14-15 November 2008: European day of action against military infrastructure.
Europe is at war.
The bombs are not falling in Europe. They are falling several thousands of km away in Iraq and Afghanistan. But still war is waged from Europe. Europe serves as a launch pad for military interventions worldwide. The frameworks differ: NATO, EU, US coalition of the willing, UN. The targets also vary: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Chad, etc. But the departure points don't: military bases and civilian airports and harbours in Europe.
Europe hosts a large military intervention machinery.
The Iraq war made this very visible. The US and the UK waged war from their European bases. In 2003, there were 54,000 Europe-based US military personnel who were directly involved in the war against Iraq. For example, the US Army was deployed out of Germany and Italy. Bombing flights departed from UK bases and aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. Marines were inserted into northern Iraq from Crete and Bulgaria. And this is still going on. In 2006 two-thirds of the Europe based US military were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, preparing to depart or had just returned. Since January 2003, over 1 million US troops have passed through Shannon Airport in Ireland en route to Afghanistan and Iraq. Airports across Europe have been used for "rendition" flights. Without Europe the Iraq war was impossible.
European countries themselves are participating in the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 25,000 European soldiers fight under NATO command in Afghanistan. EU forces are intervening in Africa. Both NATO and the EU are developing rapid intervention forces. Several European countries have military bases outside Europe to support their interventions. We make war under the labels of 'military humanitarian intervention' and 'war against terrorism'. Behind these PR labels, the military intervention machineries protect economic interests and sustain the existing global order.
War Starts from Europe. Let's Stop War from Europe.
We call for a European day of nonviolent direct action against war on 14-15 November 2008. This day of action is not being organised by any one organisation ¯ the idea is that anti-militarists across Europe can adapt the action day to their local context. This call originated in discussions amongst anti-militarist activists from across Europe at the "NATO: Game Over" action in March 2008.
It is important that we encourage and support each other. It can also be useful when doing media work to be able to say how widespread the day of action is across Europe. Log in to http://europeanpeaceaction.org to be inspired by others ideas and to post your planned action in advance (unless the action is a "surprise"). After the action day please post reports/pictures/videos.
Take action at your local military bases and installations used for military interventions! Let's resist military globalisation together!