22 June 2008
Pictures from global actions - http://www.nenasili.cz/en/1604_photos-from-22nd-june
If you would like to participate on the 22nd June you can
join the list of GN
Participants and/or send your photo and write a
Giorgio Schultze and Jan Tamas will participate in the European Humanist Forum “The Strength of Nonviolence” in Milan, Italy on the 17th, 18th and 19th of October where they will be guest-speakers on the Disarmament panel. For more information about the forum see the website: www.humanistforum.eu and download the monthly bulletin here.
The bulletin is also available in French, Spanish and
This is my seventh solidarity report with the people in the Czech
and worldwide. It was a great experience for me to learn how we can stand up
together. The courage of the two Czech friends, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar and
more than 70% of the Czech people opposing the US radar, I think, really
gratefully strengthened our will against the US missile defense system
worldwide. The solidarity struggle also expanded our knowledge and gave us
another chance to share the information one another. I am grateful that I could
join on June 22, thanks to many good people’s invisible organizational efforts.
I was hesitating whether I would go to the UN plaza yesterday. I had been not so sure whether it was appropriate for me to do it while I still had lots of things to pack for Korea on July1. But I found myself standing again in the same plaza distributing the prints(attached) despite my lateness. There were some memories, news, articles that I guess, to push me to do it.
On June 25, the South Korean government finally announced its decision to import the US beef with little change from its former submissive negotiation with the Bush administration. People in the South Korea strongly protested against it but this time the SK right wing government most violently responded to them, during the near two months people’s protests. As one progressive SK press described, it was a “war against the people.” For more info:
The great side is that including the youth who initiated the candle protest, people are learning about the real democracy and becoming confident about the creative power of themselves through the nonviolent protests. Actually, when I read the Korean articles, I am so enamored of people’s enormous creativities. It makes me laugh and laugh and my heart beating. There is already a word, “candle+(va)cation”, reflecting the majority youth’s decision to spend their summer vacation on the streets, holding candles. The youth’s summer vacation will be the most horrible nightmare for the current SK government. I am proud of my younger Korean generation: How cheerful, confident and courageous! For more info in English:
My another question is how we are going on in our struggle against the missile defense system. I heard Condoleeza Rice would visit Korea on June 28. It is heard that she would want to finish all the package negotiation with the SK government enforcing the US beef import, Free trade Agreement, arms sale, and burdening up of the South Korean people’s tax for the US military bases. The reason behind the SK government’s recent violent response must reflect the anxiety of the US, SK neo liberalists who want to see soon their own profit by the strengthened economic, military alliance between the two countries. The Koreans now say to their corporate-president- origin President, “We are not your employees.” It is noticeable that Condi also flies to the Czech on July 10. Her planned visit to the Czech on May had to be delayed because of the heroic Czech people’s struggle against the US radar. It seems obvious to me that only by our small steps, we can defer and differentiate the evil of the imperialism.
I happened to see Damien Moran’s wonderful article in the No Base Initiative website (http://www.nezakladnam.cz/en/) where Jan Tamas is the Spokesperson. I have never met Damien but was very sorry that he could not enter the USA for the 2008 Global Network Omaha conference as a representative of the Poland, supposed to speak against the US missile installation in the Poland. He is originally an Irish man. Since it was helpful for me to know a bit of the struggle in Poland, I share with you. Thanks very much, Damien, for your great works.
Poland: March against Missile Defence, March 8, 2008 - Damien Moran http://www.nezakladnam.cz/en/908_poland-march-against-missile-defence
A great news: The SPARK announced the solidarity support statement with the people in the Czech on June 22. I so thank the SPARK staffs who have had all the hard struggles not only these two months but all these long years.
Statement of Solidarity In support of the people's struggle in the Czech Republic
Against the construction of a US missile defense base in the Czech Republic.
Finally, I want to express all my great thanks to my American and Korean American friends who gave me all the warm unforgettable friendship during my stay here. One of them is Tim Rinne whose speech I load here. It has been delayed so long. I hope I can load the other speeches as soon I can. The video quality is not so good. But some of you may find your beautiful face in the photos I inserted in the videos.
2008 Annual conf. _ Plenary Panel Discussion I (incomplete)
I also made a 1 min. video for the NY event on June 22. You may enjoy it, too.
Where's the Food?
Thanks very much, everyone.
Reporter for the Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (spark946.org)
Friend of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear power in Space(space4peace.org)
For the solidarity with the people in the Czech, please sign at Nonviolence.cz. Go to its homepage for more info.
For more info. about the solidarity with the people in the Czech, in the USA (as I know)
An Empty Plate Picnic to Protest “Star Wars”
Join in a symbolic “empty plate” picnic — part of a worldwide non-violent action to protest the US’s Star Wars plans in the Czech Republic.
Discuss how we can transform the war economy in order to meet unmet human needs and reaffirm the value of “real” democracy.
Let our government know that we will not accept its inversion of our basic values. We are NYers who “hunger for peace”!
(All are welcome to participate in the gathering -- whether or not they plan to fast on that day)
Sponsored by: The Campaign for Peace and Democracy, The Humanist Movement, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation/NY, CodePink NYC, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
For more info or to add you name to the list of hunger strikers:
It is my sixth solidarity report with the people in the Czech and the worldwide. It is also my second report after finishing the 2week hunger strike two weeks ago. I will try to do my June 26 report but may not be able to do that because I am preparing to return to Korea, soon. If not, I will send you hello in Korea as soon as I can.
Please understand in advance that I am sharing again, one of the important news in Korea, in the thought that it would be helpful for you, too, despite my easiness for more intimate and shorter stories. It is also added comment on Korea to the wonderful report by Mary Beth Sullivan (email@example.com) on June I7. I am also sharing the writing by Ricardo Peres who gratefully sent me his upon my last report. Apology in advance for any mistakes in my Korean-English translation in need. Apology for the long length, too.
Dennis Redmond (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the US Humanist Movements had thankfully made the wonderful print and sent me on Monday. Thanks to him, I could distribute the 500 prints in the NY on June 19. Thanks very much, Dennis!
17 June 2008
For a number of years, plans have been in the works to establish a U.S. radar base on the territory of the Czech Republic. Czech politicians knew about these plans, but kept them secret from the voters until after the 2006 parliamentary elections were over. The proposed base, along with related interceptor missiles to be placed in Poland, is part of a new U.S. missile defense system in Europe, and as such represents a major stage in the emergence of a new Cold War.
