Mass demonstration at NATO war conference in Munich, Germany … and Naples, Athens, New York
On February 19, German anti-war and peace organizations held a mass action in Munich to oppose the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC). Anti-war activists describe it as a war conference and PR event for the aggressive NATO alliance, and a means to justify the billions spent on arms by Germany and the EU and their war missions, which they sell to the population as “peace missions.”
Some 3,000 people took part in a rally and march around Hotel Bayerischer Hof where the war conference was taking place. In the evening, activists held the Munich International Peace Conference at old city hall.
In the call for the protest, the anti-war activists reject increased military spending by Germany, the stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons on German territory, and the overall arms build-up in the EU. They state, “The increasing militarization of Germany and the EU does not serve peace, nor does the extremely dangerous course of confrontation, the war rhetoric and war manoeuvres against Russia and the People’s Republic of China, which can escalate militarily at any time and lead to war between the nuclear powers.
“This policy of confrontation must end. Peace in Europe and in the world can only exist with and not against Russia and China. Instead of violent enforcement of great power and supremacy interests, disarmament and international cooperation would be the order of the day.”
They issued these specific demands:
“Downgrade instead of upgrade! Instead of wasting billions on rearmament and war preparations, our tax money must be invested in the social systems, health and education systems and in climate protection.
“We demand the termination of all foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr [German Armed Forces], Germany’s withdrawal from the NATO war alliance and all military structures of the EU. No participation in EU rearmament projects. No acquisition of armed drones.
“German support for wars of aggression that violate international law and illegal drone warfare conducted via the U.S. airbase in Ramstein must stop. All U.S. and NATO troop bases in Germany and all U.S. and NATO command centres must be closed.
“No more involvement in the U.S. nuclear war strategy. No purchase of U.S. fighter jets for the use of nuclear weapons stationed in Germany. The federal government must accede to the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and terminate the stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons in Büchel.”
Germany ranks as the fourth largest arms exporter in the world, they point out, contributing to conflict and wars around the world.
They also point out German and EU responsibility for the global refugee crisis by contributing to wars, climate change, poverty and other problems that cause millions to flee their homelands, and then refusing asylum to all but a few seeking refuge. They write:
“Unjust economic and trade relations, sanctions and war are destroying the livelihoods of countries in the Global South. But Germany and the EU are sealing themselves off, driving back refugees illegally in violation of human rights, and allowing thousands to drown in the Mediterranean every year. We cannot accept that.
“No more exploitative economic policies that cause wars, poverty and displacement. Our solidarity belongs to the refugees, especially those fleeing the wars waged with German weapons. Flight is not a crime. No one is illegal.”
The call for action ends with by highlighting the needs of the youth for a bright future, while decrying their recruitment as canon fodder in wars of aggression. They write:
“The peace movement and progressive youth organizations have been protesting against a lack of prospects and war for years. While there is less and less job security, working conditions are getting worse and real wages are falling, the Bundeswehr presents itself as an attractive employer and appears in schools, at trade fairs and on social media. It lures with a fascination with technology and places to study and train. That has to stop! The youth should not be wasted in war!
“That’s why we demand: Education not bombs! No advertising for death! More civilian training places and better working and training conditions!”
Anti-NATO demonstrations held in other places
Demonstration against NATO and warmongering in Ukraine, New York City, February 19, 2022.
Anti-war demonstration outside NATO command centre in Naples, Italy, February 19, 2022.
Protest, November 21, 2022, outside Greek ministry of foreign affairs demands Greece get out of NATO and not participate in a war in Ukraine.
February 17, 2022 action at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv that includes the participation of Cuba solidarity activists.
(Translation of German quotations by TML. Photos: ATIK Haber, Die Linke Bayern, AntiSiko, T. Mohr)