Newsletter Shut down NATO/ NATO-ZU No 2
Dear supporters of Shut down NATO,
welcome to our 2nd newsletter in which we want to inform you about the state of preparations for our peaceful and non-violent operation against the NATO-summit April 4th in Strasbourg. The day of action gets closer and there is yet a lot to do. Therefore we strongly need your help (see #10, jobs). Please read this newsletter completely and carefully – its content includes important information also about preparation for the active operation.
Content of this newsletter:
1. Recent development within the NATO
2. Short report of the Block-NATO meeting
3. state of preparations
4. Informations about how YOU can prepare yourselves for the acitve operations
a) operation guidelines
c) Formation of peer groups
d) What to take with/what to leave home
5. Security zones in Strasbourg
6. Legal stuff
7. Camp and registration
9. Material and mobilization
10. Jobs – how you can help
11. Response about concerns
12. Donations – asked for!
13 Press review
1. Recent development within the NATO
Two short news: On March 17th French President Sarkozy won a vote of confidence within the parliament. With that he responded to criticism about the reintegration of France into the military structure of the NATO. Very smartly Sarkozy not only rose the topic of reintegration as part of the vote of confidence but also the foreign affairs of the government as a whole. France gave up the military integration in 1966 in order to build up a nuclear force independent of the USA. Nevertheless the country today takes part in all NATO military missions and is again represented in almost all committees. The “come back” of France shall be performed at the NATO summit April 3rd and 4th in Strasbourg and Baden-Baden/Kehl.
More positive: the latest news from Prague. There the government had to postpone an acclamation about a radar base, because it did not recieve the needed majority within the House of Commons. The base is to be part of the US-missile defence shield. Nevertheless the government sticks to its plans about this base, agreed upon by the Senate December last year.
2. Short report of the Block-NATO-meeting
March 7th and 8th there was a Block-NATO-meeting in Strasbourg of about 50 persons of different groups (Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU, Interventional Left, solid, Desobeissants and single persons). To remind you: Block-NATO is a mulit-spectrum initiative for blockades of civil disobedience at the NATO-summit April 4th in Strasbourg, where NATO-ZU will take part in, too.
Most important part of the meeting was the definite preparation of the blockades, precise consultations about blockade points and areas and precise coordination at the time of the active operations. They also founded a common press-team, in which NATO-ZU also takes part in.
At the meeting the common aim and common frame of all actions taking place within Block-NATO were again affirmed: goal is a blockade to effectively disturb the summit and to cut it off of its infrastructure. Therefore we use the mean of civil disobedience. Block-NATO includes different forms of blockades, but excludes material-blockades and those actions which for example attacs the police.
There was also decided that Block-NATO will not comment other active operations which are not part of the Block-NATO.
The weekend was finished with a public action-training at the Place de la Republique in Strasbourg at which media was invited and also numerously appeared. http://wri-irg.org/node/6908)
3. State of preparations
As explained above we made precise arrangements with our partners of Block-NATO at their meeting. That means we, as NATO-ZU, decided about an exact blockade area and now are preparing to blockade in that area in self responsibility. See also: active operation guidelines down below.
Besides we further research about the legal situation in France (see more: #6, Legal) and are in touch with the legal team in Strasbourg and lawyers in Germany to secure a good legal assistance both at the face and after the actions. Nobody who will be caught up by the machinery of law will stand alone, we will support each other in solidarity.
Our own infrastructure at camp and during the active operations is also included in the preparation. We are in touch with a camp group to clear up what kind of infrastructure is given by them and which we must build up by ourselves. We are also discussing with our alliance partner of Block-NATO where in camp will be the area of NATO-ZU and where the area of Block-NATO so that we can communicate easier and can get prepared for action together.
More information about camp you will find down below.
