Succesful international action of civil non violent disobedience « Nato Game Over » on March 22th 2008 at NATO headquarters in Brussels

24 March 2008 by CADTM Belgique

Saturday March 22th at ten days from the next NATO NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO ensures US military protection for the Europeans in case of aggression, but above all it gives the USA supremacy over the Western Bloc. Western European countries agreed to place their armed forces within a defence system under US command, and thus recognize the preponderance of the USA. NATO was founded in 1949 in Washington, but became less prominent after the end of the Cold War. In 2002, it had 19 members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, the USA, to which were added Greece and Turkey in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955 (replaced by Unified Germany in 1990), Spain in 1982, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1999.
’ summit in Bucarest, 450 demonstrators from 17 European countries opposing the war logical sustained by NATO were jailed for several hours (from 6 to 10 hours) at Brussels law Courts. Among them were 11 CADTM Belgium members.

The reason for their detention was their participation to the international action « Nato Game Over », a non violent action of civil disobedience organized by the Pacifist movement Vredesactie (Action for peace) in which participated at least 1000 activists following the figures of the Belgian police.

Their objective was to denounce NATO’s criminal role in the preparation and waging of wars as in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the fact that nuclear weapons are stationed by United States on the Belgian territory. Let’s remind that is at NATO headquarters that the political decisions related to nuclear weapons are taken. In order to make their voice heard, the more than 1000 activists tried to enter NATO’s headquarters based in Evere (Brussels) to bar access to doors, windows and accesses. Around sixty people were succesful into entering NATO’s fence while the others were arrested close to this fortress.

We would like to point out several aspects of this international action:

- First of all, this action was legitimate regarding international and Belgian Law. Indeed, nuclear weapons stationed by the US on Belgian territory is opposing several articles of the Non Proliferation Treaty (on nuclear weapons), opinion of the International Court of Justice (the UN Judiciary Body) of July 8th 1996 as well as the resolution of the Belgian Senate that asks for the Belgian nuclear weapons’ retreat (resolution S3985/5 of April 21st 2005). Because of this, the demonstrators were placed in a situation of juridical necessity that obliged them to act trying to penetrate NATO’s headquarters.

- Then this action went on as planned; peacefully on behalf of the demonstrators while the police (equipped with water blowers, pepper sprays, police dogs) reacted in a strong-arm and even violent way depending on the police officers.

- Several irregularities marked the administrative detention at Brussels’ law Courts with various demonstrators under physical or oral violence. Let’s point out nevertheless the solidarity and good humour between inmates that used revolutionary songs and slogans in order to pass time.

- To end we want to salute the very good organization of this action day. Before the action the participants received a folder with all practical and juridical information concerning the action. During this one, a permanence was set on to answer participants phone calls during their arrest with lawyers and doctors also available. After the action, food was distributed to participants.




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