Newsletter Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU - No 1, February 2009

Dear supporters of Shut down NATO,

This is the first newsletter of Shut down NATO (in German: NATO-ZU, in which ZU stands also for Civil disobedience), with which we want to give you information on the status of the preparations for the actions in Baden-Baden and Strasbourg, and especially about the planned nonviolent blockades in which we are involved.

Before 1 April, the first day of the action camp in Strasbourg, we will surely send one or two more newsletters.

This newsletter includes:

  • The presentstatus of preparations, including information on the official NATO summit

  • Informationen on the multi-spectrum initiative Block-NATO

  • First information on the nonviolence guidelines for our action

  • A call for support

  • Available materials to order

  • An appeal for donations

  • Links to selected media reports

  • Links to background information

Present status of preparations

NATOs plans for the summit are slowly getting more concrete, which also allows us to plan in more detail. But the problems are often in those details. At the moment we know that:

On 3 April German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet the heads of states and governments in Baden-Baden at 5.30 pm. At 7 pm they will meet in the Kurhaus Casino Baden-Baden for an official dinner. Accommodation of the heads of states and governments and their delegations will be in different hotels along the Rhine between Baden-Baden and Freiburg. Who will be staying were is not yet known.

On 4 April at 8.30 am there will be an a photo shooting for the heads of states and governments on the pedestrian bridge Passerelle des deux Rives. At 10 am will be the beginning of NATO summit proper in the Palais De La Musique Et Des Congres in Strasbourg. The end of the meeting is scheduled for 3 pm.

Some time during the day there will also be a pompous lunch in the Palais Rohan, but we do not know the exact time.

A map of Straßbourg which shows the relevant summit locations is available at http://wri-irg.org/system/files/public_files/br81-en-spread.png.

There will be large security zones in Baden-Baden, Kehl and Straßbourg. For the people living in these areas this means controls or even a complete curfew (or leaving only with prior announcement and escorted by police). In Kehl this will effect 700 people. In Straßbourg over 2000 people were asked to contact the authorities. Probably 2/3 of the city centre, including the entire old town will be barricaded and only people with a special permit will be allowed to pass. Where exactly the security zones will be is at the moment not known. They will probably include the surroundings of the Palais de la Musique et de la Congres and the surroundings of the Palais de Rohan. Also all the street markets, over 100 schools and kindergartens and all sight-seeing spots in the city centre will be closed. From Friday afternoon until Saturday noon there will be no train transportation between Offenburg and Straßbourg, and in Straßbourg buses and trams will be partly closed and/or diverted.

There are presently also problems in relation to the planned international demonstration on 4 April in Strasbourg, and with the negotiations for the camp in Ganzau in Strasbourg Neudorf. While there exists in principle an agreement about the location of the camp, the authorities now demand unacceptable conditions.

For these reasons, the preparations for the nonviolent action of Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU are presently a bit difficult. Nevertheless, we made some progress:

  • at the Activist Conference in Strasbourg we founded the initiative Block-NATO (see below) together with other political spectrums, and also came to some concrete agreements.

  • We have a clear decision to focus our action on Strasbourg, and that Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU will take on one or more blockading points in coordination with Block-NATO.

  • There are preparations for nonviolent action training in the camp, and for the formation of affinity groups and a spokes council. We agree that we will make decisions in line with nonviolent and grassroots democratic principles by consensus.

But it is also clear, that many of things are still unclear. And: we will need your help (see below):

Initiative Block-NATO – the multi-spectrum initiative for actions of civil disobedience on 4 April in Strasbourg

On 14/15 February 2009 a international Activist Conference took place in Strasbourg, during which the plans for the blockades, the demonstration and the counter summit against the NATO summit in April have been advanced. During this conference those participants that are engaged in the preparation of mass blockades in Strasbourg on 4 April came together in the coalition “Block NATO” (http://www.block-nato.org).

This coalition, of which also Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU is a part, unites initiatives, networks and activists of the peace and anti-war movements from several European countries.

