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One year of activity: February 2007 – February 2008

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February 22nd 2007 – Prague
“For a Europe of Peace”

The launching conference of the campaign was held in the city library, in an atmosphere of great interest and with the attendance of the young and not so young, as well as the international press.

Speakers were:
Giorgio Schultze, President of the Humanist Regional and expert in renewable energy Reiner Braun, President of IALANA (association of lawyers against the nuclear)
Jan Keller, university professor and sociologic
Erazim Kohak, university professor and sociologist
Jan Tamas, spokesperson of “Ne zakladnam” campaign against the installation of a U.S. Radar base in the Czech Republic.

Greetings from Dr. Boris Koval of the Russian Academy of Science and nuclear physics scientist Prof. Angelo Baracca were also read.
The speeches focused on the international situation of nuclear weapons and on present policies tending towards new rearmament.
Closing the meeting, the declaration “for a Europe of Peace”, the starting point of a great European information campaign regarding nuclear disarmament, was presented.

March 17th 2007
World Peace Sign

On the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of the war in Iraq, New York, La Paz, Sydney, Rome, Toronto, Mumbai, Bogota, Mexico City, and Nairobi were among the 60 cities in which thousands of people formed gigantic human symbols of peace and disarmament. The manifestations, internationally coordinated by the Humanist Movement, echoed common demands: “Invading troops must be withdrawn. Occupied territories must be returned. Nuclear arsenals must be dismantled.”

Europe saw a particular density of peace symbols. Thousands of people with torches rallied in cities and towns including Rome, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Brussels, Zürich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Berlin, Athens and Moscow.

May 26th 2007 – Prague
Thousands protest against planned US base

Several thousand protesters gathered in Prague during a demonstration against the US radar base to be placed in the Czech Republic. Protesters traveled from across the country and included people of all ages, backgrounds and political affiliations.

"We are fighting a David and Goliath battle" declared Jan Tamas spokesperson for the initiative “No to the bases”, after denouncing the government's decision not to call a nationwide referendum on hosting the US base. "After a year we can see that the government ignores public opinion and all arguments against the base. "We must call for their dismissal," Tamas said, prompting chants of "dismiss, dismiss," from the crowd. “Our demonstrations are bigger and bigger every time and ever more important people from the cultural, environmental and political areas are participating.”

June 9th 2007 – Rome
Demonstration against Bush’s visit to Italy

At the conclusion of the march Giorgio Schultze, spokesperson of the European Humanists, criticised the U.S. foreign politics and invited Bush to:

– Avoid the attack to Iran;
– Releave the pression in the Middle East;
– Renounce to the Dal Molin base in Italy, and to the planned Missile Shield in Czech Republic and Poland;
– Dismantle all the nuclear warheads;

June 16th 2007 – Turin
“Day for nuclear disarmament and against global war”

A day for nuclear disarmament and against global war, part of the “Europe for Peace” campaign, was organized by “World Without Wars” and “Construction sites of Peace”. The program included information stands of numerous associations, conferences and a stage with music and street artists.

August 6th 2007 - Budapest, Hungary
Die-in demonstration in the anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima

On the 62nd anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, the Humanist Movement, ATTAC Hungary, the Hungarian Social Forum Network and the Bocs Foundation organized a die-in demonstration in front of the US embassy in Budapest within the frame of the international campaign “Europe for Peace. With this short performance of about 200 activists we wanted to call the attention to the fact that the arms race and the politics of war in the end lead to nothing but destruction and death.

In accordance with the campaign of Europe for Peace, there were our demands:
  • Hungary must stop supporting wars serving foreign interests and withdraw its soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately
  • The Parliament should set up a committee to investigate how it happened that the Hungarian Republic supported a war in Iraq that was against international law and the Hungarian constitution, and was based on unreliable information of the secret services of other countries
  • Hungary should pressure its current allies to start nuclear disarmament in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • as a European country, Hungary should reject the fact that the US is storing 350 of its nuclear warheads in European bases
  • as an European country Hungary should demand from Czech Republic and Poland to reject the American Star Wars anti-missile shield to be placed in their territories Hungary should leave NATO, which instead of security brings us complicity

October 2nd 2007
World Day of Nonviolence

The United Nations’ General Assembly has declared October 2nd, Gandhi’s birthday, “World Day of Nonviolence”. Responding to its appeal to celebrate this occasion, people all over the world organized events in memory of the two great leaders of the past, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and spreading the message of Silo, guide of nonviolence in the present days.

