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“Day for nuclear disarmament and against global war”. June 16, 2007, Turin, Italy

A day for nuclear disarmament and against global war, part of “Europe for Peace” campaign, took place in Turin on June the 16th. The event, organized by “World Without Wars” and “Construction sites of Peace” (a forum of Turin associations for the spreading of a culture of peace, solidarity and rights for all) began at 10:30 a.m. with information stands of numerous associations, conferences and a stage with music and street artists. Right at the beginning of the event, news of the liberation of Rahmatullah Hanefi by the Afghan government, was given by very moved Emergency volunteers attending.

At around noon, Prof. Massimo Zucchetti, lecturer of Nuclear Engineering of the Turin Polytechnic gave a conference. Issues touched were: the “Atomic Bomb Club” USA, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, the five winners of World War II, to which three de facto members joined India, Pakistan and Israel and finally North Korea in 2006; of the present situation of Korea and Iran; why the Missile Defense System would overcome “Mutual Destruction Assured (MAD)” facing the planet with a possible “nuclear war”. The conference ended at 1:30 p.m. with many interesting and interested questions by participants.

Tiziano Tissino’s (Blessed builders’ of peace) and Jan Tamas’s (spokesperson for No Bases committee in the Czech republic) began their talk at approximately 4:00 p.m. They discussed about the protest against nuclear bombs in Aviano and Ghedi. Italy “happily” hosts as many as 90 atomic bombs, present in Aviano and Ghedi Torre bases, 900 times more destructive than the one launched on Hiroshima in 1945. Obviously, this is a very grave danger for millions of persons and an incalculable environmental risk of which few people are aware. In a 2006 Greenpeace poll, 70% of Italians was not aware of agreements between Italy and the United States, and 6 out of 10, were against them, once informed. Tissino continued, “Italy is part of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT): the presence of bombs in Aviano and Ghedi is therefore illegal, as well as, unacceptable which is why we have sued the US government, to make them remove nuclear bombs from Italian soil.”

Jan Tamas spoke about the experience of the “No Bases” committee of the Czech Republic, born in August 2006, when information on US plans to install two new military bases in Europe, in Poland and the Czech Republic leaked. These bases should have become a part of the so-called National Missile Defense System, which replaced Reagan’s eighties “Star Wars” project (the star wars shield Prof. Massimo Zucchetti introduced in the morning). A large coalition of more than 40 organizations was formed and protests were organized, as well as press conferences, reaching the mass media. It seems that this strong opposition led Americans to suspend their attempt for a couple of months, while trying to use the media to convince Czechs of the advantages of a USA military base on their territory. Now they are trying to convince people that radars aren’t dangerous. The population; however, just does not seem to understand what the advantage of a US base and US troops in their country would be (polls show that over 65% of the population is very worried and against the US radar in the Czech Republic). Tamas explained that a broad vision is needed, at a European level, in order to frame actions and create unity and support of others. In just ten months the movement has obtained great results reaching most of civil society and local institutions (Mayors, Parliament members, Towns but not the government). They are now demanding a peoples’ referendum and that the United States take back the 500 nuclear bombs in NATO bases in Europe and that no other US military bases be built here.

Speeches from the stage were opened by Giorgio Schultze (Spokesperson of the European Humanist Forum), who introduced the campaign “Europe for Peace” and highlighted the importance of a European joint action for an international policy of détente. His speech was followed by those of Jan Tamas (spokesperson Czech “No Bases” committee), Elena Savoini (No F35Table, Novara), Tiziano Tissino (Blessed Builders of Peace), Giorgio Rivoltella (No F35 committee, Novara), and appeals. Alberto Perino (No Tav) brought the example of a movement, not directly tied to the nuclear issue, but which managed to make a change in local policies. This was due to active, widespread engagement of persons against the decisions of a government not considered legitimate anymore. The permanent guard “No from Molin” sent a message. Due to the unexpected beginning of works to enlarge the US military base, no-one was able to attend the event.

Brazilian artists/athletes of Brazilian Capoeira “Senzala”, presented a show in the afternoon, with renown Master ContraMestre Luis Claudio under the “evening rain” (comment: our country and our city is becoming a tropical country due to various pollutants). Many people attended the event, and it aroused curiosity and interest in many Turin citizens.

The day ended at 9:00 p.m. with a peace sign with torches and an Argentinean artist’s street skit.

Antonio Grassedonio, Construction Sites of Peace
Paola Rossi, World Without Wars