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update: the contributions of the speakers are added in the program when they come available. The planning sessions resulted in the call for an European day of action against military infrastructure on 14-15 November 2008, an E-mail-list for information sharing and the planning for actions against the NATO 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg/Kehl in April 2009. A next opportunity for meeting and co-ordination is the European peace forum, during the ESF in Malmö on 17- 21 September 2008.
Following the NATO Game Over-action we reflect on military globalisation and how to improve nonviolent resistance in a 2-day conference (23-24 March 2008).
5 years ago the Iraq war enlarged the public awareness of Europe's role in the military globalisation. In 2003 all over Europe nonviolent direct actions took place against the deployment of US and UK troops to Iraq. Meanwhile several military bases are met with a lot of local resistance. But till now there is little cooperation between these action groups. All these groups had local or national impact, but the political decisions are taken on an international level. To have an impact on these decisions cooperation over the borders is needed.
On this conference we bring together the local resistance against bases and nonviolent direct action groups from several European countries to share knowledge on the military complex and to build partnerships and common strategies. We put together our knowledge on military bases, movements and deployments to create a common awareness of the military intervention machinery and how our local military base functions in it. We investigate how we together can be the sand in the machine: how can co-ordinated local actions and international actions raise our impact.
Sunday 23 March
9:30 - 12:30 The military landscape in Europe
All over Europe the military is transforming into intervention armies. This changes the role of institutions like NATO and EU and of military bases and infrastructure. In this workshop an overview is given on the military landscape in Europe.
13:30 - 16:30 War starts from Europe: how does it work
We do a mapping exercise of where the military bases are and what there role is. In this we use the collected information on mcmilitary.org. We look into the war mobilisations for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as an example on how military intervention works in practice.
16:30 - 18:30 Research on military activities for actions and campaigns
The military institutions are not the most transparant. How do you find out what is happening? A presentation of research done by action groups for their actions and campaigns. Contributions by Nukewatch (transports of nuclear weapons), Bombspotting (military transports during Iraq war), Castor-campaign (nuclear waste transports), …
20:00 - 22:00 parallel workshops by participating groups
Monday 24 March
9:30 - 12:30 International Campaigning
We use the evaluation of the NATO Game Over-action, the experiences of anti-nuclear weapons campaigns in Belgium, UK and Germany and the experiences of actions in Europe during the Iraq war as a starting point for discussion on international campaigning strategies. Focus is on the tension between campaigning on a national level and international co-operation. We make a comparison of the strategies: on what were they focussed, what role had the international context in it, … What worked, what was useful and what are the obstacles?
We also look into the experience of the Block G8-campaign and the Castor-campaigns as forerunner. What was done? How do you co-ordinate, organise and mobilise on such scale?
13:30 - 18:00 Planning discussions
This conference takes place in Brussels, Belgium. It is part of the Youth in Action-project Linking Youth for Peace.
For more information: international[a t]bombspotting[d o t]org
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.