North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO https://wri-irg.org/en en Faroes islanders protest new NATO radar station https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/faroes-islanders-protest-new-nato-radar-station <div data-history-node-id="42435" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-08/1626887615ikejhpsdui.jpg?itok=pB8XYTD3 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-08/1626887615ikejhpsdui.jpg?itok=Sn8b7N7E 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-08/1626887615ikejhpsdui.jpg?itok=Sn8b7N7E" alt="A large number of people sit to listen to a speaker at a protest." typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption"></div> <time > 09 Aug 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Lowana Veal</span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span style="line-height:100%">During the Cold War a radar station was operated by the US military, under the guise of NATO, on Sornfelli mountain, 12 km from the capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn. The radar station was set up without the knowledge of the Faroese public: the Faroes are a Danish autonomous territory and the Danes had provided NATO and the US military with land to use as a military base in both Greenland and the Faroes, on the basis that they would then have to pay less dues to NATO. Most of the time the base and radar station were operated without consulting the Faroese islanders, who knew little about what was going on there.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height:100%">There is strong anti-militarist support in the Faroes, and when NATO announced that they would close the radar station on 1 January 2007 – three months after the US closed their military base in Iceland – the Faroese rejoiced.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height:100%">But in recent years the US and NATO have become increasingly interested in the North Atlantic waters, and the idea was mooted of re-establishing the radar base on Sornfelli, using new equipment. Earlier this year the Danish authorities said that they had come to an agreement with NATO on a radar station structure on Sornfelli.</span></p> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <div alt="The previous radar station on Sornfelli" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="247b68ec-8da9-4582-a5c2-2728ff9d153b" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="The previous radar station on Sornfelli" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/sornfelli.jpg?itok=Cd7OQNl1" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/sornfelli.jpg?itok=Cd7OQNl1 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>The previous radar station on Sornfelli, closed in 2007.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span style="line-height:100%">Again, the Faroese islanders were not consulted and, not surprisingly, they reacted strongly. While some islanders blindly follow whatever Denmark and NATO want to do and others are prepared to have the military back again if the Faroese islanders are consulted, opinion surveys indicate that the majority of Faroese residents are completely against the military build-up in the Faroes. But the make-up of the Faroese parliament does not reflect the latter view, and indeed it is unclear if in fact they will have a say in the matter at all.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height:100%">On July 21, the youth groups of the Faroese political parties opposing the radar station organized a demonstration, which was initially envisaged to be up on Sornfelli mountain itself but was then relocated to the capital, Tórshavn. The demonstration, which was attended by over 100 people, focused on the right to self-determination. Their message was clear: We make the decisions; Faroese politics will be governed from the Faroes; we own the radar; and we own the free space. That same evening, Icelandic anti-militarists staged a small demonstration of solidarity outside the Faroese embassy.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height:100%">Besides the radar station, Denmark also announced in February that it would purchase two surveillance drones for Greenland – another Danish autonomous territory. Together with the radar station on Sornfelli, these would cover “blind spots” and improve Denmark’s surveillance capabilities in Greenland and the North Atlantic. The Danes are planning to spend <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">1.5 billion Danish kroner ($245 million, €200 million) on the military investments in Sornfelli and Greenland.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_88 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/wri-affiliate" hreflang="en">WRI affiliate</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/199" hreflang="en">Denmark</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/216" hreflang="en">United States of America</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42435&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="QAKhZYJkmo-WyUZtBZ4m3WpNb3yQVZUnS1Iz5WvQ_DM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 09 Aug 2021 13:32:30 +0000 Andrew 42435 at https://wri-irg.org New content on Empowering Nonviolence https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/new-content-empowering-nonviolence <div data-history-node-id="42404" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/16.jpg?itok=OpgI5z_7 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/16.jpg?itok=a4_NxV0O 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/16.jpg?itok=a4_NxV0O" alt="The Sinjajevina highlands - lots of open grassland. In the distance is a small church" title="The Sinjajevina highlands" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">The Sinjajevina highlands</div> <time > 24 May 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>WRI's Nonviolence Programme has published a new interview with a representative from the Save Sinjajevina campaign, who managed to stop NATO soldiers from using a unique pasturelands in the highlands of Montenegro for training and target practice. In the interview, Pablo Dominquez explores the context of the campaign, how an alliance of herders, young people, environmentalists and international NGOs was built, why they were so effective in stopping the training exercise, and what the long term future of the campaign looks like.</p> <p>Check out the article on the Empowering Nonviolence website here: <a href="https://www.nonviolence.wri-irg.org/en/resources/2021/save-sinjajevina-how-movement-took-military-and-won-first-crucial-battle">https://www.nonviolence.wri-irg.org/en/resources/2021/save-sinjajevina-…</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Nonviolence</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/260" hreflang="en">Montenegro</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42404&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="ii3GYd5o5nRMHaumGNW37FSE-YiRUQXD_YiTyG2CFTA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 24 May 2021 11:24:35 +0000 Andrew 42404 at https://wri-irg.org Demilitarizing territories of life: an example from Sinjajevina, Montenegro https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/demilitarizing-territories-life-example-sinjajevina-montenegro <div data-history-node-id="42355" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-02/facebook_image_5.jpg?itok=KyVn0TZp 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-02/facebook_image_5.jpg?itok=KOXpruQg 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-02/facebook_image_5.jpg?itok=KOXpruQg" alt="A large group of people sitting around a campfire at night" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption"></div> <time > 19 Feb 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Save Sinjajevina Association</span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In September 2019 the government in Montenegro passed a decree inaugurating an artillery training ground on the grasslands of the Sinjajevina highlands, a rather karstic plateau with mostly smooth grassy slopes till the eye can reach in the north of Montenegro. and though the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro and the Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development initially opposed the military use of the land, higher ranks in the government seem to have played their role and silenced them. If a military training ground is consolidated in the area it would be very harmful to both local people in terms of their health, their economies, their livelihoods and their culture. It would also have a huge impact on grazing animals, the wild plants and animals, beekeeping, watercourses, agro-economy of the villagers, and ecology in general.</p> <p>The first international NATO military training and weapon testing with important NATO allied forces from the USA, Italy, Austria and Slovenia began on 27th September 2019. Even if the local people and their grazing animals were still in the area, they were not really consulted regarding this project. It took place without any publicly available assessment on environmental, health or economic impacts of the military activities on this mountainous area, which has both rich biodiversity and cultural values. The European Union said nothing about what was occurring, despite Montenegro being a candidate state and probably one day a full member of the EU.</p> <p>Sinjajevina is the greatest pastureland in the Balkan region and one of the biggest on the European continent, with a legacy of sustainable and biologically enriching pastoralist management of the land spanning thousands of years. It is a part of the great UNESCO biosphere reserve and is bordered by two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over 22,000 people live in Sinjajevina’s lower lands today, and more than 250 pastoralist families use its highland pasture and their livelihoods are directly reliant on the land.</p> <p></p><div alt="A wide view of the pastureland. In the background is a mountain. In the foreground is a camp and people" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e8781ea5-e008-47aa-8369-87db85e0bbb2" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/facebook_image_6.jpg?itok=uy3myyVn 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/facebook_image_6.jpg?itok=uy3myyVn" alt="A wide view of the pastureland. In the background is a mountain. In the foreground is a camp and people" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p>As rumors started to spread about another military training planned to take place from mid-October until the beginning of December 2020, a group of pastoralists, local people and people from other cities all around the country, different environmental activists and rights’ groups, began organising a protest. The construction of the military training ground would mean the destruction of a millenia-old relationship between humans and the environment, both materially and in terms of meaning, and therefore the destruction of a uniquely valuable bio-cultural system.