Although ostensibly designed to intercept missiles from “rogue states,” principally Iran, the system will, in reality, allow the United States to attack other countries without fear of retaliation. It will also put host countries, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, on the front line in future U.S. wars.
Well below the radar screen for most Americans, a major and unexpected resistance movement has emerged in the Czech Republic in opposition to the U.S. military radar base. Although polls show that 70% of the population opposes the base, the Czech government might have been able to ignore the wishes of its own people had it not been for the emergence of active resistance. Recently, this resistance was dramatically strengthened by the three-week hunger strike of two Czech peace activists.
Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar are part of the new wave of Czech activists. Too young to have participated in Charter 77 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989, they have helped to revive the peace movement in their country. They got involved in the anti-radar base movement in 2006. Frustrated at the insistence of the Czech government to go over the heads of the people, they embarked on a hunger strike on May 13.
On June 2, the two suspended their hunger strike, But, according to Tamas, “there were others who “took over” from us and started the “chain hunger strike,” where each person goes on a symbolic hunger strike for 24 hours. These people are all known people in the Czech Republic: actors, dissidents of the former regime, athletes, politicians including MPs, intellectuals, singers and many others.”
In the past few weeks the chain hunger strike has spread globally, including to Western and Eastern Europe, Australia, and the United States. Strikers are determined to oppose the dangerous military escalation represented by the radar, along with the proposed companion U.S. interceptor missiles planned for Poland. A one-day international day of protest has been set for June 22, when dozens, likely hundreds, of people around the world will renounce food for one day.
Rice in Prague
June 22 has taken on a special urgency. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had originally planned to go to Prague on May 4 to sign the radar base treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic. Because of the uncertainty about the radar created by the upsurge against it, she was forced to cancel the trip. Rice just announced that she now intends to go to Prague on July 10 and sign the agreement.
Whether or not the treaty is signed in July, the fight against the radar will continue. With all its flaws, Czech democracy is in certain respects healthier than ours. President Bush maneuvered to make the radar base the subject of an "executive agreement" rather than a treaty, thus neatly circumventing the need for Senate approval. But the base cannot be built unless and until the Czech Parliament votes to ratify the agreement, and thus far the parliament has been evenly divided.
The sustained and innovative oppositional campaign has undermined Czech parliamentary support for the base to the point where it may well be defeated. In particular, the campaign has succeeded in mobilizing the membership of the Czech Green Party to pressure their parliamentary representatives to withdraw their de facto support of the radar. There is now a good chance that some of the Greens will defect from the government on this issue, which will deny the government its majority. Indeed, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwartzenberg recently admitted for the first time that the Czech parliament might not ratify the radar plan. He has threatened to resign if the measure is defeated. The Czech hunger strikes are also bringing their fight to the European Union level. Tamas went to Brussels to meet with members of the European Parliament. On July 9, he plans to deliver an online petition against the radar, which currently has more than 110,000 signatures. “We would like this number to reach 200,000 signatures by that time,”Tamas says. “So please help us spread the word and get people to sign the petition.”
The proposed radar base has more to do with Washington’s growing rivalry with Moscow than with any perceived threats from Iran, a fact about which Russia’s rulers are in no doubt. Although the projected radar in the Czech Republic and the 10 missile interceptors in Poland don't constitute an immediate threat to Russia's nuclear deterrent, with its thousands of warheads, the Kremlin believes that the system in Central Europe is the first part of a more advanced missile defense that could blunt the Russian nuclear force. Predictably, in a further act of Cold War escalation, Moscow has threatened to direct missiles toward Europe if the United States proceeds with the system, thus placing millions under heightened threat. Russia has also said it will suspend participation in a separate treaty limiting the deployment of conventional forces in Europe.
As for Iran, there is no credible evidence that a nuclear threat exists today. And the bellicose stance of the United States, far from guarding against such a threat in the future, only enhances its likelihood by creating even stronger inducements for Teheran to seek nuclear weapons for its defense. In general, the United States can best reduce the danger of nuclear warfare by taking major steps toward both nuclear and conventional disarmament and renouncing "preventive" war -- not by expanding the nuclear threat. This would create a political climate that would powerfully discourage new countries from developing their own nuclear weapons.
The Czech radar base is not the only attempt by Washington to get compliant governments to sign agreements that sidestep the wishes of their own people In Iraq, for instance, the Bush administration has been trying to obtain dozens of permanent military bases, impunity for its troops and contractors, and the right to launch military strikes and arrest Iraqis without authorization from any Iraqi official.
Opposition in the Iraqi parliament may scuttle Washington's plans. The Bush administration, which never ceases to proclaim its commitment to global democracy, is distressed that the Iraqis and Czech parliaments have the final say on the matter of foreign military bases. The Czech anti-radar activists, in fact, don't think this goes far enough. They are demanding a referendum so that the 70% of the population who oppose the radar treaty can decide. Washington, however, does not want any democratic control in other countries over the installation of U.S. military bases, whether by parliament or by referendum.
There is a good chance, then, that domestic and international opposition will force the postponement of the Czech decision to accept the radar until after the U.S. elections in November. This will give activists in the Czech Republic a chance to marshal their forces, and activists in the United States to put pressure on the incoming administration to abandon this dangerous plan.
Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison are co-directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (www.cpdweb.org) and contributors to Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org).
For More Information
Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, who went on a hunger strike himself for two weeks in support of the Czechs, has compiled a partial list of June 22 hunger strikers. If you wish to add your name to the list of June 22 fasters or organize an event in your area, please notify Bruce Gagnon at the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space -- email@example.com
Contact CPD at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in the campaign against the Czech radar military base.
Thanks to Steve Shalom and Jesse Lemisch for their helpful comments
As the hunger continues, I feel weak some days, but quite strong on others. It's a mystery. I’m looking forward to my first meal on Friday morning (the image of that first bowl of fruit is fixed in my mind!) Bob Lezer of Maine Veterans for Peace will pick up the hunger strike in support of our friends in the Czech Republic at that time.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reflecting on what a powerful experience it is to be part of the Global Network (GN) family. To know personally activists who are giving so much of their lives to waking us up to not only the future plans of U.S. military – with the language of “global domination” and all – but also to the reality that exists today.
