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Yesterday, Wednesday the 18th of February, 40 Czech mayors and a broad delegation of the European Nonviolent Movement travelled to Brussels, to meet with Belgian Senators and Members of Parliament to protest against the project of the previous Bush Administration to build the so-called “Space Shield” in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Called on by Europe for Peace and the Czech Nonviolent Movement, hundreds of demonstrators came in buses from the Czech Republic along with representatives of European social movements like, Mayors for Peace, Pax Christi and World without Wars.

“The Invisibles” paraded in front of the European Parliament; hundreds of people dressed in white to symbolise the majority of the European population that has neither been consulted, nor heard in the decisions that affect them. At the same time, humanist and pacifist groups were mobilised in the main European capitals and also in Buenos Aires in front of their parliaments, in support of the Czech pacifists.

This is one more step in the campaign that started in 2007 when the news came of a plan to build a radar base in the Brdy region of the Czech Republic by the Bush administration. The decision was taken directly with the Czech Government without consulting either the people or European colleagues.

After the meeting in the Belgian Senate, the senators and deputies present took interest in the protest of the Czech pacifists committing themselves to present a motion in the Belgian Parliament against the space shield.

Jan Tamas, the young leader of the Czech Nonviolent Movement said yesterday: “Today, finally, we are in the appropriate place to speak about this subject, as the installation of the radar base is not only a problem for the Czech People as it compromises the security of the entire population of Europe”. Jan Neoral, spokesperson of the League of Mayors against the Radar, assured those present that today, in Europe, the voice of the 70% of Czechs and the 13 out of 14 Regional Presidents who are against this project are being heard.

The almost 20 MEPs present in the meeting that took place in the European Parliament expressed their concern for the serious problem that these military installations raise; besides being useless for the real defence of Europe, they make clear the need for a common defence policy that is independent of the USA. Luisa Morgantini, Vice-president of the European Parliament, affirmed “that the current Czech Government is undermining the foundations upon which a united Europe has been built.”

In addition, various European pacifist leaders gave their support to Jan Tamas in the defamation campaign waged against him by the Czech press and they denounced European passiveness in foreign affairs and defence, and our dependence on the decisions of other powers.

Finally, Giorgio Schultze, spokesperson of Europe for Peace, warned about the danger that this military installation means for Europe, being a direct provocation of Russia with the risk of a return to a new arms race and a new cold war and he said; “On the contrary, the path has to be that of progressive disarmament and the immediate disappearance of the whole nuclear arsenal. In this respect, we support the declarations in favour of nuclear disarmament by President Obama and we ask him to take one more step by withdrawing this project and I finish by making a call to create a consciousness against violence inviting all those present to join the World March for Peace and Nonviolence that will start on the 2nd of October and circle the planet asking for nuclear disarmament, the end of wars and all forms of violence.”

Europe for Peace