Report from Counter NATO Summit meeting in Prague,
19-21 November, 2002
From Aurel Duta
At the meeting organised by the Ecumenical Academy of Prague, as an alternative to the Summit of NATO, and a place for discussion and debate around the issue, there were about 60 people attending, coming from fourteen countries: Austria, Germany, Czech Rep., Romania, Switzerland, Finland, England, Estonia, India, Palestine, Israel, Denmark, Hungary, USA. The name of the conference was: 'Give Peace a Chance'.
The program and the speakers can be seen on:
I have placed photos taken during the conference on:
My contribution was on two of the three meeting days.
I took part in the panel about the NATO enlargement and security in Central and Eastern Europe, and i have presented the speech and the panel: Star wars, nuclear weapons.
The conference hall of the Ols'anka Hotel was filled with people. I have given a speech prepared with help of the materials written by Regina Hagen and Juergen Scheffran 'The Unholy Trinity' (thank you Regina!), and in the 2nd part of the panel (I had 100 minutes time) I have played the video with Bruce Gagnon's speech (thank you Bruce!). Both were very appreciated by the participants, and there have been comments and discussions after the presentation.
One of the main questions - as always - was 'what can we do to change the things?'. People from Czech Republic thought that American citizens should play the first role in this, and Taycho from the States - who was present at the meeting and took active part in the discussions - said that people outside US could play a big role, and their solidarity may cause a great change.
I advised folks to become active in the GN and organise more meetings and conferences about the issue, in Central and East Europe. Hope at least some of these people will become active in our network.
After the star wars panel, people were picking up the Space Alert magazines, and read them during the next panels (!)
A TV agency from Finland and a Danish Radio asked me for an interview after the speech.
The conference was good and the atmosphere was very nice. Just a few kilometres away from our place, special forces from all Czech Republic and from the US were filling the roads of Prague, to 'protect' the NATO representatives - including Bush - that gathered in Prague for their summit. As you already have heard, more states were invited to join the NATO club. One of them is my country - unfortunately.
I told the Finnish TV station - as they have asked me what is my opinion about the fact that Romania is joining NATO - that I consider this north alliance a criminal organisation that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. They will release their footage on Monday, in Finland.
Thanks again for the materials and for the trust and support you have credited me.
From Prague, just few hours before taking the train back home,
PS: To cross the Czech border was not the easiest thing this time! The Czech police started to control people in the train even before the train entered Czech Republic! Was first time I had to fill in a paper about my stay, period, place etc., exactly like when I have been into the US. It looks like freedom in Europe is decreasing...
MAMA TERRA / For Mother Earth-Romania &