The GN conference in Omaha in April was a rich experience for the folks we met, and the stories they told. And of course, we continue to receive emails of actions that are happening all the time. If you will indulge me, I would like to share some of the stories we’ve heard, because this is the food that nurtures me these days:
Italy: Our friend Andrea Licata brought to the GN conference the struggle of the citizens of Vicenza, Italy, who have been protesting the expansion of the U.S. Army base into the only remaining green area in the city.
Diego Garcia: Olivier Bancoult, who also attended the GN conference, is organizing the Chagos Refugee Group to soon attend the final court hearing in England which will decide, once and for all, whether the 2,000 Chagossians who were expelled from Diego Garcia in order to build the largest foreign U.S. military base in the world, have any right to return to their homeland. (John Pilger tells this gripping story in his film Stealing a Nation.)
Korea: Korea is an example that needs some time to discuss. Bruce and I had a six-month visit from a young Korean, Ji Ho Park, some years ago. I remember his reaction to a political discussion on television where the U.S. was complaining that we couldn’t be faulted for killing civilians in the war at the time, because the “enemy” was sinister enough to put themselves inside civilian communities. Park cried hypocrisy and told us about the huge U.S. military base in Seoul – the largest city in South Korea – and citizens were petrified of an attack on that base.
When Ko Young-dae, from Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) came to the GN conference, he discussed the experience of having half the Korean peninsula labeled by the U.S. government as a “chronic military concern.” In recent years, the U.S. relocated its military forces from the demilitarized zone to an area out of range of North Korea's long-range artillery, removing any obstacles to launching a preemptive strike. And they installed “missile defense” systems, including U.S.-deployed Aegis destroyers and submarines carrying Trident missiles, equipped with sophisticated conventional warheads, on the high seas near the Korean peninsula.
U.S. Forces in Korea, without consultation or agreement by the Korean Government, have acquired the potential to intervene in a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, or any other crisis region in the world.
The U.S. clearly intends to build a multilateral “security” alliance in the Asia-Pacific region. Countering this trend, China and Russia are increasing their military cooperation.
SPARK is clear that the only way to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula is to conclude a peace agreement, to officially end the Korean War, and to demilitarize. U.S. military forces must be completely and permanently withdrawn from Korea.
Poland: Damian Moran, the Irish man who lives in Poland would have represented those organizing in Poland against the proposed U.S. "missile defense" base there at the GN conference, but he was not allowed. He was detained in Chicago when he landed, and sent back home. Had he attended, he would have told us about the more than 700 people who protested in the city if Slupsk, Northern Poland, against the plans to put 10 ground-based interceptors to work in tandem with the radar base in the Czech Republic. The Polish government is willing to allow the base if the U.S. provides $20 billion to modernize the Polish army. The polls in Poland make clear what the people want: 60% are against the proposed base; 87% are in favor of a referendum on the issue.
New Zealand: On April 27, GN friends held a prayer vigil at the Waihopai spy base which comprises two satellite interception dishes to operate an electronic surveillance system known as 'Echelon'. This system intercepts huge volumes of military, government and private communications (emails, phone calls, faxes and text messages) in New Zealand and countries all over the Asia-Pacific region for use by the U.S. government. Waihopai is NZ's most significant contribution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The spy base is controlled by the U.S., with the NZ government having no control over what goes on there, what information is passed on to the U.S., or how this is used. The spy base costs $20 million a year in New Zealander taxpayer money, and all the eavesdropping activities are exempted from the Privacy Act and the Crimes Act. Our friends are clear that this base does not operate in the interests of NZ, and “is essentially a foreign spy base on our soil contributing to America's deplorable wars.”
Guam: GN member Hannah Middleton sent a recent email noting that two Chamoru representatives from Guam, Julian Aguon, and Dr. Lisa Natividad visited Australia for a month-long international awareness campaign. The pair accused the U.S. of glaring human rights violations of the indigenous Chamoru people. “Part of the U.S. military realignment in the Asia-Pacific region included the controversial relocation of 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam….. The military build-up now underway in Guam, which will include an influx of a military personnel population comparable to the entire indigenous population (55,000), is being done entirely without the input or consultation of the indigenous people and over their deepening dissent….. Rates of nasopharyngeal cancer ….. are 2,000% higher than in the United States, and the rate of diabetes is five times the national U.S. average. ... Although Guam is only 30 miles long, it contains 19 sites designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as the most highly contaminated and toxic sites in the entire U.S.…. These toxins include radioactive and carcinogenic materials, dioxins, etc.”
Suddenly, the weakness I felt on Day 10 feels trivial. My greatest source of energy and hope lies not in my next meal, nor in the next Democratic Presidential candidate for the United States. The only way out of this mess, as I see it, is to join hands globally and shout the truth in any way we can.
Of all the activities the GN takes on in a year, perhaps the most important is Keep Space for Peace Week. It’s also my favorite. Once the call goes out around the world for local groups to engage in actions to increase awareness of the issues, one by one, people send in their response to let us know that they will take part. Local groups organize discussions, films, videos, articles to newspapers, protests – any combination of actions that makes sense for their communities. Given the amount of worldwide attention the hunger strike started by our friends in the Czech Republic, perhaps our list will grow even larger this year during the days of October 4-12.
I hope all have gone to the Czech website to sign the online petition against the U.S. radar base in that country www.nonviolence.cz. When I started my hunger strike, the number of signatures was over 117,000 – today they are up to 122,004!
Thanks to all for your support. It has been an important lesson for me to know that I can participate in a long-term fast. It’s nice to add another tool in the toolbox, and to get so much support along the way.
Mary Beth Sullivan
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
It’s a strange feeling, to be on a hunger strike while sitting at home.
The whole purpose of the strike part of the hunger is to be working hard to attract attention, media, sympathy for the cause. But I’m not so comfortable drawing attention to myself. And, to be honest, beyond the two weeks of hour-long vigils we held when Bruce was striking, I’m not so sure what else to do. I wrote an op-ed and sent it off to the local Times Record. They should publish it sometime in the coming week. And the focus at this point is to encourage the one-day solidarity fast on June 22. Our local gathering on the mall in Brunswick will bring a good energy to us all, I am sure.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reflecting on an article that appeared in Z Magazine, and circulated around the internet recently: “Radar, Star Wars, & the Czech Republic” from May: http://www.zcommunications.org/zmag/viewArticle/17496 In it, Andre Vitchek brings us to the Czech Republic. It appears that he spent time walking through the countryside and interviewing people. He takes us to Brdy Highlands to visit with some of the residents of the local small villages near the proposed radar site. They have strong opinions. One small village (42 permanent residents) held its own referendum. One hundred percent were against the radar (and foreign troops) settling in just a couple miles from their homes. The area has a history of Nazi bases and Soviet missiles in their hillside. The mayor is quoted as saying, “We’ve had enough of foreign troops on our land and this time we are going to fight to the last drop of blood to prevent it from happening.”