Also we wrote an open letter to the police of Strasbourg to ask for dialogue. Aim of that conversation is to open canals of communication rather than negotiating about the operations of civil disobedience. This will hopefully help to prevent escalation of violence at the day of action. You can find our letter at the following link:
4. Prepartation – how YOU can prepare yourselves well for the action
The better all activists are prepared fort he operation, the better it will work out, the saver we can feel! That’s why we ask everybody, who will take part in the NATO-ZU blockade to prepare well – the following 4 points are important for that (except the active operation guidelines all the other the points are also important for other blockades within Block-NATO!):
a) action guidelines
Please read the guidelines and stick to it! For the operation of non-violent civil disobedience we agreed to these guidelines within in NATO-ZU alliance ( version of March 3rd 2009). In those guidelines we drafted aims and basics of nonviolence and principles of decision. There are fundamental for our action and have to be followed.
Within the non-violent action we want to act according to the active operation guidelines listed below. It doesn’t mean that each and every one of you has to share those guidelines as personal view of the world. They are rather understood as common understanding.
You can read more about the guidelines at that link: http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=44
Whether or not you are an experienced activist or not – we want that everybody, who wants to participate in a NATO-ZU blockade, takes part in a pre-action-training. The situation in Strasbourg is going to be very special, last but not least because we have to deal with French police. That also requires special preparation.
Pre-action-trainings serve to prepare fort he operation, to be conscious about motivation and aims, to think about fears and learn some tricks.
Which traings will take place beforehand you can find here: http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=37
If you and 6 to 35 other people want to attend and ask for training before April 1st please write to:
Of course trainings will be offered after April 1st at camp in Strasbourg. That should be the last date to attend. That’s why you should arrive early!
c) Form affinity groups!!!
Nobody should attend the active operation by him or herself. That’s why we suggest urgently forming affinity groups, which will take part in the action together and prepare together.
If possible form those affinity groups before travelling to Strasbourg. If you should come alone or you cannot find a group it will also be possible to join or found new affinity groups at the camp. Therefore please pay attention to posts and calls at the camp.
Further Information about affinity groups you can find here: http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=24
d) What to take with/What to leave home
What you should take to the actions and what you should better leave at home you can read here: http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=24
5. Security Zones in Strasbourg
Meanwhile there is more informatin about security zones which will be installed in Strasbourg. A map with both security zones you can find here:
April 2nd they will start building up a security fence up to 2 metre height around the red and orange zones. These fences then will be under permanent inspection of the police. Only people who can show an adequate permit-card may pass the fence. All together it seems to be a 30km security fence.
15 days ahead of closing the security areas there will already be police controls. Especially groups of people and demonstration will not be permitted.
As expected the Schengen Agreement will be annulled and after March 20th there will be boarder controls. The regional train transportation between Strasbourg and Kehl will be intercepted during the summit weekend of April 3rd till April 5th, the international transport will be redirected via Metz and Mannheim on April 4th till approximately till 10:15 a.m. Also for traffic there will be wide-ranging diversions.
More information (in French) you will find here: http://www.strasbourg.eu/international/sommet-otan?ItemID=2451198858#tr….
6. Legal stuff
There are two texts about legal information:
* One text of Shut down NATO/ NATO-ZU about possible legal consequences of our operation
* One text of the Legal Team Strasbourg (Ermittlungsausschuss) about attitudes and behaviour of the police and our rights. There you can also find the phone number of the board of investigation in Strasbourg: 03.68.46.02.62 (out of France international pre-dial 0033-...). If you have problems in Germany please contact the Legal Team Freiburg: 076... (von Deutschland aus - international 0049-...).
Both texts you can find on the website of Shut down NATO/ NATO-ZU. http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=45
Short summary: A non-violent blockade is probably understood as „unlawful assembly“ according to articel 431-3 (CP = Code Pénal or French penal code). The possible penalty of a premeditated participation in an anlawful assembly is – according to 431-4 – imprisonment up to one year and a fine up to 15.000 €
Though this sounds shocking you should have in mind that we are dealing with maximum penalties. It’s not the practical aim of French police to arrest everybody, but to disperse the unlawful assembly. In doing so they arbitrarily arrest some persons. The experience with French sentences is that they impose fines of approximately 500€, and rarely suspended prison sentences. We must hereby point out that there is no guarantee for anything.
