high unemployment) and the resignation of a good part of the population that had supported our movement have caused a slowing down of activities, still emphasized by Covid 19/ Corona.
During the last months we tried to revive the Active Resistance both in Niscemi and in other places in Sicily. The initiative was resumed; on August 8th we protested again at the gates of the U.S. military base, and on October 10th we held an important regional meeting to plan the resumption of the capillary mobilization.
NO MUOS !
Article by Vincenzo Santiglia, NO MOUS Sicily, 25th September 2020
(English version translated with the support of Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) from the Germany version translated from Italy by Elfi Padovan)