On March 29th 2008 Polish peace activists from the Campaign Against
Militarism, a loose network of libertarian and environmental groups
including Greenpeace and the Anarchist Federation, will stage a
demonstration against the planned deployment of 10 US ground based
anti-ballistic missile interceptors on Polish soil. The action will take
place in the city of Slupsk, Northern Poland and in the small town of
Redzikowo nearby, which is host to the disused ex-Soviet military
airbase and increasingly likely future location for US missiles, just
150 kilometres from Russian Federation borders.
Street theatre, a samba band, an open mike for discussions in public
squares, food not bombs, film screenings on the missiles and on the
topic of militarism are amongst the activities being organised.
Long-time military resister, Ploughshares activist, peace prisoner and
Catholic Worker Ciaron O'Reilly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciaron_O
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciaron_O>'Reilly) from Australia will also
attend the protest and address those present on global resistance to US
militarism and nuclear weaponry. O'Reilly has served over 2 years in US,
British, Australian and Irish jails for nonviolent resistance to militarism.
People who are interested in staging direct actions at the proposed US
military base will engage in a 4 km peace walk from Slupsk to Redzikowo,
risking confrontation with the police and/or military as they hunt for
US weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Discussions with local people,
delivering leaflets and newspapers to local residents will take place
simultaneously as those who walk to the base demand it remain out of the
hands of warmongerers.
The base is completely insecure at the moment and protestors intend to
highlight that it can neither
a) be secured from those who do not accept war profiteers lust for a
renewed arms race and desire for WMDs
b) is the violent and provocative means of these proposed missiles the
appropriate way to secure peace for Polish people or Europeans at large.
Viable alternatives for the site, for instance, include the State using
taxpayers money to invest in infrastructure to reopen the base as a
local civilian airstrip. This is just one proposal viewed as being more
likely to serve the local public interest. The area has long being
neglected by successive governments, similar to the area of Trokavec in
the Czech Republic, likely site for the related radar component of the
Investment in quality health, education, industrial employment training
and provision is long overdue to meet the socio-economic needs of the
local population and to prevent the negative effects of rural and small
urban emigration. Therefore, locals remain highly sceptical about how a
US base for WMDs built to oppose an alleged threat which their own
government even admits doesn't currently exist will serve their needs.
Recent polls in Poland released by State television claim that 50% are
against, 36% support while 14% are unsure. When compared to a poll
conducted 12 months ago for the daily broadsheet Rzeczpospolita
(Republic), those who support (moderately or strongly) the proposal has
grown by 6%, those against has fallen by 1% while members of the public
who remain unsure fell by 5% to 14%. Opinions are being crystallised,
the government propaganda machine is on full steam ahead but the voices
and arguments of the majority, those opposed, remain marginalised by the
On March 15th, the Polish Stop the War Coalition will hold a march in
Warsaw, descending upon parliament and the US embassy in protest against
the planned US 'defense shield' and the ongoing participation of Polish
troops in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We appeal to friends abroad to organise vigils, demos. outside US
military bases, Polish/US embassies, or any other relevant site (Boeing
who are likely to win the full contract for the shield) on March 29th
and/or to refer organisations you are involved with about the resistance
taking place in Poland.
For info. on the March 15th demonstration please see www.irak.pl (only
in Polish but a report will be done in English)
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*Polish mobile: *0048 607340093
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