The countdown to our anti-war /anti-NATO activities has begun: Five weeks before the NATO summit

 
We are asking all our friends in the IAWM, in PANA and every activist of the CAEUC to consider joining us in Lisbon during that weekend. For many of us who were in Strasbourg 18 months ago, this is the continuation of the same process of mobilization and co-operation with our friends and comrades the world over against militarism and war.


The main points of the new NATO strategy are:
 
1.      NATO insists on nuclear weapons as an absolute necessity for what it frames as its  politics of deterrence. Nuclear weapons are to be continuously deployed and modernized, including  the British Trident Fleet Ballistic Missiles as well as the American strategic nuclear weapons. All plans concerning the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Europe are cancelled.
2.      The essence of the new NATO doctrine is the development of US plans re: the American missile defense as a central NATO project. Europe is to be protected by an antiballistic missile defense shield.
3.      The war in Afghanistan is seen as the main local  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 while refraining from any process of defence based cuts.
5.      Although NATO does not perceive itself as a world policeman, it does understand itself as an interventionist 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 expansion of NATO eastwards.  The Eastern expansion shall include new partnership alliances with the former Southern Soviet republics as well as Indonesia and Malaysia, while  Australia, New Zealand.and Japan are to be integrated in an innovative partnership.
7.      According to the new strategy paper, EU-Europe is seen as a military partner and second pillar of NATO in the context of a military alliance with “burden sharing” and a division of tasks and duties. This involves a significant re-evaluation of the EU military and defense policy as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty.
8.      The need to reinforce electronic 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 militarisation of research.
9.      Furthermore, the strategy paper highlights the “new” role of NATO, which shall manifest itself in the fight against global warming and other global challenges. Security against the consequences of climate change (migration flows) is to be ensured militarily.
 
 
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, and of which both the IAWM and PANA are members, has agreed to re-enforce its endeavors of using NATO summits as platforms of protest against war and militarism.
 
In Portugal, a coalition named “PAGAN” has been organized as a national  Portuguese alliance against NATO.  It comprises individuals from various organizations engaged in the promotion of peace such as Pax Christi, but also environmentalist 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.  PAGAN will be the main local organizers of the anti-NATO Summit.
 
The action conference on the 16th / 17th October 2010 in Lisbon, to which we participated,  has amended and finalized the course of action for the NATO counter summit in November 2010 as follows:
 
1.                  Regional and local activitiesd from 15th to 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/cultural contributions for a world without war and violence.
2.                  A counter summit on Friday, 19th Nov., and on the morning of 20th November with a public event in the city and an  “International anti-war Assembly”  as a concluding event on Sunday, 21st November The centerpiece of the congress is opposition to NATO and its politico-military  strategy, including a detailed analysis of the new strategy paper. We would like to discuss peaceful alternatives. There will be presentations of peace initiative actions and arrangements for further intensive international co-operation on the subject. Furthermore, considerable time for discussion is envisaged concentrating on differing positions: so that we strive to learn from each other in order to act more effective in the future.
3.                  Participation and support of a big peaceful international demonstration on the early afternoon of  Saturday, 20th Nov. in central Lisbon.
4.                  Actions of civil disobedience which will be intensely prepared.
5.                  There will be a web live-stream from the 19th until the 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 participate, at least indirectly, in the events in Lisbon. This is how the protest can be carried into every corner of the world.
 
The best protest against this strategy is to participate in the anti-NATO activities in Lisbon. Please promote the greatest possible circulation of the Lisbon activities within your respective organizations. The more participating countries, the more activists on the ground, the bigger will be the public influence of our protests.
Please get registered nowfor the counter summit. This protest has to be organized in advance, therefore it is important to get registered on time.
We can achieve good publicity and strive emphatically for peace and disarmament 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,
 
Arielle Denis
Lucas Wirl
Reiner Braun
Michael Youlton
 
 
PS There are still places in an Aer Lingus flight to Lisbon on Thursday Nov. 18th with a return scheduled on Monday 22nd. The return fare, at the time of writing, is €115.00 incl. taxes. We have provisionally booked beds in a very friendly hostel close to the city centre - cost is €20 per person per night.
 
Please contact me at myoulton@yahoo.com or 086 8159487 if you want more information or interested in coming with us.