On 3 and 4 April 2009 NATO will celebrate its 60th birthday in Baden-Baden in Germany and Strasbourg in France. While all the details of this "celebration" are not yet known, it is already clear that the NATO summit will not leave much space for democratic protest in either of the two summit cities (see page 5). War Resisters' International is part of the International Coordination Committee which coordinates a wide range of protest activities (see the overview on page 8), and is also part of NATO-ZU, a coalition of nonviolent groups that is part of the overall coalition organising actions of civil disobedience in Strasbourg in the morning of 4 April.

At War Resisters' International we feel that 60 years of NATO are not a reason to celebrate, but a reason to resist nonviolently (see also Broken Rifle No 79, September 2008). Because of this, War Resisters' International has been involved in the NATO-Game over action at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on 22 March 2008, and because of this we are now involved in the activities against the NATO summit.

But we at War Resisters' International do not see these activities as just one more event. We hope that the actions against the NATO summit will create a broader antimilitarist movement against NATO and all it stands for: Western domination of the world, military intervention to enforce Western capitalist interests, and militarised patriarchal society in the West. 

For us it is very clear that NATO is not about democracy. The very fact that democracry will be temporarily suspended in all summit cities during the NATO summit goes to show that NATO is not only a danger to democracy in the rest of the world, but also at home.

60 years of NATO – it is high time to resist and to shut down NATO.

Andreas Speck

Programmes & Projects

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