</p> <p>The military escalated warnings, and an official statement on 10th October announced that on Monday 19th October a military training exercise would begin on Sinjajevina. This pushed local pastoralists into action in collaboration with environmental activists and rights’ groups from all over Montenegro. Under the ‘Save Sinjajevina’ banner, a group of 150 people travelled to the pasturelands in Sinjajevina and set up, on Friday 16th October, a community blockade, backed up by an increasing number of international actors that supported the campaign. The group ended up setting up a permanent camp at Margita, a flat area the heart of the military training ground, where the protestors prepared to face the body of NATO soldiers that had started to arrive in the neighbouring city of Kolasin.</p> <p></p><div alt="A group of trucks move across the landscape" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2c68814c-8bca-413b-a540-ad9ed4353871" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/facebook_image_2.jpg?itok=yNLgAPZ7 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/facebook_image_2.jpg?itok=yNLgAPZ7" alt="A group of trucks move across the landscape" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p>Initially, the aim of the protestors was to maintain their blockade until a new Montenegrin Government - who won a national election on the 30th August and were more sympathetic to Sinjajevina’s plight - was installed. The new government was originally expected to be formed by early November but finally did not come into place until 2nd December. This critical delay triggered a two-month long game of cat and mouse between herders and the military, during which the struggle for Sinjajevina made headlines across Montenegro and abroad.</p> <p>The different groups of defenders had to remain very alert to military incursions into different parts of Sinjajevina. On the 18th of November, several groups of defenders took up positions on multiple hilltops around a newly established one-night military camp composed of around 100 troops. In that way, protesters, working as human shields, blocked any bombings into this new spot of the pasturelands some 3km away from the original protest camp in Margita.</p> <p>On November 19, an army detachment also approached Okrugljak, the biggest katun (small settlements of mountain huts used by herder families) in Sinjajevina with over 15 active herder households 10km from Margita. Local people called for support and after a few hours of observation by defenders who again placed themselves as widely as possible over the top hills of the area, the army left, unable to find the “right” conditions for their weapon testing.</p> <p>In tandem with the frontline measures taken by Save Sinjajevina defenders, allies of the herders were making their plight known across Montenegro and globally through the media. Some 100 organizations under the leadership of Land Rights Now, ICCA Consortium, International Land Coalition, the Common Lands Network and Rights &amp; Resources signed a joint statement. They also launched a signature collection campaign with the support of Avaaz, and a crowdfunding request, to try to contribute to stopping the military in their attempt to occupy the pasturelands.</p> <p>After this resistance locally and a combined <a href="https://www.facebook.com/sacuvajmosinjajevinu/">national campaign</a> and <a href="https://www.landcoalition.org/en/newsroom/global-civil-society-urges-eu-suspend-membership-talks-montenegro/">international campaign</a> to support the protection of Sinjajevina’s social and ecological systems, the new Defense Minister of the recently elected government (which ended 30 years of rule of the Democratic Party of Socialists), announced that the plan for a military training ground on Sinjajevina would be revaluated. Protestors could go back to their homes because there was not going to be any more military trainings in the area that winter. However, there has been no official announcement cancelling the inauguration of the military polygon.</p> <h1>Some history...</h1> <p>In June 2017 Montenegro abandoned the policy of military neutrality and officially joined NATO as a member state, in an effort to align itself with Western powers, strengthen its links to the European Union and to grow westwards, while trying to make a clearer cut from its sister nation, Serbia. This break was led by Milo Djukanovic, the longtime leader of the country who is still today president, after 30 years at the top of the country from the moment of the end of Socialist Yugoslavia. Djukanovic joined the Yugoslav Communist League (SKJ) - the only political party allowed by law in the Yugoslavian one-party political system at the time - in 1979. By 1986, he was a presidency member of the Socialist Youth Alliance, and is one of two European post-socialist leaders - alongside Lukasenko in Belarus - to remain in power since the fall of the Berlin wall.</p> <p>Djukanovic turned against Milošević in 1996, and also started abandoning the traditional Serbian-Montenegrin ethnic and cultural bond, ultimately pushing Montenegro to independence in a referendum in 2006. Djukanovic had a well thought out plan for his country as well as himself; after 30 years he is still the president of the country owning immense fortunes while the country’s mean salary is around €500 a month. Over the course of his several premierships and presidencies, Djukanovic eagerly bought into the neoliberal agenda of the west, and undertook massive privatization of the country’s public companies. He offered easy terms of ownership and engagement to foreign investors and firms from whom he and his close allies never ceased to benefit. Djukanovic’s rule has been marked by a high degree of autocracy leading to allegations of personal profiteering, which has provoked a series of peaceful protests over the last decade. Moreover, an Italian tribunal accused Djukanovic of collaborating with the mafia, a case that had to be dismissed when he acquired immunity due to his status as the head of the state.</p> <p>In such context and after centuries of brotherhood with Serbia and long-held opposition to NATOs bombing of the ex-Yugoslav republic, Montenegrin society was very polarized when the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) led by Djukanovic took the country into the NATO Alliance, without even holding a referendum. Then, just one year later, in March 2018 the first unofficial news about the plans for a military training ground reached the local communities in Sinjajevina and on September 5 2019, the Government decreed unilaterally the creation of the military training site in Sinjajevina.</p> <p>The push for a Sinjajevina training ground does not seem to be driven by Montenegro’s army alone or even led by itself at all, as at full muster it comprises fewer than 2,400 active soldiers and seems to have no need for such a large scale military ground, especially with others in place already. The training ground was initially proposed at the size of 25,000 ha, almost three times the size of Paris, before being redued to 10,000 ha, then 7,500 ha, then back to 10,000 ha. Embarrassingly enough nobody really knows its size or limits, despite having already been inaugurated!</p> <p>It seems very plausible that Montenegro’s and Sinjajevina’s position on Europe’s southeastern flank, at the very frontier of Russian and Western influences, is seen as strategic by NATO, and perhaps the European Union, of which Montenegro is not yet a member but a candidate, and which puts it in a position that makes Montenegro more vulnerable to pressure. It can’t be a coincidence that just one year after joining NATO, Montenegro decides to disposess people of their land, or that the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, insisted publicly that military exercises must be carried out in Montenegro and that if NATO members want to remain members they must accept the presence of NATO and its military needs... which all in all makes one think that NATO really wanted this territory, which is clearly of geostrategic importance to NATO.</p> <h1>What might happen next</h1> <p>As there is now a new government in place and social and political majority in the country against the idea that Sinjajevina pastureland becomes a military ground and a growing national and international contestation is rising, there are rumors that the old plan of creating a top-down protected area in the region could come back in place.</p> <p>Concerning this possibility, the Save Sinjajevina movement thinks that Sinjajevina should neither become a top-down nature park restrictive with traditional uses. Instead, it should be a horizontal, co-governed area promoting the economic activity of its pastoralist populations who, through their traditional herding practices, are the main guarantors of the construction and conservation of these ecosystems and unique landscapes. Without pastoralists there are no pastures in these subalpine contexts. Anybody with knowledge of Mediterranean mountain pasturleands can tell you, and the local farmers first, that if the pastoralism ceases, within 20 to 60 years the trees and forest start to arrive, and the rich and unique pastoral biodiversity there developed through thousands of year of co-adaptation between pastoralism and pastures would disappear.</p> <p>So to conserve that nature you need to conserve the way that human activity has been in the area for millennia. Therefore, the Save Sinjajevina movement supports the idea of creating what we could call a ‘community protected area’, a Protected Area designed and governed with the full participation of local communities. In Sinjajevina humans should be actively interconnected with the environment, instead of being separated from it. The movement is critical of the old school concept of top-down management, where state institutions define what and how things should be done in the territory and ecosystems that have been managed by and for local communities for millennia. Therefore, things should move, at local, national and international level, or at least an important part of the struggle, in favor of granting a system where local communities actively participate in the decision making and management of Sinjajevina following the examples of other cases of success in the EU (see the same type of examples of the <a href="https://www.iucn.org/downloads/ampezzo.pdf">Dolomites</a> in Italy or in the <a href="http://www.causses-et-cevennes.fr/en/">Cevennes</a> in France).</p> <h1>How you can help</h1> <p>To support the campaign, people can:</p> <ul> <li>sign the international petition against the creation of the military ground on Sinjajevina and for the creation of a community conserved area, on the Land Rights Now web page (<a href="https://www.landrightsnow.org/get-involved/save-sinjajevina-now/">https://www.landrightsnow.org/get-involved/save-sinjajevina-now/</a></li> <li>contribute to the international crowdfunding that has been set up to help these fellows and local communities continue organizing to grant protection to their lands and livelihoods at the kukumiku website (<a href="https://www.kukumiku.com/proyectos/save-sinjajevina/">https://www.kukumiku.com/proyectos/save-sinjajevina/</a>)</li> <li><a name="__DdeLink__2378_1772819617" id="__DdeLink__2378_1772819617"></a> visit the Save Sinjajevina mouvement’s website in English at <a href="http://www.sinajevina.org/">www.sinajevina.org</a>, share this news with people and organizations interested in human rights, land rights issues and environmental protection, as they need all the help in the world.