More information about further possible, but less likely elements of crime and the original law texts you can find in our text, possible legal consequences of our action under: http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=45
There will be a camp!!! Although there have been lots of difficulties discussing with the city of Strasbourg there now is an agreement about the location for the camp. And there also is a webpage of the camp (german: http://camp09.blogsport.de/). It is located in south Strasbourg, along the Rue de la Ganzau. There also is a bus stop just near the camp.
The camp ground is not the best though. Part of it is simply farmer’s land. We recommend you to take plastic pads for your tent. The camp will be build up starting March 25th and the camp organization urgently needs some help building it all up! If you can help, please write to email@example.com
Recent information about the camp on our webpage http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=11.
Important: If you want to participate in Shut down NATO/ NATO-ZU register at us (http://www.natozu.de/index.php?id=11) and not additionally at the camp. We will then straight away forward the numbers of participants to the camp.
There is a group which is responsible for coordination of arrival. This group needs the following information of arriving buses:
a) implicitly give a phone number (cell phone) of the bus so that we can stay in tough if the bus has problems entering France or of any other kind
b) out of what city the bus is arriving
c) when you plan the arrival
d) how many people there are riding the bus
If you already know that you will participate in Shut down NATO/ NATO-ZU please email us the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to attend other active operations or other blockade points please contact email@example.com with that information.
Of course we don’t need list with names of all travellers but the amount of travellers is needed.
It is essential that buses arrive Thursday afternoon. Otherwise it will be diffucult to enter Strasbourg! Also you are supposed to participate in pre-action trainings.
Support the mobilisation
You can order materials at:
Hausmannstraße 6 | 70188 Stuttgart | Germany | Tel: +49-711-2319479
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:
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft IBAN DE10 3702 0500 0008 3046 07, BIC BFSWDE33
Flyer only exist in German. You can order them or download them (http://www.nato-zu.de/fileadmin/natozu/share/documents/flyer_nato-zu.pdf)
You can download the call in English at (http://www.nato-zu.de/fileadmin/natozu/share/documents/aufruf_nato-zu.p…)
10. Jobs – How you can help
During the action
The better the operation is prepared the better is can and will work out. Therefore we need lots of help. Precisely we need people willing to help:
* translate. We urgently need German-French interpreters ahead of and during the active operation at the face, for example for translating during the speakers councils, for contact with the police, for the Legal Team, for supporting the paramedics and so on
*as paramedics, or blockade paramedics
* People who have experience taking pictures, who want to observe and document the szene
* Coordinate the webpage www.nato-zu.de during the days of action. This includes information about local activities, recent report, press reports, pictures
* Work in the press/media team
* Support the camp and the actions logistically
* Carry out trainings (active operation trainers/coaches)
* Occupy the sound car during the active operation (someone who is already experienced in doing so)
* Council activists at camp during and most importan after the acitve operation – first aid for body and soul!
At the camp
Such a camp is not built up by itself and we will also need lots of help with our village. Although there are not yet precise requirements the following we will need for sure:
* People who arrive early and can help build up and organize the camp
* Also: Interpreters german/French for trainings and meetings
* Big tents, rent-free, that may be delivered right on-site
* Cars capable of transporting
* Fabrics, colors and material for banners, signs etc.
* Food-donations for the soup kitchen (vegan, organic if possible)
* Coffee, chocolate ... ;)
11. Statement about concerns
In the past days there have risen up some concerns about the legal situation in France, about the dangers of police operation and about missing political statements. We as the Shut down NATO/NATO-ZU alliance organization are taking those concerns seriously and try to deal with them constructively and response as following. We hope to clear off most of the concerns or at least minimize them.
