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War starts here: 15 antimilitarist activists make their way into the NATO military base of Valencia and turn it into a playground

This action is part of the protests against the Lisbon NATO summit in November
Saturday, Oct. 30th 2010

15 ANTIMILITARIST ACTIVISTS MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE NATO MILITARY BASE OF BÉTERA (VALENCIA) AND TURN IT INTO A PLAYGROUND TO DEMAND ITS CLOSURE, TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN AND ABOLITION OF ARMED FORCES
For the eighth consecutive year, an antimilitarist group trespassed the safety fences of the NATO Response Force HQ in the Valencian town of Bétera during a nonviolent civil disobedience action included in the international protest movement against the next summit of the Alliance to be held in Lisbon

Pictures:
http://www.antimilitaristas.org
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aa-mocvalencia/sets/72157625280058084/

Saturday, October 30, 2010. Today, at 12:30 p.m., a group of some 60 antimilitarist activists left the town of Bétera towards the quarters of the rotating command of the NATO Response Force wearing white coats and umbrellas with anti-war symbols after marching along the streets of the town with dolçaina and tabalet (Valencian traditional instruments) music.

A short distance before reaching the base vehicle entrance, on the Olocau road, around 15 people passed under the safety fencing of the facilities beneath the impotent gaze of a heavy deployment of Guardia Civil officers and Military Police at the base. One of the groups even managed to introduce scooters and small bicycles into the military area, and then started to ride them throughout the area surrounding the fences until they were stopped by the Guardia Civil officers. Other antimilitarists started to play paddle ball, soccer and other games while being asked for identification. The playful, funny atmosphere of the non-compliant protesters contrasted with the rigid, inflexible attitude of the military. After being retained for one hour, they were driven to the main entrance of the base and released.

This is an open act of civil disobedience, representing both an active and symbolic way to demand the dismantling of the same fences the activists will trespass, in other words, to demand the closure, civil use and ecological recovery of the entire military base and of all military facilities. Through this action, AA-MOC also wishes to point out that wars thousands of kilometers from us, such as that of Afghanistan, start in reality next to our homes, in facilities like Bétera, making use of civilian transportation infrastructures. In fact, according to recent statements to the media by the commander-in-chief of NATO Headquarters in Madrid, the Bétera quarters will be designated by NATO in 2011 to command the entire occupation forces of the Alliance in Afghanistan: the ISAF.

Once again, Alternativa Antimilitarista-MOC (AA-MOC) highlights the fact that “it is absurd to sell people the idea that armies –which are essentially war-and-violence machinery– may be an agent for peace and justice”, and again supports “the abolition of armies as the most realistic and reasonable measure to do away with the issue of wars in the world.” As a first step, AA-MOC suggests diverting the over 18 billion Euros of Spanish annual military spending to reduce the severe social effects of the capitalism crisis: "armies to pay for the crisis."

This is the first of a series of international antimilitarist actions against the Afghanistan occupation and for NATO’s abolition, which will be followed by a march towards the Rota (Cádiz, Spain) naval air base. Such actions will lead to protests in Lisbon on November 20th, during the next NATO summit to be held in this city, where the Alliance will try to pass a strategic guidance document for the next years. This action gathered people from the Alternativa Antimilitarista-MOC groups based in Las Palmas, Tenerife, Albacete, Elx, Alacant and València. Alternativa Antimilitarista-MOC is a countrywide network of local, antimilitarist, non-violent, grass-roots, independent and membership-based groups. AA-MOC is also coordinated with other similar networks throughout Europe, such as those which entered the NATO HQ en masse in Brussels in March 2008, the non-violent blockade of the Strasbourg NATO summit in April 2009, or the blockade against the British nuclear weapons factory of Aldermaston in February 2010.

alternativa antimilitarista - moc valència
roger de flor 8, baix-dta / 46001 valència / 627 064 818 / retirada (arroba) xarxaneta (punto) org