</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_77 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> <div class="field field--name-field-bio field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The “Save Sinjajevina” initiative  is mobilizing to defend the Sinjajevina-Durmitor massif mountain range, a traditional pastoral territory in Montenegro, from being converted into a military training ground.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/260" hreflang="en">Montenegro</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42355&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="NDsghfuLFIEv_ez4UewUtYxhQJfo2YF7cT8CQSGf8LM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 19 Feb 2021 09:15:16 +0000 Andrew 42355 at https://wri-irg.org Featured affiliate: Samtök hernaðarandstæðinga (Campaign Against Militarism) https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/featured-affiliate-samtok-hernadarandstaedinga-campaign-against-militarism <div data-history-node-id="42008" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2020-01/img_0418.jpeg?itok=55G0KUMM 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-01/img_0418.jpeg?itok=sLNXzOYN 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-01/img_0418.jpeg?itok=sLNXzOYN" alt="A candle floating ceremony organised by CAM" title="A candle floating ceremony organised by CAM" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">A candle floating ceremony organised by CAM</div> <time > 21 Jan 2020</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a name="_GoBack" id="_GoBack"></a> Icelanders have opposed military activities and NATO since the time that the country was occupied in 1940, first by the UK and then by the US. One of the demands at a huge demonstration against Iceland’s forcible incorporation into NATO in 1949 was a referendum about Iceland’s entry into NATO.</p> <p>Iceland’s Campaign Against Militarism has existed in some form or other for a long time, originally being established in Thingvellir National Park in 1960 as “Samtök hernámsandstæðinga” (Campaign Against Military Occupation). That disbanded in 1969 but “Samtök herstöðvaandstæðinga” (Campaign Against Military Bases) was founded in 1972. In 2006 the organization changed its name to “Samtök hernaðarandstæðinga” (Campaign Against Militarism) when the offending US military decided suddenly to physically abandon their base in Iceland (though leaving their toxic waste behind). Environmental effects of military operations, especially those related to operations in Iceland, are the focus of the next issue of the organization’s newsletter/magazine, Dagfari.</p> <p>Although the military abandoned their Iceland base in September 2006, part of it – the security zone ­– is still closed to the public. CAM has been aware that the US military has requested funds from both the Pentagon and the Icelandic government for upgrading two hangars in the security zone so that two fighter jet squadrons can be located there. The US Navy is now carrying out submarine reconnaissance flights in the GIUK gap – an acronym for Greenland, Iceland and the UK – and also want to provide basic accommodation for up to 1000 military personnel.</p> <p>CAM has every reason to believe that the US military is thinking about returning to Iceland.</p> <p>Last year, Iceland was visited by both US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then US Vice-President Mike Pence. Mike Pompeo came at short notice so there was little time to organize anything, but he is reported as saying “Iceland is also a steadfast NATO ally” and “We thank Iceland for its assistance with the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the Coalition to Defeat ISIS.” Note that Iceland does not have its own military.</p> <p> </p> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="A large number of people take part in a demonstration. They are holding banners and signs." data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f526bc52-cb6e-4ca0-9cdc-0e0b69a89c85" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="A large number of people take part in a demonstration. They are holding banners and signs." class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/img_1136.jpeg?itok=RTyrw_VU" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/img_1136.jpeg?itok=RTyrw_VU 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>A demonstration organised by CAM against Mike Pences visit</figcaption> </figure> <p>We had more notice for Mike Pence’s visit and co-organized a demonstration outside the Althingi (Icelandic parliament) with the LGBTQ organization, a women’s group and others. While in Iceland, Pence was asked by the Icelandic press whether he thought it had been a good idea to close down the US base in 2006. He was evasive in his response, apparently saying that he would talk to staff at the base – he met staff at the security section of the old base – and report on the situation to Donald Trump.</p> <p>CAM is also attempting to get Iceland to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that ICAN initiated and is especially hopeful now as the Prime Minister is from the Left-Green party, which is the only party in power that is against the military and NATO. Left-Green MPs who are members of CAM have proposed that Iceland signs the TPNW.</p> <p>CAM also sends resolutions to the press about matters such as Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the INF treaty. From time to time it also holds meetings on peace-related issues like the situation in Yemen and Syria.</p> <p> </p> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <div alt="Members of CAM go to speak to NATO soldiers putting up tents during Trident Juncture" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="afb920b2-c0b0-4f00-92ac-e3682d22f75b" data-langcode="en" title="CAM go to speak to NATO soldiers during Trident Juncture"> <img alt="Members of CAM go to speak to NATO soldiers putting up tents during Trident Juncture" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/img_0943.jpeg?itok=S7S1PjgY" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/img_0943.jpeg?itok=S7S1PjgY 1x" title="CAM go to speak to NATO soldiers during Trident Juncture" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>CAM go to speak to NATO soldiers during Trident Juncture</figcaption> </figure> <p>CAM protests when NATO countries engage in military air activities which are held at 3-month intervals and organized a number of activities during the Trident Juncture exercise by NATO in October 2018.</p> <p>CAM is an active participant in two annual peace events that are organized by a coalition of peace groups. One is a candle-floating ceremony to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the other is a candle-lit march that takes place early evening on December 23, which in Iceland is a time when many people congregate in the city centre.</p> <p>In 2005, CAM bought its own premises in central Reykjavik. Besides being a venue for peace-related activities, it is also used by other radical activist and peace groups.</p> <h1>Contact details</h1> <p><strong>Address: </strong>Campaign Against Militarism, Njalsgata 87, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland</p> <p><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://fridur.is/" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">http://fridur.is/</a></p> <p><strong>Social media: </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Fridarhus/">https://www.facebook.com/Fridarhus/</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/wri-affiliate" hreflang="en">WRI affiliate</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/223" hreflang="en">Iceland</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42008&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="4m5YnLlDS0P8ydGedUotAQXMa126z52-kq1F0HLP5VQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 21 Jan 2020 10:19:55 +0000 Andrew 42008 at https://wri-irg.org Direct action against the NATO summit https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2018/direct-action-against-nato-summit <div data-history-node-id="41548" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2018-07/nato_picture.jpg?itok=MBjR0C5N 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-07/nato_picture.jpg?itok=LbULI1aL 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-07/nato_picture.jpg?itok=LbULI1aL" alt="Direct action against the NATO summit" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption"></div> <time > 27 Jul 2018</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In Belgium, WRI affiliates took repeated direct action against the NATO summit, held at the NATO headquarters on the 11th and 12th July. <a href="https://agirpourlapaix.be/">Agir Pour la Paix</a>, <a href="https://www.vredesactie.be/en">Vredesactie</a>, and groups from Spain targeted arms company HQs with a bloody die-in, joined marches carrying model missiles, and hung banners from bridges. The NATO summit is a gathering of the leaders of countries involved in NATO - Donald Trump used the meeting to demand member states massively increase their military spending.</p> <p>For more information, see Agir Pour la Paix's website: <a href="https://agirpourlapaix.be/stopnato-2018-album/">https://agirpourlapaix.be/stopnato-2018-album/</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/166" hreflang="en">Belgium</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=41548&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="wtc_2uvSGNlyIFq5k1OnyxuIOP-50MWNl9Trv5OT7A0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 27 Jul 2018 18:01:21 +0000 cmoy 41548 at https://wri-irg.org Call outs for actions against war preparations in Europe https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2018/call-outs-actions-against-war-preparations-europe <div data-history-node-id="41454" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2018-04/no-to-nato-call-out.jpg?itok=GJrbq85X 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-04/no-to-nato-call-out.jpg?itok=L0vk7WcG 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-04/no-to-nato-call-out.jpg?itok=L0vk7WcG" alt="Poster that reads: Stop NATO 2018 11&amp;12 .07 Nonviolent Direct Actions Call" title="Image: Agir Pour La Paix" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">Image: Agir Pour La Paix</div> <time > 18 Apr 2018</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Sarah Reader</span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>WRI affiliates and friends are calling for direct actions against <a href="http://www.eurosatory.com/?lang=en">Eurosatory</a> – the Paris arms fair – and <a href="https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/news_147856.htm">the NATO summit</a> that will take place in Brussels in July.