October 20th 2007 – Brdy, Czech Republic
European and world mayors and organizations express solidarity to the Mayors opposing the U.S. Radar Base

The First International Meeting Against New US Military Bases in the Czech Republic was co-organized by “Europe for Peace” campaign and Ne základnám (Czech no bases movement). It brought to the region of Brdy, in the heart of Europe, 86 mayors, world renowned nuclear disarmament organizations and concerned citizens from all across the continent.

Jan Neoral, mayor of Trokavec, amid waves of applause, expressed the indignation of millions of simple people who have become pawns in the maddened plans of re-accelerating the nuclear weapons’ race.

Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, sent messages of support. Hiroshima mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba’s video-message cut across time and space. There was grief for all the futile, senseless destruction now threatening humanity once again.

Spokesperson of New Humanism in Europe, Giorgio Schultze, voiced the sensible demands of all attendants, those who will truly guarantee world security: removal invading troops, UN supervised dismantling of nuclear arsenals, restoration of occupied territories.

In the afternoon, six round tables allowed participants to make common plans for future actions. The atmosphere of hope and unity which pervaded the hall, strengthened the resolve of all those committed to protecting the heart of Europe from nuclear disaster.

November 17th 2007 – Prague
Demonstration in Prague for referendum and real democracy

More than five thousand people protested in Prague, Czech Republic today for a referendum and real democracy. The protest was organized by the “No to the Bases” initiative which opposed the US plan to build a military base in the Czech Republic as part of the National Missile Defense System.

The demonstration took place on a historic day when Czechs celebrated 18 years since the “Velvet revolution” which ended the communist regime. “We are here today, because our dreams about a real democracy have not been fulfilled. Again we are ruled by politicians who do not take the will of the citizens into account,” said Jan Tamas, spokesperson of the initiative. He refers to the fact that the government continues negotiations about the placement of the US base in spite of the fact that 68% of Czechs oppose the plan, as latest polls show. “We have been joined by trade unions, students, artists, mayors, intellectuals and many other groups who feel that what we are experiencing is not a real democracy.” The trade unions present included policemen, fireman, teachers and civic engineers.

November 17th 2007
Demonstrations in Europe and the world against US radar installations in the Czech Republic

In support of the march in Prague, there were protests and letters of dissent of US policies in the Czech Republic, in the main European capitals, as well as in New York.

December 2007 – Czech Republic
“Our Wallets Against the Radar”

A boycott campaign of U.S. products was launched with the objective of putting pressure on the U.S. government through the American companies, forcing them to renounce to the Radar base project.

As Jan Tamas said “The suggestion is not launched against the people of the United States of America. It is a form of pressuring the American government to withdraw from their dangerous plan. As soon as the profits of the American companies fall, they will start to pressure their government and call for change.”

January 2008 – U.S.A.
Support for the decision of the Czech activists of Europe for Peace to call for a boycott of U.S. products.

Chris Wells, North American Spokesperson for New Humanism, expresses his complete support for the decision of the Czech activists of Europe for Peace to call for a boycott of U.S. products, stating that “we defend the right of the Czech people to decide their future. We applaud the commitment of this courageous movement to the methodology of active non-violence and support their choice of a boycott as a valid form of non-violent struggle. And we call on U.S. citizens to support this movement and this action as a coherent response to the reckless and craven militarism of our own government. We can no longer stand by and let our leaders drag the peoples of the world into devastating conflicts that have nothing to do with us!”

Signatories of the Campaign

During this year of activity thousands of people have signed our declaration. We thank all of them, and particularly the Nobel Peace Laureates Michail Gorbachev and Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Noam Chomsky, the Mayor of Hiroshima Tadatoshi Akiba, Giulietto Chiesa, member of the European parliament, Alice Slater, New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Astrophysicist Margherita Hack, the Italian senators Lidia Menapace and Fernando Rossi, the comedian Beppe Grillo, the physic professor Angelo Baracca and the combonian father Alex Zanotelli.