There are other quotes from villagers that keep me motivated as I strike:
“…the naturally pristine Brdy Highlands are the source of drinking water for the entire Western part of the Czech Republic.”
“We are sick of living next to a pile of weapons belonging to foreign powers.”
“We love this land. All we are asking for is tranquility and peace and no foreign troops. But the Americans are already here; they are surveying the area, periodically and secretly.”
“Czechs have to finally be on their own. We were for too long under the military boots of others.”
“I have nothing against the American people, but I can’t stomach American expansionism.”
“The government has already invested several millions in a PR campaign…to convince Czech citizens that the base will be good for the country.”
“For several years, negotiations were done in secrecy.”
“…recently the Minister of Foreign Affairs suggested that the radar can be used as surveillance against Russia.”
Vitchek then quotes a reporter in the U.S. media: “The Czechs generally have been receptive to the idea of the U.S. installing missile-tracking radar southwest of Prague.”
Up is down. Down is up. Two-thirds of Czechs are opposed to this radar base; against any foreign base on their territory. The media at home tell us the opposite.
The article makes me want to walk the hillside; visit the local pubs; be near a people who, once again, the U.S. is pressuring its government to betray.
I am grateful for a populace that has not given up; for the creative nonviolent efforts that has sparked so much activity. Truth is such a powerful force.
I have no idea what the final outcome of this struggle of the Czech people will be. I am certain that the seeds it is planting are being nourished in fertile soil. May my hunger today offer a drop of water on those thirsty seeds.
As many of us are informed by Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of
the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN,
space4peace.org/ space4peace.blogspot.com), the list of June 22 world-wide
hunger strike participants is increasing. Thanks very much, Jan Tamas and Jan
Bednar for your inspiration! We owe to you!
In the U.S.A., on June 7, Mary Beth Sullivan, in Bath,
Maine, an Outreach Coordinator of the GN started the open- end solidarity hunger
strike with the people in the Czech Republic, replacing Bruce Gagnon who
finished his 2 weeks hunger strike on the same date with me, June 6 (In the June
8 photo, second from the left; the others are Bruce Gagnon, Karen Wainberg and
me ). I was very much warmed and encouraged by her kindness during my 2 weeks
solidarity hunger strike. I hope she is very well in her health during her own
I will do again on the next Thursday, June 20, same place and same time. Some people yesterday were paying attention by my repeated protest. Yesterday, one woman would say to me, “ I got everything from you!” Since May 22, it has been my fifth protest at the same place and same time. Each time, the content of the print has been gradually changed as the situation was developed. It will be good if we more spread words.
I have been reading some Korean articles
about the protest in Korea. You may refer the
http://koreareport2.blogspot.com for more info. I want to share a story
about it, even if I am not an expert and may be wrong in my understanding. I
include a photo (above) from the site of the Solidarity for Peace And
Reunification of Korea (www.spark946.org). The photo resource is ‘mydaily’. On
June 10th, 2008, the twenty-first year memorial day of people’s uprising against
the military dictatorship in 1987, more than 500,000 people in Seoul filled the
street against the unequal negotiation between the US and SK, this time
represented by the issue of US beef import.
The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is inviting our neighbors in MidCoast Maine to join in solidarity with the Czech Republic hunger strikers against building a U.S. Star Wars radar base in their country.
A number of citizens from the Czech Republic began a hunger strike on May 13th in order to non-violently protest the planned installation of the U.S. base. They have since been joined on the hunger strike by Bath residents Bruce Gagnon for 14-days and and then by Mary Beth Sullivan for 7-days as well as many other people throughout the world.
Sunday, June 22, has been named as a worldwide day of fasting. To date, more than forty-five Mainers have agreed to join the 24-hour Solidarity Fast on that day.
To show support, MidCoast residents will gather for an "empty plate picnic protest" on the downtown mall in Brunswick from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. on June 22. A table with empty plates will be set up. People will sit in a circle and they will speak to each other -- about Star Wars and endless war; about unmet human needs; about what "democracy" means in these early years of the 21st Century.
All are welcome to participate in the Brunswick gathering -- whether or not they plan to fast on that day.
Other communities in Maine will hold their own events on June 22. They will all be calling for an end to the weaponization of space and especially calling for an end to the proposed U.S. "missile defense" bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. The U.S. and NATO are now moving bases eastward in Europe and attempting to surround Russia, which happens to have the world's largest supply of natural gas.
This hunger strike is a world-wide event in support of the 70% of Czech citizens who have expressed their outrage via mass demonstrations, opinion polls, petitions; yet the Czech government refuses a public referendum.
http://www.nenasili.cz/en/701_homepage for more information about the
growing international movement.
We heard from Jan Tamas (one of the original hunger
strikers) this morning as he was returning to Prague from meetings at the
European Union in Brussels. In his email Jan reported, "During the past three
days we’ve met with a number of Members European Parliament (MEPs) including the
vice-chairman of the EU Parliament Luisa Morgantini. Things are under way for a
meeting of MEPs on July 9 in Strassbourg where I will also participate. It looks
like there will be tens of MEPs participating! On this occasion we will deliver
them the printed version of our online petition against the radar, which
currently has more than 119,000 signatures. We would like this number to reach
200,000 signatures by that time, so please help us spread the word and let
people sign the petition at
Videos from Prague:
Day 14 of my solidarity hunger strike
Day 13 of my solidarity hunger strike
It's raining steadily outside today so we have cancelled my daily hunger strike vigil in Brunswick. Tomorrow should be better.
I got an email this morning from a friend in Maine who I knew when we both used to live in Florida. She is asking her friends to join her in the June 22 day of fasting in solidarity with people in the Czech Republic. A second friend in Maine wrote me saying he was going to fast that day as well. A woman from Gainesville, Florida wrote today to say she will strike from June16-23.
I have to admit I love to eat. I love the preparation of food, the smells, and the joy of eating. In fact I like to eat just a bit too much. When it comes to pasta I have few boundaries. Seconds, thirds, you get my drift.
