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Mobilising against NATO 2009

February 27th, 2009 · post by anon · Make a comment

The preparations for the protests against this year’s NATO summit in Strasbourg, France and Baden-Baden, Germany on the 3rd-5th April at which 40 heads of state and government leaders will meet are well underway. The summit will mark NATO’s 60th birthday – 60 years of co-ordinating war and oppression on a global scale. There are plans to agree on a new, more ‘pro-active’ strategic direction, meaning most likely increased powers to intervene and wage war as well as increased blurring of external and internal security.

“What the Western allies face is a long, sustained and proactive defence of their societies and way of life. To that end they must keep risks at a distance, while at the same time protecting their homelands.” – quoted from the NATO discussion paper ‘Towards a grand strategy for an uncertain world’

After the mass mobilisation against the G8 summit in Germany in 2007 as well as the repression around it, a movement has continued to build that combines militancy and grassroots mass action, and a wider alliance to co-ordinate protest and blockades at the NATO summit has been formed alongside other regional groups and campaigns and the broad international co-ordination.

In France too a variety of groups, networks and NGOs have been organising around the summit, apparently with some polarisation between the ‘more traditional peace movement’ and NGOs, and groups around the Dissent network. However, a planning conference on the 14th/15th February in Strasbourg drew 400-500 people from all over Europe and a co-ordinated framework for actions was successfully agreed upon.


Before the summit even starts, there will be demonstrations on Saturday, the 28th March with ‘We won’t Pay for your Crisis’ demonstrations in Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany, as well as an anti-NATO demo in Freiburg on the 30th March, where there’ll also be a convergence centre (opening from the 25th March).

The main action camp will kick off with a festival in Strasbourg on the 1st April and a day of action around ‘European Security Architecture’. The Thursday has been declared a day of action around war and crisis.

A counter summit in Strasbourg will start on Friday 3rd. On the same day, there are plans to disrupt the ministers’ meeting in the afternoon, and the formal dinner in the evening in Baden-Baden.

On Saturday, it looks like there will be a variety of actions, including a large demonstration in the afternoon in Strasbourg and blockades of the summit in the morning. On Sunday, the counter summit will continue, and actions will focus on anti prison struggle and prisoner solidarity.

Predictably enough, security around the summit will be high, with millions being spent and thousands of officers being deployed as well as a whole range of other security agencies down to the military, and attempts to create no go areas for demonstrators. The whole of Strasbourg promises to be turned into a police state with a ban on cars in the city centre, the cancellation of sporting events and other such measures. In Germany various new laws and measures are threatening freedom of assembly and giving the police more powers to prevent protest.

Information at: where you’ll find a whole range of useful links

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