</p> <h3>Eurosatory</h3> <p>Eurosatory is one of the world's biggest arms fairs. It takes place every two years in Paris and features over 1500 arms companies displaying all the weapons, equipment and technology needed for waging war. Arms companies come together with military delegations and official representatives from countries engaged in conflict, repression and human rights violations including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey.</p> <p>When: The arms fair will take place from 11-15 June. Actions will be happening from 9 June.<br /> Where: Parc des Expositions at Villepinte, Paris</p> <p>Two groups in France have put calls out for action: <a href="http://www.desobeir.net/category/activisme/pacifisme/">Désobéissants</a> and <a href="https://stopfuellingwar.org/en/actions">Stop Fuelling War</a></p> <p>Published meetings / actions so far</p> <ul> <li>9 June: Stop Fuelling War: Protest in central Paris</li> <li>10 June: Stop Fuelling War: Day of workshops and talks</li> <li>11 June: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1757975000889317/">Les Désobéissants</a>: Dance, music and painting at the arms fair (11h in the Parc des Expositions at Villepinte)</li> <li>11 June: Stop Fuelling War: Silent witness</li> <li>12 June: Les Désobéissants: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/293041944555270/">Non-violent blockade of the arms fair</a>  (11h at the entrance to the Parc des Expositions)</li> </ul> <h3>NATO summit in Brussels</h3> <p>The next NATO summit is due to take place from 11-12 July, where NATO want to "<a href="https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/news_147856.htm">further strengthen the bond between Europe and North America</a>"; strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region, "fight terrorism" and "further deepen the relationship between NATO and the European Union".</p> <p>Last year hundreds of people took part in a blockade of the roads leading into the NATO summit. This year there is <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/241088406461133/">a call-out for decentralised actions</a> against <a href="http://agirpourlapaix.be/targets/">a list of targets</a>. This includes arms companies, NATO embassies and political institutions such as the European Defence Agency.</p> <p>When: 11-12 July<br /> Where: Across Brussels<br /> <b>List of potential targets: </b><a href="http://agirpourlapaix.be/targets/">http://agirpourlapaix.be/targets/</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_65 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> <div class="field field--name-field-bio field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sarah Reader, Agir Pour La Paix</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/123" hreflang="en">France</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/166" hreflang="en">Belgium</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/444" hreflang="en">War starts here</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=41454&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="Jaoi7cuqf94DR3Rgzl3hdNiNkOtLWFLmxkb6PHj9W5w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 18 Apr 2018 15:06:30 +0000 HBrock 41454 at https://wri-irg.org Stop Aurora! https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2017/stop-aurora <div data-history-node-id="40907" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2017-09/stop_aurora_clowns.jpg?itok=itDqwojH 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2017-09/stop_aurora_clowns.jpg?itok=ihhG_I6u 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2017-09/stop_aurora_clowns.jpg?itok=ihhG_I6u" alt="A clown blockade outside a Swedish military base" title="A clown blockade outside a Swedish military base" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">A clown blockade outside a Swedish military base</div> <time > 26 Sep 2017</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="Activists on the run way to disrupt the Aurora actions" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_1_3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e6baddd2-f193-4ac1-a63a-fb5e2f271807" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="Activists on the run way to disrupt the Aurora actions" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/medium/public/stop_aurora_runway.jpg?itok=DyEJf_gt" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_325x325/public/stop_aurora_runway.jpg?itok=JvQ2L3Wq 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Activists on the run way to disrupt the Aurora actions</figcaption> </figure> <p>Throughout September, the Swedish military is taking part in the largest war games held in the country in decades. Thousands of Swedish troops and NATO countries including United States, Finland, France, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and Denmark will participate.</p> <p>The military exercises have been met with protests, including a large march through Gothenburg city centre, a clown blockade at the entrance of a military base, and activists entering the restricted military area and making it onto the runway.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/173" hreflang="en">Sweden</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=40907&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="iLYizPJQz-mwHav_Jzo8jj5Z44bCPeoXMycz8mpvfGQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:21:31 +0000 Andrew 40907 at https://wri-irg.org Actions against NATO in Brussels https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2017/actions-against-nato-brussels <div data-history-node-id="40705" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2017-06/34032630503_8382768c87_k.jpg?itok=4KWlfzGH 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2017-06/34032630503_8382768c87_k.jpg?itok=7BKbo5l1 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2017-06/34032630503_8382768c87_k.jpg?itok=7BKbo5l1" alt="Protesters holding a sign reading &#039;No EU money for arms dealers&#039; talking to police officers in the foyer of the European Commission" title="Photo: Vredesactie" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">Photo: Vredesactie</div> <time > 24 May 2017</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Actions are taking place in Brussels this week against in the run up to the NATO summit. Yesterday (23rd May), a group of peace activists occupied the offices of the European Commission. With their action they denounced the steps the European Union is taking to start a military research programme carried out by the arms industry. They set up tents, and were in place in all morning.</p> <p>See a video of yesterday's occupation of the European Commission <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Istopthearmstrade.eu/videos/627061047488981/">here</a>.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/166" hreflang="en">Belgium</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/444" hreflang="en">War starts here</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=40705&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="chTA_upa6GqAugVZEhhbGYZEBBiTApvgTFDUb59IIxc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 24 May 2017 09:30:11 +0000 HBrock 40705 at https://wri-irg.org Call for Support: Repressive Response against MOC Activists for Blockading Tank Transport during NATO Exercise https://wri-irg.org/en/SupportMOCValencia <div data-history-node-id="26255" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 30 Mar 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong>REPRESSIVE RESPONSE AGAINST ANTI-MILITARIST MOC ACTIVISTS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCEUP TO 12.000 EUROS  FINE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SEVERAL YEARS JAIL SENTENCE FOR  BLOCKADE IN THE PORT OF SAGUNTO AGAINST NATO MANEUVERS. </strong></p> <p>The group of antimilitarists that paralyzed the transport of armoured vehicles to the NATO “Trident Juncture“ manoeuvres last October face accusations of “serious disobedience”, “breach of the peace”, and fines for “intrusion". </p> <!--break--> <p>On October 16, 2015 six <strong>Antimilitaristes-MOC</strong> activists entered the esplanade of  the Port of Sagunto, where transportation of military vehicles to the principal site of the NATO manoeuvres,  “Trident Juncture“, was being prepared. Trident Juncture is the most important Alliance war training of the last ten years. In spite of the fact that they were wearing white overalls,  pink reflective vests and carrying  banners with the words “WAR STOPS HERE” and “SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE: OBSTRUCTING WAR PREPARATIONS”, and  accompanied by two journalists, the presence of the group went unnoticed by security forces for the few minutes  needed to identify the most ostentatious military vehicles among the dozens stationed there: the Danish army Leopard 2E tanks, set to be transported to the field of manoeuvres in Chinchilla (Albacete).</p> <p>It took only a few minutes for four activists to fix lock-on tubes inside the chains of two of the tanks, which could only be liberated after the intervention four hours later by two units of the Civil Guard Rural Safety Group, using a radial saw which rendered useless the three metallic tubes. The journalists had already been forced to leave the area without being able to cover the story in its entirety due to threats of legal action against them. The group of 6 activists were detained and taken to Civil Guard premises in Puçol, where they remained for  almost four hours before being released with charges.</p> <p><strong>Repressive Response</strong></p> <p>In spite of there being no damages incurred or danger in the action, four activists received Breach of the Peace and Disobedience charges - the recent reform of the Penal code has modified punishment for protest actions of this type, making it a possibility that if found guilty they could receive prison sentences of up to four years and fines of several thousand euros.  This repressive action against the group of antimilitarists was strengthened a few weeks later when an administrative procedure was opened by the Government Delegation that imposes four serious infractions on them in accordance with the Law of Civil Security for <em>“intrusion in facilities which lend basic services to the community when serious interference is caused in its functioning”. </em>For this infraction, the Government Delegation has imposed four fines of 601 euros on the activists , sanctions that have been stayed awaiting the outcome of the penal process.</p> <p>Added to this, the Civil Guard report on which this repressive action is based, opens the door to accusations for possible damages for <em>“public diffusion of  messages that incite the commission of crimes of alteration of public order”, </em>or the imputation of three journalists who covered the action. The report affirms  that the group of antimilitarists had entered the enclosure <em>“after breaking several blocks of concrete in the perimetral all[. . .] using a mace or similar tool”, without any presentation of proof, and that “the activists were well organised, each having a particular function: [. . . ] three of them recorded and photographed the incident [. . . ] publishing it some  hours later on the Internet page of the movement MOC Valencia”.