This hunger strike has been very hard for me but at the same time much easier than I would have expected. I don't think I could have ever come this far on my own. But having the inspiration of knowing that the strike is connected to something larger, something important that I really believe in, has made it almost easy for me at times.
There are some really good cooks in our intentional community house. Levi blows my mind with some of the Oriental fragrances he can whip up. Karen knows how to spice up a dish. Even Mary Beth, who denies that she can cook, was reluctant to share with me that she made herself one of my favorite pasta dishes last night.
Not having eaten in 12 days though has given me a chance to reflect on and appreciate how much we over eat. I've thought alot about how our culture has taught us that meal time is just another consumer experience when instead it is a spiritual practice. We've largely lost the sacred connection when we commodify our mealtimes.
If you decide to join this hunger strike against Star Wars on June 22, or even for longer, please just remember one thing. It is a political act. As you strike please find 1-2 things you can do to make public your reasons for acting. Write a letter to your newspaper, to the politicians, share your story with others, stand on a street with a sign, speak up at church or at a meeting and tell people what you are doing, climb to the top of the tallest building around and drop a 20-foot banner (just don't fall).
Your single act might seem small to you. Someone might say you are being silly or infantile - you are wasting your time. But just tell yourself that on June 22 you are connected to a beating heart around the world that confidently understands you are planting a good seed of consciousness. You are acting to prevent the next arms race before it happens.
We have nothing to lose except the sacred sky.
In April, an opinion poll showed that two-thirds of Czechs were against the U.S. missile shield plans. Two Czech protesters, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, as of June 2, have ceased their three week hunger strike in favor of a chain hunger strike that will involve groups and individuals in the global community taking turns fasting. Head of the Social Democrat senators Alena Gajduskova has volunteered to be one of the first participants. A worldwide fast in solidarity is presently being planned for June 22.
Tamas and Bednar occupy a storefront operation in the center of Prague where e-mails and visitations continue on a daily basis. An online petition has garnered over 109,066 signatures from around the globe.1 As part of the nonviolent protest initiated by Tamas and Bednar, they have made four simple requests:
On May 21, the government approved the plans though the basic document has yet to be ratified by parliament and signed by President Vaclav Klaus; the Czech-U.S. treaties are to be signed by July. At this crucial junction, Tamas and Bednar hold out for democracy. They are not alone.
On May 5, an estimated gathering of 1,500 protesters assembled in Prague, marching to the Government Office. Some participants carried banners that read "No to American radar colonization," and "Say No to radar."
In April, Greenpeace protesters set up a tent city, referred to as “Spot Height 718,” at the exact location of the proposed radar site in the Brdy forest. They have erected an overhead banner with an image of a large target.
Tamas and his group, the No to Bases initiative, proceeds simplistically and with straight forward demands. Yet what this protest represents is very complex. It is a situation has been upon the human race since the the dropping of the first atomic bomb. We have returned to the scene in history in 1983 where President Ronald Reagan first uttered the words, “Star Wars,” in the world arena.
According to a recent report in Ethics & International Affairs written by Philip Coyle and Victoria Samson, there is one glaring problem, among many, with the proposed missile defense systems: “tests have failed roughly half the time.” 2
Coyle and Samson’s report, “Missile Defense Malfunction: Why the Proposed U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Will Not Work,” is both a explanation of technical and diplomatic failures. One can extrapolate from its contents that the urgency on the part of the U.S. to establish a missile defense in Europe before the current administration is out of office is predicated on political posturing--with a big emphasis on Iran. The report is clear in enumerating what has been lost so far in the arms race and the militarization of space and why the world has been placed on a precipice of untold consequences by virtue of this unilateral push to locate missiles in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic.
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. Signed by Presidents Bush and Putin on May 2002. The present proposal is in direct violation of the treaty which calls for joint research and development between the U.S. and Russia on missile defense for Europe.
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. U.S. unilaterally withdrew from treaty in 2002. The treaty had been signed in 1972 by U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. Russia is no longer abiding by the treaty as of December 2007, citing as partial reasons, the U.S. missile defense plans for Europe.3
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Russia’s threat to pull out of the 1997 INF Treaty is exacerbated by the proposed U.S. missile defense. (The treaty bans a wide range of ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles.)
The tenuous relationship between the U.S. and Russia over the proposed European missile shield, located in Poland and the Czech Republic, stands to jeopardize a whole host of established treaties as well as block much needed future treaties in regard to the militarization/weaponization of space.
If this plan is a U.S.-centric geopolitical strategy aimed at threatening Iran (with a system that does not work consistently against intercontinental ballistic missiles that Iran doesn’t have), what is possibly gained? At this point in time, it is perhaps more worthwhile contemplating what could be lost.
The foremost treaty among all, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is put in considerable risk by tensions between the U.S. and Russia. It is possible that Russia would be the strongest negotiator in regard to Iranian nuclear weapons capabilities.4
Tamas and Bednar are making simple requests that may seem unachievable but there is recent precedent. In 2004, the Canadian government declared it would not join the Pentagon’s missile defense program though it continues in its capacity as a partner in the the U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
According to Coyle and Samson: “Canada understood correctly that U.S. missile defenses represent the first wave in which the United States could introduce attack weapons into space—that is, weapons with strike capability. While the militarization of space is already a fact of life—the U.S. military relies on space satellites for military communications, for reconnaissance and sensing, for weather, and for targeting—the weaponization of space has not happened: there are no strike weapons deployed in space.”
While it would be irrational to think that the geopolitical strategizing of superpowers will diminish in favor of the greater good any time soon, citizens compelled to take nonviolent action wherever they may be and in whatever ways they can, offers hope on incalculable levels.
Laray Polk is an artist and activist in Texas. She can be reached at: email@example.com
2. Philip Coyle and Victoria Samson, “Missile Defense Malfunction: Why the Proposed U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Will Not Work,” Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 22.1, 23 April 2008,
3. see international appeal to “Bring the CFE Treaty into Force,” under “Appeals on Preserving the CFE Treaty,” Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, http://www.pugwash.org/
4. “Russia ships nuclear fuel to Iran,” BBC, 17 December 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7147463.stm; see also George Monbiot, “The Treaty Wreckers,” The Guardian, 2 August 2005
This article first appeared on 3quarksdaily, 2 June 2008
Thanks so much for your solidarity. As some of you may already know, Jan Tamas and Jan Benar in the Czech republic finished their 21 days hunger strike against the US radar in the Czech soil. But others are continuing or starting relaying the hunger strike in the wider and higher stage in the Europe and other regions. It is a very inspiring sign for the more international solidarity against the space war and weapons. There is a worldwide hunger strike against the Star Wars system on June 22nd. Also for signs, www.nonviolence.cz.