Our aim is to effectively blockade and disrupt the NATO summit, with thousands of people occupying the access routes to the meeting place in Strasbourg in the morning of 4 April, and thus cutting of the summit from its infrastructure. For this, there will be different blockading points with different forms of action and expression, which relate to each other in solidarity, and only jointly can be successful. Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU will take the responsibility for one or two of these blockading points.

To organise these mass blockades with international support, there will be an international preparatory meeting on 7 and 8 March in Strasbourg.

Nonviolence guidelines of NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO

Within our coalition we agreed on nonviolence guidelines for our nonviolent actions of civil disobedience. In these guidelines, we articulate the aim of the action and the basic principles of nonviolence and decision making. They serve as the basis for our action and should be followed.

The guidelines would be too much for this newsletter – they will be available on our webpage.

Call for support – Who can do what?

We urgently need your support – both, now before the action, in the camp (1-5 April) and during the action.

Task overview:

  • Translation of texts: German, English and French

  • Support in mobilising (distribution of flyers, organisation of transport, etc.)

  • Setting up and taking down of the camp

  • Oral translation French and English (in the camp and during the action, i.e. spokes council, info points, police liaison, megaphone ...)

  • Paramedics (in the camp and during the action)

  • Maintenance and updating of our website during the action.

More on this (presently in German) at http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=36

If you want to offer your help, please email mitmachen@nato-zu.de.

Materials

Support the mobilisation

You can order materials at:

DFG-VK
Hausmannstraße 6 | 70188 Stuttgart | Germany | Tel: +49-711-2319479
email: material(aet)nato-zu.de

We only have printed material in German. You can order 50 copies of the call plus 50 flyers for 10.00 Euro – you can transfer the money within the Eurozone after you got the parcel. But please be aware that we have to advance all the money.

You are also welcome to donate. The account for international donations is:

DFG-VK NATO-ZU

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft IBAN DE10 3702 0500 0008 3046 07, BIC BFSWDE33


Flyer

Flyer only exist in German. You can order them or download them.

> flyer_nato-zu.pdf (251kb)

Call

You can download the call in English at

> call Shut down NATO/nato-zu.pdf (130kb)

We need donations!

We have ambitious plans and a successful action against the summit needs to be well prepared. We especially need money for

* the mobilisation – the website, flyers, etc...

* the infrastructure in Strasbourg – we will be part of the common camp, tents, food, drinks, and sanitary equipment

*materials for the actions (banners, blankets, etc...)

*after the action – possibly legal support

Almost everyone in the team works as a volunteer. But many of us cannot cover the expenses for travel, telephone and office material.

We expect to need about 10,000 – 15,000 Euro in donations.

We are also looking for individuals, organisations and associations that can give a financial guarantee, in case of a debt.

Here you can donate online:http://wri-irg.org/node/1630

For questions or if you want to enter into a special agreement, please contact:

kontakt(aet)nato-zu.de

Account for donations

DFG-VK NATO-ZU


Bank für Sozialwirtschaft IBAN DE10 3702 0500 0008 3046 07, BIC BFSWDE33


Links

Selected media reports (German):

Background information:

More information on the NATO protests 2009

- Block-NATO – cross-spectrum coalition for actions of civil disobedience -

http://www.block-nato.org/

- French mobilisation webpage for NATO protests -

http://www.otan-non.org/

- Network of the disobedient in France -

http://www.desobeir.net/

- Resistance of the two shores – Resistance des deux rives -

http://natogipfel2009.blogsport.de/

- Special webpage of DFG-VK -

http://www.kein-frieden-mit-der-nato.de

- Special pages of attac -

http://www.attac.de/aktuell/nato

- International Coordination Committee -

http://www.no-to-nato.org

- Interventionist Left –

http://www.dazwischengehen.org/de/projekt/nonato-60-jahre-sind-genug

- Gipfelsoli –

http://www.gipfelsoli.org

- Coalition Baden-Baden –

http://antinatobuendnisbad.blogsport.de/

- Information and events by Friedenskooperative -

http://www.friedenskooperative.de/nato2009ndx.htm