</em></p> <p>For the time being, none of these affirmations have resulted in major repressive action, and the four activists are at present awaiting a subpoena to give evidence in the Court of Instruction number 1 in Sagunto. </p> <p><strong>Call for support</strong></p> <p>The repressive response to this non-violent action might be the first application in all its weight  of the “gag laws” (Reform of Penal Code and Citizen Safety Law) against a conscious action of civil disobedience since they came into force in mid 2015, (strongly opposed by a large, diverse sector of society). <strong>Antimilitaristes-MOC</strong> are calling on this sector for support in order to face this repressive state action, (administrative repression and economic repression), and  in order to continue to be able to use non-violent means of civil disobedience. One of main targets of the action was to break with the silence and the pessimism that led to the cooling of social protest last year while the new laws that criminalize the activism of social movements were being put in place,  Also to make it clear that civil disobedience, is not only a valid instrument against these “gag laws”, but also a legitimate tool of  radically democratic political participation.</p> <p><strong>The antimilitarist group calls on the solidarity of the social majority that is against war and war preparations – a social majority which is given voice through this action.</strong></p> <p>The day of the blockade ,<em>“we wanted to detain the flow of material and personnel to these war games but  also make visible the contrast on the one hand between the terrible situation of the refugees from  wars, who seek protection and encounter fences, razor-wire and death at sea, and on the other hand the absolute freedom of movement of executors of wars and armaments, especially during these military exercises”. </em><br /> For the anti-militarist collective, <em>“actions such as this  help to construct a culture of peace based on cooperation, justice and non-violence, rather than dissuasion or force”. “It is necessary to change the paradigm of defence and to move away from a military concept of  safety,  which leads us repeatedly to  war and violence, towards  'human safety' as it is defined by the UN, which places at the centre the defence of  rights of people and nature”. </em></p> <p><strong>antimilitaristes-moc bank account </strong><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;"><br /> </span>Holder: ADOC-PV <br />IBAN:ES8031590009961662980521</p> <p><strong>Paypal</strong></p> <form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post" target="_top"> <input name="cmd" value="_s-xclick" type="hidden" /> <input name="hosted_button_id" value="NMFARJ7BS3Y9N" type="hidden" /> <input name="submit" src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_GB/i/btn/btn_donate_LG.gif" alt="PayPal – The safer, easier way to pay online." type="image" /><img src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/es_ES/i/scr/pixel.gif" alt="" height="1" width="1" border="0" /></form> <p><strong>_________________________________________</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>More information:</strong></p> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;"> <p><strong>Más información de la acción:</strong></p> <p>- Fotos: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466">https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466</a></p> <p>- Vídeo: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE</a></p> <p>- See more at: <a href="http://mocvalencia.org/es/content/petici%C3%B3n-de-ayuda-hasta-12000-euros-y-c%C3%A1rcel-por-el-bloqueo-de-los-tanques-de-las-maniobras#sthash.Y0Z0VEl6.dpuf">http://mocvalencia.org/es/content/petici%C3%B3n-de-ayuda-hasta-12000-eu…</a></p></div> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;"> <p><strong>Más información de la acción:</strong></p> <p>- Fotos: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466">https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466</a></p> <p>- Vídeo: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE</a></p> <p>- See more at: <a href="http://mocvalencia.org/es/content/petici%C3%B3n-de-ayuda-hasta-12000-euros-y-c%C3%A1rcel-por-el-bloqueo-de-los-tanques-de-las-maniobras#sthash.Y0Z0VEl6.dpuf">http://mocvalencia.org/es/content/petici%C3%B3n-de-ayuda-hasta-12000-eu…</a></p></div> <p>- Photos: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466">https://www.flickr.com/photos/mocvalencia/albums/72157659391741466</a></p> <p>- Video: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHBbOQH9vE</a></p> <p><span style="mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;">______________________________________________</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;"><strong>antimilitaristes-moc</strong><br /><a href="mailto:retirada@pangea.org">retirada@pangea.org</a> // <a href="http://twitter.com/mocvalencia" target="_blank">@mocvalencia</a> // <a href="http://mocvalencia.org" target="_blank">mocvalencia.org</a></span></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/wri-affiliate" hreflang="en">WRI affiliate</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Nonviolence</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/201" hreflang="en">Spain (State of)</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/68" hreflang="en">WRI activists</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/444" hreflang="en">War starts here</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Other publications</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/73" hreflang="en">wri-info</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26255&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="pfOqKhghR7l_LBTfUkb0k940NdgboVJewdLw864q9Kw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:38:39 +0000 HBrock 26255 at https://wri-irg.org Trident Juncture & natural resources in Africa https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2015/trident-juncture-natural-resources-africa <div data-history-node-id="25006" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 05 Oct 2015</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h3>During the NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 the alliance will practice military interventions in North Africa</h3> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="02284bcd-ceb5-4fca-ba5e-77c2bd987948" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/US_Navy_Marines_Sierra_del_Retin.home.jpg?itok=i7wF2KYg" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/US_Navy_Marines_Sierra_del_Retin.home.jpg?itok=i7wF2KYg 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Marines from the US train in la Sierra del Retin, Barbate</figcaption> </figure> <p>The NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will take place during October 2015 and until early November in Italy, Portugal, and the State of Spain. According to a variety of sources, this will be the “<em>largest exercise of NATO since the end of the Cold War</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote1sym">1</a>, “<em>largest exercise conducted by the Alliance since 2002</em>” (…) and “<em>the Alliance’s most important exercise in 2015</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote2sym">2</a>, or “<em>the largest deployment of the Alliance in the last decade</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote3sym">3</a>. The exercise consists of two clearly distinguished phases, a command post exercise (CPX, 3-16 October) and a phase of real action (Live Exercise, LIVEX, 21 October-6 November). </p> <p>As the Spanish Ministry of Defence says: “<em>The CPX phase ... expects to evaluate and certify the command structure of the NRF 2016, and will take place in installations in Germany, Belgium, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.</em></p> <p><em>During LIVEX ... different naval, aerial, terrestrial offensive operations, amphibian landing operations, parachute jumps, urban actions, interventions in a CRBN [chemical, radiological, biological, and nuclear – the author] environment, and actions of special operations forces will be trained.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote4sym">4</a></p> <p>This means that during the CPX phase the military will play in their barracks (or headquarters), while during the LIVEX phase they will be getting out and will play war with tanks, air planes and warships in our territories; 36,000 soldiers from more than 30 countries will take part in Italy, Portugal, and the State of Spain, and more than half of them – 20,000 soldiers – will do so in the State of Spain. In addition, parts of the exercise will take place in other countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, and the naval parts of the exercise will take place in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.</p> <p>According to the information from the Ministry of Defence, “<em>of the participating military, about 20,000 will be deployed in the National Training Centres of San Gregorio (Zaragoza) and Chinchilla (Albacete), in the Exercise and Firing Range ‘Álvarez de Sotomayor’ (Almería) and the Amphibian Training Range of the Sierra del Retín (Cádiz), and as well in the areas of the military bases of Albacete, Son San Joan (Palma de Mallorca), Torrejón and Zaragoza.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote5sym">5</a> We also know that the US Marines from the military base of Morón de la Frontera (Sevilla) will participate in the exercise to “<em>test the interoperability of the MV-22 Osprey planes: takeoff, landing and the possibility to transport them</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote6sym">6</a> on the Spanish aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I, which is based in Rota.</p> <p>In Andalucía alone there are three places where the exercises will take place: the <em>Exercise and Firing Range ‘Álvarez de Sotomayor’ (Almería),</em> the <em>Amphibian Training Range Sierra del Retín (Cádiz),</em> and the air base of<em> Morón de la Frontera (Sevilla)</em>. In addition a range of military units that normally are based in Andalucía will take part.</p> <p>Even though within the State of Spain the main part of the military will be deployed at San Gregorio (Zaragoza), Andalucía will also have an important role during the exercises, especially for the interoperability training between the different air, land, and naval forces of the participating countries. In Andalucía are two places for the training of invasions of land from the water: the <em>Exercise and Firing Range ‘Álvarez de Sotomayor’ (Almería),</em> the <em>Amphibian Training Range Sierra del Retín (Cádiz)</em>.</p> <h3>Trident Juncture 2015: What are the military “training”?</h3> <p>According to the press release of the Ministry of Defence of the State of Spain, “<em>‘Trident Juncture 2015’ is the high visibility exercise of the Connected Forces Initiative of the Atlantic Alliance in which more than 30,000 soldiers from more than 30 countries will participate, and of which 20,000 will train simultaneously in Spain.