For more info. you may refer to:
I will continue by June 7 like Bruce Gagnon in the U.S. A. and today is my 11th day. I am very fine. As I mentioned the other time, I plan to handle out the prints about the Czech issue every Thursday, during the June, from noon to 2pm, at the Hammarskjold Plaza crossing the UN, New York(Bet. 1Ave. and 47th St.). I continue on this Thursday, June 5.
It will be great if you can join me with any of your own sign, prints with the issue. It is also welcome you simply drop by me.
Thanks very much, everyone.
Reporter for the Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (spark946.org)
Friend of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space(space4peace.org)
Day 10 of my solidarity hunger strike
Prague, June 1 (CTK) - Czech activists
Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar will announce on Monday that they will interrupt the
hunger strike they have held against the plan to build a U.S. radar base in the
Czech Republic since May 13, Tamas told CTK Sunday.
Hunger Strike Photo-Rama
(6 folks with me today on the street on my 7th day of solidarity hunger strike)
United Nations Plaza in New York City
Prague (Where 70% of the people oppose the Star Wars radar and demand a national referendum)
Byron Bay, Australia
Just click here: http://www.nenasili.cz/en/701_homepage
Peace in space and here at home on Mother Earth.
BRUNSWICK — Bruce Gagnon of Bath spends about an hour on the Brunswick Mall each day waving signs and distributing flyers, hoping to call attention to the U.S. deployment of what he calls "Star Wars technology."
Though he spends only an hour or so there each day, his commitment to the cause goes around the clock. Gagnon is in the midst of a hunger strike that he said will last as long as his friends in the Czech Republic continue theirs. At issue is the United States' plan to build a radar base there in support of a missile defense system in outer space.
Gagnon said since May 24, he has consumed nothing except water with lemon, orange juice in the morning and herbal tea in the evening.
"I've already lost 10 pounds," he said Thursday while protesting on the Mall and handing fliers to passing motorists. "I've researched it and I know you can go 30 or 40 days without medical problems."
The Prague Monitor reported earlier this month that the radar base would facilitate ten interceptor missiles which are designed to shoot enemy missiles out of the sky. The Czech government reported at the time that two treaties on the system were expected to be signed in June or mid-July at the latest, the Monitor said. Gagnon has joined other strikers worldwide, including Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar of the Czech Republic, both leaders of the No to Bases Coalition, which opposes the deployment of the radar system.
Bednar is showing signs of liver failure as a result of the strike, but has vowed to continue, said Gagnon. Asked if he'd take his own strike that far, Gagnon said he would.
According to Gagnon's Web page, for more than two years 70 percent of the Czech people "have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the proposed base through mass demonstrations, opinion polls and petitions, the Czech government has refused to allow a public debate on the issue. Time is running out, as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is expected to travel to Prague in June to sign the agreement between two countries."
Gagnon is a widely known activist for a host of causes including the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which he coordinates. He and his supporters — some of whom are joining him in this week's protest — are regulars on the Brunswick Mall speaking out mostly against the War on Terror. Opposing "Star Wars" technology is not a new endeavor, though this time, his protest and hunger strike are spurred by loyalty to his Czech friends. He knows he's just one man, but hopes his message will spread.
"Most people know nothing about any of this," he said. "By doing this we take a leap of faith that's like planting seeds in a garden and we hope the seeds grow."
He said his mission is complicated by an apathy in the United States that's the result of consumerism and overstimulation from the media.
"The American people have become sheep when it comes to political action," he said. "Just about everywhere else in the world, people are more engaged than we are. For me, being out here is as important, if not more important, than the issue. It's a way to make eye contact with people when they're trying to look away. I'm not going to let that do that as long as I'm on this planet."
From: Gareth Smith
Byron People for Peace and Justice totally support the brave
resistance of the Czech people to the proposed US radar base and applaud the
hunger strike by Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar who resurrect the spirit of Jan Palach.
Jan Bednar has been rushed to hospital with liver failure but refuses to break
his fast. Our hope is that these young men do not sacrifice themselves like Jan
Palach did, as the world desperately needs more committed idealists not less.
Today there was total support for the petition by Byron Bay High School staff
and 80 signatures have so far been collected in Byron Bay in 2 days. Our local
newspaper, the Echo carried the story of my fast and photographed the petition
gathering yesterday. Byron Mayor Jan Barham has sent her support on behalf of
the Byron shire.
I began fasting on Monday, May 26. Hunger strikes are now occurring in Italy, Spain, S.Korea, America, Austria and Australia. I have already contacted the US, Czech and Polish embassies in Canberra to inform them of our support. We have our own huge US war co-ordination centre at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in the centre of Australia. This base conducted the illegal war on Iraq and no doubt is preparing now for an attack on Iran. Thankfully, the Czech people have well developed crap detectors having endured Nazi and Soviet occupation. Democracy by the people and for the people will win the day. US bases out!!
Gareth W R Smith
14 Cumbebin Park
Byron Bay, Australia
Tel: 66943324 (VOIP)
17 days hunger strike, I can not imagine. How many more suffering you have to go through! By now I am still fine. I am forgetting about my hunger. These critical days strangely make me forget about food. And lots of love and help from the friends also help me to keep myself warm and strong.
Jan Bednar and Jan Tamas, I send you lots of love like many people in the
Reporter for the Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of
Day 6 of my solidarity hunger strike
It is day 17 for Jan Bednar and Jan Tamas in their hunger strike. The latest report from the Czech Republic is that Jan Bednar's liver failure is critical. He was taken to the hospital today but will not end his hunger strike.
In a meeting today with Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg it became obvious, despite his cordiality with the two strikers, that the government will not accept any of the peace movement demands.
Jan Tamas urged him to suspend talks with the Bush administration, since their country is divided and the political atmosphere in the Czech Republic is poisoned. Jan told him that it is much more sensible to wait for the next U.S. administration and in the meantime begin a real and transparent debate on the issue, involving all social forces in the country.
