16 Jun 2008

22nd June International Day of Hunger Strike against “Star Wars”


Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, after 21 days, suspended their hunger strike on the 2nd June but it continues in relay form in the Czech Republic with the participation of politicians, scientists and artists, etc. See previous blogs on this topic and message from Jan Tamas to readers of Ruscombe Green. Here is the latest video message by Jan Tamas.

To give even more force to this great nonviolent protest, a Worldwide 1-Day Hunger Strike on June 22nd is proposed for everyone able to participate - a simple but significant gesture - as one campaigner said: “Stop feeding the war machine and start feeding the people!”

It’s scandalous that one thousand million dollars are destined to military spending, when with different choices this money could solve the problems of hunger, lack of education and the environment. See the site:
http://nenasili.cz/en/1494_worldwide-hunger-strike-22th-june-2008

Meanwhile Peter Pollard is now camping on the grass verge of the Kettlesing layby (A59) opposite the Black Bull pub. On Saturday he started a week long fast in support of Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, other hunger strikers and the 70% of the people in the Czech Republic who oppose the siting of the radar facilities for the American Missile Defense system in their country. Pete also aims to focus on the role of Menwith Hill and Fylingdales with Missile Defense.

Elsewhere there are other strikers - for example in Italy, Giorgio Schultze started a hunger strike on the 1st of June and suspended it on the 13th of June in Brussels where, together with Jan Tamas, he met with Luisa Morgantini – Vice-President of the European Parliament and many other MEPs (members of the European Parliament). On the 9th of July, there will be a meeting and press conference in Strasbourg with MEPs opposed to the Star Wars project, he will present the signatures gathered by the on-line petition. A great opportunity to redouble efforts and reach 200,000 signatures!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Green MEPs speak out against US Missile Defence system ahead of CND protest



The UK's Green MEPs will speak out this week in support of Czech hunger
strikers who are opposing a planned US Missile Defence radar near Prague, as
part of a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protest taking place on 22 June.

Jean Lambert, the Green Party MEP for London, will address the CND vigil of
solidarity in support of the Czech protesters. The event will be taking
place opposite Downing Street on Sunday, which has been declared an
international day of action, with speakers from 12-2pm.

Dr Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for South East England and a longstanding
member of the CND national council, will take part in the hunger strike in
support of the day of action.

In Prague, a number of leading political and cultural figures have already
gone on hunger strike to protest against the Czech government's continuing
negotiations with the US to build a Missile Defence radar near the city.

Jean Lambert MEP, a long-standing CND supporter, said:

"This an issue that matters to all of Europe and the European Parliament has
made its opposition clear in a recent resolution against missile defence.
Opinion polls also show there is majority opposition to the system.

"The UK Government has already made our country more vulnerable to attack by
approving sites for the US Missile Defence system without any parliamentary
debate. If this system continues to develop we risk escalating the arms
race, which the world cannot afford.

"The missile defence system is based on the fallacy that it will make the
world safer, but in fact it will leave all countries open to more concerted
attacks. It will simply intensify divisions between nations and the Czech
Republic should oppose its development. Such a decision could force the new
US administration to retract its proposal."

Dr Caroline Lucas commented:

"I am participating in Sunday's hunger strike in solidarity with the Green
Party in the Czech Republic, together with the vast majority of Czech people
who oppose plans to appropriate their land for a US missile defence system
radar.

"The US continues to site almost 500 nuclear weapons around the EU despite
huge condemnation from European citizens. The US is breaching international
law and we must not allow Europe to be complicit in this blatant
proliferation of missile capacity.

"The protest on Sunday will send a clear message from the UK, the Czech
Republic and beyond that we want independence from America's military bases
and the illegal nuclear weapons of mass destruction they contain. Conflict
prevention and resolution will make the world safer - more bombs will not.
We call on the Czech Parliament to reject the US's proposals and on the EU
as a whole to join us in standing up for peace."

Philip Booth said...

Update:

*The Czech govt has fallen: a victory for democracy, disarmament and nonviolence.
* Prague, March 25, 2009

Yesterday the government of conservative Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek, was dismissed by Parliament with a motion presented by the Social-Democratic opposition. This is a great victory for the Non-violent Movement against the bases in the Czech Republic that saw the real possibility to oppose the installation of US military radar bases.

The Czech government is formed by the ODS, a right-wing party with a
relative majority, and a small group of Christian democrats and Greens.

There are many reasons behind this loss: unpopular health system policies, as well as scepticism towards the European Union. The key element; however, was the conflict created in Czech society regarding the installation of the US “Star Wars” radar base.

70% of the Czech population is against the presence of foreign troops on their territory. The popular protest which lasted more than two years, created trouble for the government on several occasions and strengthened the opposition parties. Regional elections which took place last autumn, witnessed the fall of the majority parties.

“/The great work of awareness-raising, mobilization and information dissemination we carried out in these years,” /stated Jan Tamas, President of the Czech Humanist Party and leader of the radar base protest/, “allowed the opposition parties to understand the danger of the “Star Wars” project and the Greens to realize their politics was very distant from that of other European Green Parties/.”

As a matter of fact, the opposition of two Green Party members who distanced themselves from their party’s pro-military stance was the major cause of the fall of the government.

The installation of a US military base was one of the most heartfelt issues in the Czech Republic in the last few years. The hunger strike of Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in May 2008 strongly moved the population. Since then, a chain hunger strike is still taking place in the country where different personalities fasts for one day. Personalities include scientists, academics, actors, directors, sportspeople, parliament members of different parties, as well as the Vice President of the Parliament. A widespread league of mayors against the radar was also formed.

“/Maybe the international mass media will present the fall of the Czech government as the result of usual political tricks,” /said Jan Tamas/, “this is also true. The economic crisis is an important issue. But the government’s fall especially represents a victory for democracy, disarmament and the non-violent struggle. Without our protest, the government would never have fallen. Our people do not want foreign troops on their territory, the US will be forced to review their plans. It’s a victory of people not of politicians./”

Czech activists would like their example to be followed in other countries involved in the Star Wars project: Italy, Great Britain, Japan and India. According to them, a widespread opposition against Star Wars must be formed in favour of nuclear disarmament! The building of a missile shield in India could increase tensions with Pakistan and both countries have a nuclear arsenal.

Premier Topolanek, interviewed by the Newspaper Novinky, following the lack of confidence expressed in his government, reiterated the certainty that the future government will follow the path of ratifying the treaty with the US. Regarding this, Jan expressed his doubts, “/after pressures generated by the hunger strike, the social democratic party was forced to take a clear stand in our favour. This will make it more difficult for them to change their minds on the radar issue/.”

Gerardo femina

Europe for Peace