</em>”</p> <p>The “Connected Forces Initiative” (CFI) was approved at the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012 as one of the key programmes to achieve the objective “NATO Forces 2020”. At the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, and taking into account the crisis between Ukraine and Russia and the increased security challenges in the Middle East and the North of Africa and beyond, NATO approved the “Readiness Action Plan (RAP)” and in addition six key measures as part of the Connected Forces Initiative – one of them the exercise Trident Juncture 2015 and a more extensive exercise programme from 2016 on.</p> <p>During Trident Juncture 2015 NATO will for the first time train the new <em>Very High Readiness Joint Task Force</em>, approved at the summit in Wales, and which will be commanded by the State of Spain in 2016.</p> <p>As for every exercise, NATO has its scenario for Trident Juncture, which is called the “SOROTAN scenario”. The scenario “<em>reflects a very complex threat environment in the fictional “Cerasia” region and looks to challenge NATO forces with a wide range of conventional and unconventional threats, including hybrid warfare.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote7sym">7</a> More concretely the scenario deals with a conflict between two countries – Kamon and Lakuta – over water. “<em>With desertification, dry aquifers, riparian disputes and an ever diminishing resource, Kamon, the aggressor country in the region, refuses international arbitration and invades southwards in order to seize key dams in Lakuta, which was caught ill-prepared to counter the invasion.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote8sym">8</a> And so, according to NATO's logic, what is needed is a military intervention by NATO.</p> <p>NATO says that with Trident Juncture the lessons learned from the war in Afghanistan will be put into practice As one of the NATO officials in charge of the exercises says, Trident Juncture has been planned deliberately “<em>to be a keystone event for NATO as we shift our focus from over a decade of really intensity counterinsurgency; to start to recalibrate our posture for the current security environment.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote9sym">9</a> And where is SOROTAN? General Hans-Lothar Domröse tells us: “I<em>t is an artificial fictive scenario taking place in SOROTAN which is a kind of parts of Africa</em>.“<a href="#sdfootnote10sym">10</a></p> <p>In this context it is interesting that NATO refers in the introduction of another document about the SOROTAN scenario<a href="#sdfootnote11sym">11</a> to a study by the think tank "<em>Strategic Foresight Group</em>", based India, about water cooperation and conflict<a href="#sdfootnote12sym">12</a>. Is it just a coincidence that the debate about the role of climate change in present (and future) armed conflicts is all the time getting more intense<a href="#sdfootnote13sym">13</a>, and that a study related drought and climate change with the war in Syria<a href="#sdfootnote14sym">14</a>?<br /> That NATO sees climate change – or, more correctly, the conflicts caused by climate change – as a challenge is not new.. NATO's Strategic Concept, approved at the NATO summit in Lisbon in 2010<a href="#sdfootnote15sym">15</a>, and the strategic concepts of the US, European Union or of the State of Spain mention climate change as a “challenge” for “collective security” in the future. Now, with the exercise Trident Juncture, this analysis is put into practice during a military training.</p> <h3>Africa: more than armed conflict and climate change</h3> <p>But NATO (and other countries) are not only interested in Africa because of the conflict potential of climate change. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, the continent is rich in abundant natural resources. For example, Africa has important mineral resources which represent one third of global reserves, and much more of some important minerals: 89% of the platinum reserves, 81% of chrome, 61% of magnesium, 60% of cobalt, among others<a href="#sdfootnote16sym">16</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, according to Didier Lluch, Director of Explorations in Africa of the Spanish multinational Repsol, even though African countries only produce one tenth of global petrol production “<em>it is a continent in which there is still a lot to do</em>”. Lluch continues that “<em>only 12 of the 54 African nations have oil or gas on their territory..So far there are still large areas almost completely unexplored, such as the east of Africa</em>”, but also countries that are considered mature, such as Algeria “<em>are big and conceal still a lot of resources</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote17sym">17</a>.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dc375b17-07f6-4625-8f68-70f531b4b5d6" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/mapa-conflictos-y-recursos-africa.home.png?itok=vtZAk5xz" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/mapa-conflictos-y-recursos-africa.home.png?itok=vtZAk5xz 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Source: Explotación de los recursos naturales en África: La Industria Extractiva. Hidrocarburos y minerales, January 2014, <a href="http://www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecursosNaturales.pdf">www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecu…</a></figcaption> </figure> <p> <em>Source</em>: Explotación de los recursos naturales en África: La Industria Extractiva. Hidrocarburos y minerales, January, <a href="http://www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecursosNaturales.pdf">www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecursosNaturales.pdf</a> </p><p>Nevertheless, on the continent the relation between mineral resources or oil and gas resources and social or armed conflicts is very clear – in addition to serious environmental degradation, which in itself can cause conflicts. As Jesús García-Luengos writes in his report <em>Explotación de los recursos naturales en África: La Industria Extractiva. Hidrocarburos y minerales</em>: “<em>The impact derived from the exploitation of these resources on society and the health of local communities and the environment is very significant</em>.<em> .... Additionally, the grabbing of natural resources continues to contribute to increasing the instability in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, and to aggravate and prolong conflicts. Other resources such as fish, forests and agricultural resources – with land grabbing of large dimensions – are equally over-exploited and exhausted.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote18sym">18</a></p> <h3>NATO together with civil society? NATO's new “total wars”</h3> <p>One of the lessons learned during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is that what NATO can achieve through its military power is limited. And they say so openly. The “hybrid war” of which NATO talks is in reality a “total war” that includes all aspects of society. On the military level, hybrid war includes “cybernetic war”, more “military intelligence”, the use of new technologies such as drones to obtain more intelligence and to kill those seen as the enemy – with many “<em>collateral victims</em>”, as we can observe for many years in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and in other countries where principally the USA are using their drones.</p> <p>According to the SOROTAN scenario for the exercise Trident Juncture 2015, part of the exercise is about the “<em>battle for the narratives</em>” or “<em>working inside an information environment that is risky both in NATO home countries as well as in the region where the intervention is occurring.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote19sym">19</a>. Propaganda is an integral part of war – something which is not that new, but all the time more important. Both, the conflict in Ukraine and the war in Syria show that in a context with massive propaganda by various actors of the conflict it is also difficult and complex for antimilitarists to develop an independent perspective. NATO is working to make this even more difficult in the future, and not by using the old tool of censorship, but through massive propaganda and desinformation.</p> <p>Today NATO admits that only through military means you cannot create peace. In July 2015 the commander of the exercise, General general Hans-Lothar Domröse emphasized that to create peace “<em>and we know it by heart... it's only possible with international organizations and big organizations like the Red Cross, humanitarian assistance, and the EU as a real powerbroker</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote20sym">20</a>. And because of that in new ways of NATO to fight its war the civilian institutions will have a key role. In a first version of the information about Trident Juncture published on the NATO website, NATO said “<em>The aim of IO/NGO/GO participation in the exercise is to improve NATO’s ability to interact with essential civil actors.</em>” The list of organisations that had been public in the past included the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and various UN agencies<a href="#sdfootnote21sym">21</a>, and a list of NGOs and state humanitarian agencies: <em>“Save the Children, Assistência Médica Internacional Foundation (AMI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID - SPA) and World Vision (WV) were approved to participate in the White Cell of the exercise. African Union (AU) was approved to observe it.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote22sym">22</a></p> <p>The participation of the various UN agencies, of the European Union or of the state agencies for international cooperation does not surprise, nor the participation of the Red Cross. But the participation of some of the NGOs does surprise. In fact, the cooptation of NGOs and “civil society” by NATO is extremely worrying. Luckily Médecins Sans Frontières informed one of their supporters by email that “all is an error by NATO itself in their website, and we only discovered it thanks to various messages from our supporters such as yours.””<a href="#sdfootnote23sym">23</a> In fact, the mention of Médecins Sans Frontières did surprise; the NGO did strongly critizise the attempts by NATO to involve the humanitarian NGOs in its strategy in Afghanistan. And what do Human Rights Watch or Save the Children say? How do they justify their participation in a military exercise?</p> <p>General Hans-Lothar Domröse confirmed the participation of “<em>more than a dozen NGOs</em>” and: “<em>There are a few amongst them who said: 'We are eager to participate; but please do not mention my name'. I respect this.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote24sym">24</a> Probably that is the reason why NATO deleted the information on the NGOs and international organisations that participate in the exercise from their website.