Opposition Social Democratic Party Secretary Jiri Paroubek, the former Czech Prime Minister, visited the protesters today and made a heartfelt appeal that they stop the strike. He assured them that his party is committed in their opposition to the radar agreement with the U.S. and that they will do everything possible to stop it.
Crowds are swarming to the Prague hunger strike headquarters, people bringing flowers and fruit drinks.
At today's news conference in Prague a journalist started crying when Jan Bednar, now almost completely yellow, told them "the Prime Minister declared on television today that he has 30 days to answer us. This is the domineering attitude of our government which will impose it's will at any cost. I cannot stop, it is an issue of democracy."
Protests have now spread from Prague to over 30 cities around the world.
Today in Brunswick, Maine we had 10 people at my daily vigil on the street during the lunch hour. The local newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to interview me and earlier in the day I did a radio interview with the progressive station WERU in northern Maine.
More than a 100,000 people have now signed the http://www.nonviolence.cz/ online petition.
Unlimited hunger strike today: Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in Prague since May 13, Dino Mancarella in Trieste since May 14, Federica Fratini and Eduardo Calizza in Rome since May 19, José Alvarez in Spain since May 22. Bruce Gagnon and Sung-Hee Choi in the USA, Gareth Smith in Australia, Joaquin Valenzuela in Bologna since May 24. Ivan Marchetti and Andrea Casa in Turin since May 26 and Dr. Hassan Nayeb Hashem in Austria since May 29
My heart is heavy tonight because at the same time we learned about Jan Bednar being taken to the hospital I also learned that our longtime dear friend Peg McIntire, who is 97 years old and lives in Florida, is nearing death. I've worked with Peg in the peace movement for well over 20 years and she has come to Maine to visit us each year since we moved here in 2003. Just weeks ago she was asking if she could come again this summer, even as her health was failing.
The loss of Peg is just too hard to imagine. In my heart though I know she would be proud that I am participating in this hunger strike and I know she would be cheering me on.
Two leading peace activists in the Czech Republic began an unlimited hunger strike on May 13 in protest of U.S. 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 U.S.
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 U.S. Star Wars radar.
Jan Tamas recently stated, “The issue of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. radar deployment at www.nonviolence.cz
Watch a short documentary video on the issue at http://www.nenasili.cz/en/946_video-star-wars
Contacts: Jan Tamas +420 776 785 839
In the U.S.: Joanne Landy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Wells (email@example.com)
Good news are arriving from Prague: we have obtained the dialogue we were looking for!!!. Tomorrow, Thursday May 29, there will be a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the one who will have to sign the agreement with Condoleezza Rice.
After the open letter of Dennis Kucinich, we have received also a letter from Luisa Morgantini, Vice-president of the European Parliament, who supports the protest against the space shield and commits herself to inform the Parliament about it.
There is also more space in the mass-media.
For all these reasons our friends in Prague think that it is not necessary now to send protest letters to Czech embassies and to the president Klaus. It seems that in these days hundreds of mails and fax have arrived to their embassies all over the world and perhaps this has contributed to this first opening.
Thanks a lot for your support and I will keep you informed.
Prague, May 27 (CTK) - Two Czech activists, Jan Bednar and Jan Tamas, who have been on hunger strike for 15 days in protest against the plan to station a U.S. radar base in the country, will continue their strike despite Bednar's bad health, they told journalists Tuesday.
Bednar said he had a high billirubin level, which pointed to some problem with his liver. He said doctors recommended him to start eating again, but he said he would not end the strike.
Bednar and Tamas said they have had no reaction from the government so far. They have received no answer from Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to the letter they sent to him some ten days ago.
However, they said Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg promised to meet them, but he did not confirm the meeting until now.
Bendar and Tamas demand that the Czech-U.S. talks on the base end and a national referendum is held on the issue.
Bendar is a leading activist of the No To Bases group that has been campaigning against the base for some time.
Opinion polls show that a majority of Czechs are against the base.
The Czech government has been negotiating with the U.S. representatives on the base for more than a year. It wants the two treaties on the base to be signed within two months. However, the Czech parliament in which the government holds only a shaky majority is yet to ratify the documents afterwards.
The U.S. radar base to be stationed 90 km southwest of Prague is to be an element of the U.S. missile defence shield and included in NATO's defence structures later on. It is to be connected with a silo with interceptor missiles that is to be constructed in Poland.
Day 4 of my solidarity
Jan Tamas (second from left) and Jan Bednar (far right) at a recent press conference in Prague.
Word came from the Czech Republic this morning that Jan Bednar, who together with Jan Tamas, is on his 12th day of hunger strike against deployment of a U.S. Star Wars radar base, is suffering from liver failure. His health conditions are worsening day after day and the medical team, as well as his friends and family, have urged him to interrupt the hunger strike. He has decided, however, to continue. "I have seen no sign that the Czech government is willing to open the dialogue on this issue and the European Parliament is silent," he stated.
Unlimited hunger strike: Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in Prague since May 13, Dino Mancarella in Trieste since May 14, Federica Fratini, Isabel Torres, Eduardo Calizza in Rome since May 19, Josa Alvarez in Spain since May 22. They have been joined on May 24 by Bruce Gagnon, the Korean Sung-Hee Choi in New York, Gareth Smith in Australia and Joaquin Valenzuela in Bologna (Italy).
Solidarity messages pour in daily from hundreds of organizations and personalities such as: Noam Chomsky, Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Giorgio Schultze, Giulietto Chiesa (European Parliament member), Luisa Morgantini (Vice President of the European Parliament), Nichi Vendola, president of Puglia Region in Italy, French bishop Jacques Gaillot and Pulitzer prize winner Chris Hedges.
Protests against the military occupation of the Czech Republic by the U.S. and Europe's nuclear rearmament policies are continuing in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna, Budapest, Copenhagen, Florence, London, Malaga, Milan, Bologna, Paris, Toulouse, Trieste e Turin. They are echoed in Australia, New York City, and Brunswick, Maine.
Please take a small step and sign the petition to oppose the radar in the Czech Republic. http://petice.nenasili.cz/?lang=en
Bruce K. Gagnon
The US government, as part. of its so called
initiative is planning to install a
radar base In the Czech Republic, despite the opposition of 70% of the Czech
population. Although it is presented as a defense system against the
possible attacks of Iranian missiles, the
"Space Shield" is, In fact, a first
strike weapon, a tool for global dominance and represents the first step towards
US militerization and control of space.
