Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space & UFPJ – 2008-05-30 00:02:03
Hunger Strike in Czech Republic Spreads to US
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Activists Campaign to Halt Bush’s “Missile Defense” Deplyments in Central Europe
(May 27, 2008) — Two leading peace activists in the Czech Republic began an unlimited hunger strike on May 13 in protest of US plans to deploy a so-called :missile defense” radar in their country. The hunger strike and protests are now spreading throughout Europe and other parts of the world including the US
In Maine, Bruce Gagnon who coordinates the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, joined the hunger strike on May 24 and vows to continue on with it until the Czech strikers quit.
In Prague, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar (who is now suffering kidney failure) are into their second week of the hunger strike. They both are leaders of the No to Bases Coalition in their country that has been working to give voice to the 70% of Czech citizens who oppose the deployment of the US Star Wars radar.
Jan Tamas recently stated, “The issue of the US military base is not only an issue of international security for us, but also an issue of democracy. It is about whether we will once again allow a small group of elite politicians to ignore the wishes of the majority of the population on an issue of great importance to their fate. These methods remind us of times before 1989 — times we don’t want to be repeated.”
According to Bruce Gagnon, “George W. Bush claims that his Poland and Czech Republic ‘missile defense; deployments are to protect Europe from Iranian nuclear missiles. Iran today has zero nuclear missiles.
A team of American physicists has studied the deployments and reports that the Polish and Czech bases could not physically intercept Iranian missiles, but could be used against Russia (which just happens to have the world’s largest supply of natural gas.) The US and NATO are now moving military bases eastward and surrounding Russia. A new cold war and a European arms race will be the sad result.”
Protests against the military occupation of the Czech Republic and Poland by the US have now spread to Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Florence, London, Malaga, Milan, Paris, Toulouse, Trieste, Turin, and Zurich. They are echoed in Australia, New York City, and in Brunswick, Maine.
• On on-line petition has been created to oppose the US radar deployment at www.nonviolence.cz
• Watch a short documentary video on the issue at http://www.nenasili.cz/en/946_video-star-wars
• For more information on Star Wars and missile defense see
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, PO Box 652, Brunswick, ME 04011
Support Czech Hunger Strikers: Oppose US Weapons Base
United for Peace and Justice
On May 13th, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar began a hunger strike in Prague. They are asking for respect for the expressed will of 70% of the people of the Czech Republic and that a democratic referendum be held to determine whether or not to install a U.S. military base on Czech territory. “We have tried almost everything, but our government has failed to listen to us,” says Tamas.
The US government, as part of its global so-called “Missile Defense” initiative, is planning to install a radar base in the Czech Republic, despite the opposition of the overwhelming majority of the Czech people. Although it is presented as a defense system against possible attacks from non-existent Iranian missiles, the “Missile Defense” system is, in fact, a first strike weapon.
It is a tool for global dominance which represents the first step towards U.S. weaponization and control of space. It is seen by the Czech Republic°¶s neighbor and former Cold War ally, Russia, as a threat and a provocation, which is spurring Russia to engage in a new arms race with the United States.
For over 2 years, citizens in the Czech Republic have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the proposed base through mass demonstrations, opinion polls, and petitions, yet the Czech government has refused to allow a public debate on the issue. Time is now running out, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to travel to Prague in June to sign the agreement between the two countries.
We can show our support for the hunger strikers as we call upon our own government to end its plans for the “Missile Defense” project, which endangers the peace and co-existence of people worldwide. While a military base in the Czech Republic would be located thousands of miles away from the U.S., it would have major implications for people around the United States and the world.
Here’s what you can do:
• 1) Add your name to the more than 87,000 people who’ve already signed on online petition – and then encourage others to sign on as well:
You can also read messages of support that have come in from around the world at http://www.nenasili.cz/en/723_messages-of-support
• 2) Throughout Europe groups have been demonstrating their support for the hunger strikers – as well as their opposition to the U.S. °ßMissile Defense°® initiative. Find out more about these activities: http://nenasili.cz/en/1081_campaign-in-europe
• 3) Make sure your member of Congress knows about your opposition to the radar base in the Czech Republic, and to the whole °ßMissile Defense°® initiative.
• 4) Forward this message to others in your networks!
National Coordinator, UFPJ