</p> <p>For antimilitarists it is not new and also not difficult to understand that with the tools of war you cannot create peace. We could say that it is good that NATO is learning this lesson. However, when NATO says this we should probably get worried. This does not mean that NATO will now embark on a path towards disarmament and leave the leading role to the civilian institutions. To the contrary: NATO is trying to coopt the civilian institutions and the NGOs in order to integrate them in its strategy, which is above all a military one, and following a military logic which they then will want to apply also to the work of civilian institutions and of NGOS, as various NGOs criticised during the war in Afghanistan<a href="#sdfootnote25sym">25</a>.</p> <h3>And Russia?</h3> <p>It is pretty clear that the largest NATO exercise for more than a decade has also been designed to send a message to Russia. It is also likely that the increase in the size of the exercises from the initially planned 20-25,000 soldiers to more than 30,000 soldiers is related to the crisis in Ukraine and the intensification of the conflict between NATO and Russia. In this context the participation of Ukraine – which formally is not a member state of the alliance – is significant. Trident Juncture not only serves to demonstrate to Russia the military capability (and the will) of NATO, it also serves to train the cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.</p> <p>However, the main message is not for Russia, and much less for the Islamic State, Al Quaida or Boko Haram. It is more likely that the main message is for China, a country that has powerful economic and geostrategic interests in Africa. China is investing a lot in the countries of Africa, and is constructing infrastructure to assure itself of the natural resources – above all minerals – of the continent. The National Petroleum Corporation of China, one of the petrol companies of the Asian country, receives almost all of its supplies from the oil fields of Sudan and South Sudan<a href="#sdfootnote26sym">26</a>. China participates also with military in the United Nations mission in South Sudan. In fact, this is the first time China participates with military forces – and not with just a little: 700 soldiers with drones, anti-tank missiles and other weapons – in a military mission in Africa<a href="#sdfootnote27sym">27</a>. Even though China is the country that contributes most to peace missions of the UN, “<em>this involves principally engineers, medical personnel, transport and security guards</em>”, says Chema Caballero in a blog post of El Pais. “<em>Never before did it send armed troops, if we exclude the occasional elite batallon in Mali or South Sudan to protect its own personnel. Curiously enough the first time it does this is in South Sudan, and we have to see why this is.</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote28sym">28</a> And now the country is negotiating a military base in the city of Obeck in Djibouti<a href="#sdfootnote29sym">29</a>.</p> <p>Chema Caballero concludes: “<em>It would also not be surprising if in the coming years we would be witness to a larger military presence of the Asian giant in Africa with the excuse of support to UN mission, for example</em>”<a href="#sdfootnote30sym">30</a>.</p> <p>In fact already today many of the armed conflicts in Africa at least have as one important aspect the control over natural resources – water, minerals, oil and gas. This is the case in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Sudan and South Sudan (oil), in Nigeria (oil) and in other African countries.</p> <p>At the same time Africa is a continent on which up to now not all of the resources have been divided up between the main actors of the globalised world. On the content a fierce competition over access to and control over natural resources is taking place, with China as one of the principal actors that compete with the US and European multinational companies. Even though the military presence of China compared to the US or the old colonial powers France and United Kingdom is still pretty small, the NATO exercise can be understood as a message to China that NATO will not tolerate that China established itself as a military power in Africa.</p> <h3>The State of Spain: NATO's spearhead</h3> <p>In the power games about Africa the State of Spain has an important role, and in addition it has its own military and economic interests. In fact, the State of Spain is quite active on the continent with its military, in UN missions, interventions of the European Union, and in bilateral cooperations with African countries such as Mauritania<a href="#sdfootnote31sym">31</a>.</p> <p><strong>Military presence of the State of Spain in Africa and the Middle East</strong></p> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="deab9f8a-c3ac-493c-b442-dc56d4c7a674" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/MinDefensa-Espana-Africa-2015-08-10.home.png?itok=ckv-1Nav 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/MinDefensa-Espana-Africa-2015-08-10.home.png?itok=ckv-1Nav" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p>Source:<a href="http://www.defensa.gob.es/misiones/en_exterior/">http://www.defensa.gob.es/misiones/en_exterior/</a>, accessed on 10 August 2015 </p><p>In fact, the great majority of Spanish military interventions took and are taking place on the continent, or in the Middle East<a href="#sdfootnote32sym">32</a>. The principal themes of many of these missions are the “fight against jihadism”, the control of illegal migration and – less openly – the access to natural resources, either directly or via securing the transport routes of these resources (Red Sea and the Horn of Africa).</p> <p>But the State of Spain is also one spearhead due to its proximity to the continent, and because of its military and civilian infrastructure. For example, the port of Las Palmas on the Canary Islands did transform itself into “<em>a strategic base for humanitarian aid</em>” to Africa for organisations such as the Red Cross, the UN World Food Program and USAID<a href="#sdfootnote33sym">33</a>. Two of these three agencies take part in the NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015.</p> <p>A key role in the military strategy towards Africa plays the US base of Morón de la Frontera in Andalucía, where the US marine special forces under the command of AFRICOM are based<a href="#sdfootnote34sym">34</a>. Only a few months ago the State of Spain and the USA signed an agreement about the increase of US military personnel on the base up to 3,000 soldiers<a href="#sdfootnote35sym">35</a>. It does not surprise that the marines from Morón will also participate in the NATO exercise, and they are also interested in using the Spanish aircraft carrier for their MV-22B Osprey aircraft. The navy base of Rota is another key base. According to the official information of the US Navy Rota serves as support base for all US naval forces in Africa and Europe, above all for the 6th fleet. In addition, the base provides logistic and emergency support for all US or NATO forces<a href="#sdfootnote36sym">36</a>. And as headquarters of the Spanish Navy, ROTA serves during 2015 as headquarters of the naval response forces of NATO.</p> <p>Other important infrastructure include the United Kingdom navy base on Gibraltar and various bases and units of the Spanish Armed Forces. The State of Spain also hosts the High Readiness Force Land Headquarters of NATO in Betera (Valencia) – these headquarters will receive certification for commanding of the new Very High Readiness Forces of NATO during Trident Juncture 2015, and will lead this new force in 2016.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Resistance!</h3> <p>Because of the high relevance of the exercise Trident Juncture 2015, a variety of groups are preparing acts of protest and/or resistance. There are initiatives by the pacifist and antimilitarist movement of Andalucía to organise civil disobedience action in Barbate (Amphibian Training Range of the Sierra del Retín ) with the support of Alternativa Antimilitarista.MOC on the level of the State of Spain and of the European Antimilitarist Network. Other groups are organising protests in Zaragoza (National Training Centre of San Gregorio) and in Barcelona.</p> <p>It is likely that during September and October more protests and actions of civil disobedience will be planned and announced. With such important and threatening NATO exercises on our door step, the antimilitarist movement needs to get organised.</p> <p><em>Andreas Speck</em></p> <p>Andreas Speck is an activist with the Antimilitarist and Nonviolent Network of Andalucía (Red Antimilitarista y Noviolenta de Andalucía (RANA)). His website is <a href="http://andreasspeck.info/">http://andreasspeck.info</a>.</p> <p>Translation from the original Spanish to English by the author.</p> <h4>Notes</h4> <p><a href="#sdfootnote1anc">1</a>The 82a División Aerotransportada in its Facebook page, 2 July 2015: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BripacBrigadaparacaidista/photos/a.761288087289195.1073741833.474829159268424/842851109132892/?type=1&amp;permPage=1">https://www.facebook.com/BripacBrigadaparacaidista/photos/a.761288087289195.1073741833.474829159268424/842851109132892/?type=1&amp;permPage=1</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote2anc">2</a>NATO: Media backgrounder Trident Juncture 2015, 15 June 2015, <a href="http://www.jfcbs.nato.int/trident-juncture/media/news/mediabackgrounder-trident-juncture-2015.aspx">http://www.jfcbs.nato.int/trident-juncture/media/news/mediabackgrounder-trident-juncture-2015.aspx</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote3anc">3 </a>Ministerio de Defensa: Morenés presenta el ejercicio de la OTAN ‘Trident Juncture 2015’, Nota de prensa, 2 July 2015, <a href="http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html">http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote4anc">4 </a>Ministerio de Defensa: Morenés presenta el ejercicio de la OTAN ‘Trident Juncture 2015’, Nota de prensa, 2 July 2015, <a href="http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html">http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote5anc">5 </a>Ministerio de Defensa: Morenés presenta el ejercicio de la OTAN ‘Trident Juncture 2015’, Nota de prensa, 2 July 2015, <a href="http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html">http://www.defensa.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa/2015/07/DGC-150702-ejercicio-trident-juncture.