For over 2 years, citizens in the Czech Republic have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the proposed base through mass demonstrations, opinion poles, and petitions, yet the Czech government has refused to allow a public debate on the issue. T1me is now running out, as Secretary of Stale Condoleeza Rice is expected to travel to Prague in June to sign the agreement between the two countries.
On May 13th, humanists JanTamas and Jan Bednar began a hunger strike in Prague to ask that the will of 70% of the population be respected and that the subject of installing a US military base on Czech territory be decided democratically through a referendum, 'We have tried almost everything , but our government has failed to listen to us," says Tamas.
We are gathered here today to show our support for the hunger strikers and to call upon the US government to end its plans for the "space shield" project, which endangers the peace and coexistence or people worldwide.
How Can I Help?
You can sign the online petition (www.nonviolence.cz) send us an e-message of support for the hunger strikers see Noam Chomsky's inspiring statement of support below), contact your Congressional delegation; and consider a press release from your group in support of the strikers and opposing the radar base.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FROM NOAM CHOMSKY
I would like to express my strong support, and great admiration. for the tWo brave Czech humanists. Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, who have initiated a hunger strike in protest against the plans to extend the US "missile defense" system to the Czech Republic. over the objections of the large majority of the population. I place the words "missile defense" in quotes because it is understood by Strategic analysts on all sides that "missile defense," if at all feasible, is an offensive weapon. In the words of the major Pentagon-affiliated research agency. the Rand Corporation, it is "not simply a shield but an enabler of U.S. action," Endorsing a common understanding. the prominent strategic analyst Lawrence Kaplan writes that "missile defense is about preserving America's ability to wield power abroad, It's not about defense, It's about offense. And that's exactly why we need it." It is also understood by US analysts that if the system is emplaced in Eastern Europe. it is a potentially serious threat to the Russian deterrent, so that Russia will reaCt. as it already has begun to do, by expanding its own offensive military capacity. These perfectly predictable developments significantly increase the threat of terminal nuclear war. For such reasons. the honorable and courageous aCtions of Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar will. I hope, encourage others to ensure that a referendum Is held and that these very threatening developments will be terminated.
Contacts: Jan Tamas +420 776 785 839
In the U.S.: Joanne Landy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Wells (email@example.com)
Jan Bednar, who together with Jan Tamas, is on his 12th day of hunger strike, is suffering from liver failure. His health conditions are worsening day after day and the medical team, as well as his friends and family, have urged him to interrupt the hunger strike. He has decided however, to continue. "I have seen no sign that the Czech government is willing to open the dialogue on this issue and the European Parliament is silent," he stated this morning.
Protests against the silent military occupation of the Czech Republic by the United States and Europe's nuclear rearmament policies, uncountable solidarity fasts, are continuing in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna, Budapest, Ceske Budejovice, Copenhagen, Florence, London, Malaga, Milan, Bologna, Paris, Toulouse, Trieste e Turin. They are echoed in Australia,and even the US.
Solidarity messages pour in daily from hundreds of organizations and personalities such as: Noam Chomsky, Dario Fo and Franca Rame Giorgio Schultze, Giulietto Chiesa (European Parliament member), Luisa Morgantini (Vice President of the European Parliament), Nichi Vendola, president of Puglia Region in Italy, French bishop Jacques Gaillot and Pulitzer prize winner Chris Hedges.
Unlimited hunger strike: Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in Prague since May 13, Dino Mancarella in Trieste since May 14, Federica Fratini, Isabel Torres, Eduardo Calizza in Rome since May 19, Jose Alvarez in Spain since May 22. They have been joined today by Bruce Gagnon, the Korean Sung-Hee Choi in the USA, Gareth Smith in Australia and Joaquin Valenzuela in Bologna (Italy).
I was with one of
these hunger fasters, Jan Tamas, to stop the installation of a US missile radar
base in the Czech Republic in Omaha Nebraska at our
Global Network Against
Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space meeting near Strat Com headquarters, where the US is
planning to “dominate and control the military use of space to protect US
interests and investments”, according to the mission statement in the US Space
Command documents. Jan was also at the Cooper Union Socialist Forum in April.
The construction of Star Wars bases in the Czech Republic and Poland is
sweetening the pot for our military-industrial-academic-congressional-complex as
Russia and China play catch up in space, and our militarists argue for more
money for space warfare—don’t be fooled by missile ”defense”. It’s an offensive
system--we just shot a satellite down that was falling from space—as part of our
lunatic plan to control space warfare.
How do we shine the light of publicity on these brave hunger fasters, who are taking a stand not just against war in space, but for democracy as overwhelming percentages of people in the Czech republic DO NOT WANT THE BASE, but their government is ignoring them ??
Please spread the word—particularly to media and celebrity contacts. There must be no expansion of Star Wars to eastern Europe. The last thing we need is a revival of the cold war with Russia. We need to cooperate with them on nuclear disarmament, alternative energy, ending poverty—or we may lose our very biosphere.
My friend Sung-Hee Choi from South Korea has written
that she will join the hunger strike in support of our friends in the Czech
Republic this Saturday. Sung-Hee is an art teacher in New York City and a long
time loyal Global Network member. Sung-Hee has asked her art students to help
her not eat during their all-day class on Saturday and for the next week.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
On May13 Jan Tamas and Jan
a hunger strike in
Praque. "The issue of the U.S. 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
to be repeated," they said.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
The protest in
the Czech Republic continues and gets stronger: on May 13th Jan Tamas and Jan
Bednar started a hunger strike. "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
Read G. Schultze's declaration:
The on-line petition has already surpassed 87,000 signatures; with everybody's help we can reach the objective of 500,000 signatures.
The protest is spreading all over Europe. In many cities there are permanent demonstrations and other activities of support:
Message: N. Chomsky
Support this campaign spreading it among your friends, in your city, among other organizations and the mass-media. We can change the future only with everybody's help, a future that today is in the hands of ruthless and crazy people.
Greetings of peace
Leader of the Czech movement against the planned US military base Jan Tamas
will start hunger strike on Tuesday, May 13. He will be joined by Jan Bednar,
activist in the movement.
See: Jan Tamas Speech at 2008
Leader of the Czech movement against the planned US military base Jan Tamas
will start hunger strike on Tuesday, May 13. He will be joined by Jan Bednar,
activist in the movement.
See: Jan Tamas Speech at 2008 GN Conference: Here