Report from Breznice, Czech Repubic

17 October 2007

From: Bruce Gagnon

On October 17 Bruce Gagnon flew to the Czech Republic, and on the 18th met with leaders of the campaign opposing a proposed U.S. radar facility there. Polls show 70% of Czech people oppose the new base. Bruce and the Czech leaders shared information on the U.S. space program and on the efforts to resist it in the Czech Republic.

On the 19th Bruce participated in a pre-conference meeting with the press and shared materials on the U.S. space program with reporters. On the 20th three bus loads of activists were driven about an hour outside of Prague to the town of Breznice. Activists came from all over Europe, including a large delegation from Italy where citizens are resisting U.S. base expansion in Vincenza.Several hundred people gathered to hear speakers and participate in workshops.

Bruce and two Czech counterparts did a work shop on "The USA anti-rocket shield? Why?" Critics believe the ultimate target is Russia, but Europeans will suffer the brunt of such a conflict. A recently created Czech League of Mayors has been formed to oppose the rador after many of the local towns passed overwhelmingly referendums against the radar.

The mayors energetically oppose the base and are affiliated with Hiroshima based Mayors for peace. Indeed, a video from Tadatoshi Akiba, the Mayor of Hiroshima, was shown in which he pledged his support. Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, also sent a letter expressing his support. Bruce attended the conference as part of the new No Bases Initiative. He was heartened by the determination of the Czechs, and so many Europeans -- and especially the young -- to keep space for peaceful uses.

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