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote6anc">6 </a>Esteban Villarejo: Los «marines de Morón», interesados en usar el «Juan Carlos I» en sus misiones, Por Tierra, Mar y Aire, 5 Jult 2015, <a href="http://abcblogs.abc.es/tierra-mar-aire/public/post/marines-moron-juan-carlo-18841.asp/">http://abcblogs.abc.es/tierra-mar-aire/public/post/marines-moron-juan-carlo-18841.asp/</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote7anc">7 </a>SOROTAN will challenge NATO against hybrid threats , 2 March 2015, <a href="http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats">http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote8anc">8 </a>SOROTAN will challenge NATO against hybrid threats , 2 March 2015, <a href="http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats">http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote9anc">9 </a>General Phil Jones (Chief of Staff Allied Command Transformation on NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015), Press briefing on NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015, 15 July 2015, <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm">http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote10anc">10 </a>General Hans-Lothar Domröse (Comandante JFC Brunssum): Press briefing on NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015, 15 July 2015, <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm">http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote11anc">11 </a>CDR Tristan Lovering MBE: SOROTAN War-Gaming, NATO Joint Warfare Center, 17 December 2014, <a href="http://www.jwc.nato.int/images/stories/threeswords/NOV_SOROTAN.pdf">http://www.jwc.nato.int/images/stories/threeswords/NOV_SOROTAN.pdf</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote12anc">12 </a>Strategic Foresight Group: Water Cooperation for a Secure World – Focus on the Middle East, 2013, <a href="http://www.strategicforesight.com/publications_inner.php?id=31">http://www.strategicforesight.com/publications_inner.php?id=31</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote13anc">13 </a>See for ex example: <a href="http://www.abc.es/sociedad/20140306/abci-cambio-climatico-violencia-201403052122.html">http://www.abc.es/sociedad/20140306/abci-cambio-climatico-violencia-201403052122.html</a>, or La ONU vincula por primera vez desertificación, cambio climático y conflictos armados, <a href="http://noticias.lainformacion.com/medio-ambiente/naturaleza/la-onu-vincula-por-primera-vez-desertificacion-cambio-climatico-y-conflictos-armados_Ccomave47VKhuOvcWL4qH2/">http://noticias.lainformacion.com/medio-ambiente/naturaleza/la-onu-vincula-por-primera-vez-desertificacion-cambio-climatico-y-conflictos-armados_Ccomave47VKhuOvcWL4qH2/</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote14anc">14 </a>Un estudio relaciona la sequía y el cambio climático con la guerra en Siria, La Vanguardia, 3 March 2015, <a href="http://www.lavanguardia.com/natural/20150303/54427846243/estudio-relaciona-sequia-cambio-climatico-guerra-siria.html">http://www.lavanguardia.com/natural/20150303/54427846243/estudio-relaciona-sequia-cambio-climatico-guerra-siria.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote15anc">15 </a>OTAN: Active Engagement, Modern Defence. Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon, 19 de noviembre de 2010, <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68580.htm">http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68580.htm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote16anc">16 </a>Fundación Sur: Recursos mineros en África, 12 de abril de 2011, <a href="http://www.otromundoesposible.net/live-africa/recursos-mineros-en-africa">http://www.otromundoesposible.net/live-africa/recursos-mineros-en-africa</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote17anc">17 </a>Repsol: África: la nueva frontera del petróleo, 13 de junio de 2014, <a href="http://www.repsol.com/es_es/corporacion/prensa/newsletter/9-africa-nueva-frontera-petroleo.aspx">http://www.repsol.com/es_es/corporacion/prensa/newsletter/9-africa-nueva-frontera-petroleo.aspx</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote18anc">18 </a>Jesús García-Luengos: Explotación de los recursos naturales en África: La Industria Extractiva. Hidrocarburos y minerales, January 2014, <a href="http://www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecursosNaturales.pdf">www.africacuestiondevida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExplotacionRecursosNaturales.pdf</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote19anc">19 </a>SOROTAN will challenge NATO against hybrid threats , 2 March 2015, <a href="http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats">http://www.jwc.nato.int/media/news-archive/519-sorotan-will-challenge-nato-against-hybrid-threats</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote20anc">20 </a>General Hans-Lothar Domröse (Comandante JFC Brunssum): Press briefing on NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015, 15 July 2015, <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm">http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote21anc">21 </a>United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), International Organization for Migration (IOM)</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote22anc">22 </a>NATO: <a href="http://www.act.nato.int/trident-juncture-15">http://www.act.nato.int/trident-juncture-15</a>, version accessed on 12 June 2015</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote23anc">23 </a>Médicos sin Fronteras: Correo electrónico a un miembro de aa.moc, 19 June 2015</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote24anc">24 </a>General Hans-Lothar Domröse (Comandante JFC Brunssum): Press briefing on NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015, 15 July 2015, <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm">http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_121821.htm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote25anc">25 </a>For example: Aid Groups Urge NATO to Separate Military and Humanitarian Activities to Protect Civilians in Afghanistan, International Rescue Committee, 19 November 2010, <a href="http://www.rescue.org/news/aid-groups-urge-nato-separate-military-and-humanitarian-activities-protect-civilians-afghanista-4463">http://www.rescue.org/news/aid-groups-urge-nato-separate-military-and-humanitarian-activities-protect-civilians-afghanista-4463</a>; Afghanistan aid groups say NATO threatens their neutrality, PANOS Londres, 21 April 2010, <a href="http://panos.org.uk/features/afghanistan-aid-groups-say-nato-threatens-their-neutrality/">http://panos.org.uk/features/afghanistan-aid-groups-say-nato-threatens-their-neutrality/</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote26anc">26 </a>China, en expansión: el poder militar de Pekín alcanza el Cuerno de África, La Nación, 9 June 2015, <a href="http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1800031-china-en-expansion-el-poder-militar-de-pekin-alcanza-el-cuerno-de-africa">http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1800031-china-en-expansion-el-poder-militar-de-pekin-alcanza-el-cuerno-de-africa</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote27anc">27 </a>China inicia primera misión de tropas para la ONU en Sudán del Sur, BBC Mundo, 27 February 2015, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/mundo/ultimas_noticias/2015/02/150227_ultnot_china_onu_tropas_mantenimiento_paz_wbm">http://www.bbc.com/mundo/ultimas_noticias/2015/02/150227_ultnot_china_onu_tropas_mantenimiento_paz_wbm</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote28anc">28 </a>Chema Caballero: China la está armando, África no es un país, blogs.elpais.com, 7 May 2015, <a href="http://blogs.elpais.com/africa-no-es-un-pais/2015/05/china-la-esta-armando.html">http://blogs.elpais.com/africa-no-es-un-pais/2015/05/china-la-esta-armando.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote29anc">29 </a>China, en expansión: el poder militar de Pekín alcanza el Cuerno de África, La Nación, 9 June 2015, <a href="http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1800031-china-en-expansion-el-poder-militar-de-pekin-alcanza-el-cuerno-de-africa">http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1800031-china-en-expansion-el-poder-militar-de-pekin-alcanza-el-cuerno-de-africa</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote30anc">30 </a>Chema Caballero: China la está armando, África no es un país, blogs.elpais.com, 7 May 2015, <a href="http://blogs.elpais.com/africa-no-es-un-pais/2015/05/china-la-esta-armando.html">http://blogs.elpais.com/africa-no-es-un-pais/2015/05/china-la-esta-armando.html</a></p> <p><a></a><a href="#sdfootnote31anc">31 </a>La Guardia Civil patrullará también en tierra en Mauritania con la Gendarmería para combatir la inmigración ilegal, abc.es, 29 March 2014, <a href="http://www.abc.es/espana/20140329/abci-guardia-civil-patrullara-tambien-201403282046.html">http://www.abc.es/espana/20140329/abci-guardia-civil-patrullara-tambien-201403282046.html</a>; Also: Guardia Civil: La “intensa y vital” colaboración entre España y Mauritania se “eleva a un nivel superior” con la firma de un convenio de lucha contra la criminalidad, nota de prensa, 26 May 2015,<a href="https://www.guardiacivil.es/es/prensa/noticias/5357.html">https://www.guardiacivil.es/es/prensa/noticias/5357.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote32anc">32 </a>Ministerio de Defensa: <a href="http://www.defensa.gob.es/misiones/en_exterior/actuales/">http://www.defensa.gob.es/misiones/en_exterior/actuales/</a>, accessed on 10 August 2015</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote33anc">33 </a>See for example: <a href="http://www.canaryislandshub.com/es-es/sectores/ayudahumanitaria.aspx">http://www.canaryislandshub.com/es-es/sectores/ayudahumanitaria.aspx</a>, accessed on 10 August 2015</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote34anc">34 </a>Base Aérea de Morón, la “joya oculta” del despliegue mundial del Pentágono, defensa.com, <a href="http://www.defensa.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=9978:base-aerea-de-moron-la-joya-oculta-del-despliegue-mundial-del-pentagono&amp;catid=69:reportajes&amp;Itemid=199">http://www.defensa.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=9978:base-aerea-de-moron-la-joya-oculta-del-despliegue-mundial-del-pentagono&amp;catid=69:reportajes&amp;Itemid=199</a>, acceso el dia 11 de agosto de 2015</p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote35anc">35 </a>El País, 16 de julio de 2015, <a href="http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2015/01/23/actualidad/1422040816_093926.html">http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2015/01/23/actualidad/1422040816_093926.html</a></p> <p><a href="#sdfootnote36anc">36 </a><a href="http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnreurafswa/installations/ns_rota.html">http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnreurafswa/installations/ns_rota.html</a>, acceso el día 11 de agosto de 2015</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Nonviolence</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/201" hreflang="en">Spain (State of)</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/445" hreflang="en">European Antimilitarist Network</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/498" hreflang="en">Extractive industry</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/393" hreflang="en">North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=25006&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="nw6mlITdcQZISa-PQON5lS23stfvkiNyxMBx2JIP5Dk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:37:49 +0000 HBrock 25006 at https://wri-irg.org