Open letter: Actions of civil disobedience in Strasbourg on 4 April 2009

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Commissiaire Hartmann
Prefecture Bas-Rhin
5, Place de la République
67073 STRASBOURG Cédex
Fax : +33 388216155

Dear Mr Hartmann,

We contact you by way of this open letter to inform you about the actions of civil disobedience in relation to the NATO summit, planned by NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO in Strasbourg on 4 April. NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO is an international coalition of organisations and individuals from the peace movement, which jointly call for nonviolent actions of civil disobedience in Strasbourg on 4 April.
NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO is also part of the coalition "Block-NATO", and jointly we are organising actions of civil disobedience in Strasbourg.

In our call for the action we write:

On 4 April, a range of groups will express their protest against NATO and will attempt to obstruct the NATO summit in Strasbourg. We understand ourselves as part of the international protest movement 'No to war -No to NATO' and we will participate in these protest with our own significant nonviolent action.

We want to show that NATO goes over corpses, and that we will confront this policy. With our action, we want to remember the past and future victims of NATOs wars and of military armament, and want to express very clearly, which interests are being pursued with NATOs strategies.

The action will be provocative, but strictly nonviolent, even when our opponent attempts to clear us out of the way with violence. In the case of legal charges, we will put forward our legal view also in court and in doing so will enrich the public debate. According to our legal view, civil disobedience in most cases cannot only be justified morally/ethically, but also legally.

The groups which participate in NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO have a long tradition of actions of civil disobedience. It is important to us to also communicate the nonviolent character of our action to the police, and to have a talk about this with the police. This is not about negotiations about our action, or even a permit for our action. It is rather about avoiding a violent escalation, in the interest of all sides. For this, we think an open talk is useful.

One objective of such a meeting is also to open communication channels for the day of the action on 4 April. It is part of our action tradition that during an action we actively seek the contact with the police on site, to avoid an escalation.

We are looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Andreas Speck - War Resisters' International
For NATO-ZU/Shut down NATO

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