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

Saturday March 22th at ten days from the next NATO’ 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.

CADTM Belgique