Legal matters and police operation
On the one hand the legal objections are concerning the maximum penalties, after which the highest penalty for blockading is one year of imprisonment and a fine of 15.000 € (French legacy, article 431-4). According to reports of French activists the usual exercise is a fine of 500€ for the first contempt, and sometimes suspended sentences, also little trouble with the driver’s license.
The theoretical frame of penalties goes along with what we have found out so far and differs from usual business in Germany (administrative offence).
Important, though, is the information about the practical exercise. And that is probably more reasonable. Precise information about that see above point 6.
It was made clear again how important it is to make the legal consequences transparent for the activists. We are not allowed to and do not want to leave anyone alone and we of course understand anybody who decides against participation as for the legal situation. That’s why we tried to create the most transparency possible on our webpage and in this newsletter.
Another point is the possible attitude/behaviour of French police that has raised concerns. Sure is that we cannot expect the police just to carry away peacefully demonstrating blockaders. We are conscious of the potential violence within French police, and it is obvious that we have to include that fact to the trainings. This is also an important fact in developing strategies for our actions. We do everything possible not to provoke the police to use violence. We are also trying to get in tough with the police at that moment. We sent an open letter to the operation controllers ask for dialogue beforehand. This letter will be published – because publication means more protection.
Besides the mentioned transparency before the actions, at camp, during the trainings etc. it is clear that there must be councils after the actions. We have to take care that the activists getting into legal trouble will not be left alone by themselves. Not during the trial and not financially. Therefore we all have to make a contribution, to council the activists and manage everything together. We will get in touch with a group of lawyers and find out, whether or not they will be there for post-counselling. Otherwise we have to secure it.
Political discussion and public statements
It is perfectly right that there has been critics of different sides, the political statements of counter-summit activists have been too much in the background of discussions. The technical and administrative organization is very time-spending so that the emphasis of political statements and their publication come to grief. We are well aware of that and are now trying to develop strategies of how to change that. We want to organize public relations more offensively, want to react more offensively and thouroughly to current affairs about NATO and to press reports and thereby clearly state our point of view and our demands– again and again.
We don’t have much time left but our tasks become more and more each day. We still have a lot to do, much of it is still insecure and not sure, some of it even frightens us. Let’s therefore come together, put together our forces and let’s turn the action on April 4th into our succsess for the peace movement!
12. 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: https://www.spendenportal.de/formulare/spendenformular.php?id=341231003…
For questions or if you want to enter into a special agreement, please contact:
Account for donations
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft IBAN DE10 3702 0500 0008 3046 07, BIC BFSWDE33
13. Press review
selected press reports:
Legal Teams: Legal advisor around the clock http://www.badische-zeitung.de/offenburg/legal-teams-rechtsbeistand-run…
Duty of identification for visitors of France – NATO – Paris annulles Schengen-Agreement during the NATO summit, boarder controls http://www.jungewelt.de/2009/03-19/061.php
Bars and controls announce the NATO summit – Rheinvorland closed since Monday http://www.baden-online.de/news/artikel.phtml?page_id=70&db=news_lokale…
NATO-summit Stopps transport, http://www.mainpost.de/lokales/main-tauber/NATO-Gipfel-stoppt-Verkehr;a…
The ID-card – a must in Strasbourg , http://www.badische-zeitung.de/strassburg/der-ausweis-wird-in-strassbur…
Rech: Traffic delays during the NATO summit „unavaoidable“ http://www.dernewsticker.de/news.php?id=94584
"We will not just ring" - Baden-Württemberg wants to prevent violence with the help of police http://www.linie1-magazin.de/linie1/news/Politik/artikel.php?id=50455
NATO-opponents get their protest camp, http://www.swr.de/nachrichten/bw/-/id=1622/nid=1622/did=4591904/2xorkk/…
temporary boarder controls, http://www.mvregio.de/195736.html
results of survey: majority thinks critically about safety-precautions, http://www.ka-news.de/nachrichten/karlsruhe/Karlsruhe-Umfrage-NATO-Gipf…