ACTION ALERT: Join Opposition to US Missile Defense in Czech Republic and Poland
February 28, 2008
The US is attempting to place military bases in the Czech Republic and Poland. Despite the strenuous efforts of the Czech and US governments, Czech public opinion remains strongly against the radar, with 70% opposed. These next several weeks are critical, since the Czech parliament will likely be voting soon on accepting the radar.
1. Demonstrate in Washington D.C. this Wed, Feb 27,12:30-1:30pm to greet Czech Prime Minister Topolánek with banners against the proposed US radar base when he visits the White House. Protest coordinated by Campaign for Peace and Democracy and Foreign Policy in Focus. Join us! (press release at the end of this message)
"Demonstrate in Washington DC"
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has been invited to the White House; one of the main items on the agenda is the Bush administration's campaign to place military bases in the Czech Republic and Poland. Our friends from the Czech "No Bases Initiative" have asked us to "greet" Topolánek with signs and banners to show that opponents of the bases have support in the US
• Please join our protest from 12:30 to 1:30 pm on Wed, Feb 27 in front of the White House, across from Lafayette Park — and tell your D.C. friends and colleagues.
• Read. CPD's letter in the New York Times on line on January 6, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/opinion/lweb06poles.html?ex=1200200400
* A summary of our sign-on statement opposing the radar was published in the February 8 issue of the New York Review of Books: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21046
* Just a few days ago the following article by Campaign for Peace and Democracy Co-Directors Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison appeared in Foreign Policy in Focus, and has been picked up on several websites including Portside, ZNet, and After Downing Street.
"Pushing Missile Defense in Europe""
Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison / Foreign Policy In Focus
(February 22, 2008) — With the occupation of Iraq soon to enter its sixth year and the looming possibility of war against Iran, it's easy for Americans not to notice the Bush administration's attempt to expand the US military presence in Europe. A new Cold War between the United States and Russia threatens. And the US media is paying little attention.
Even many in the peace movement don't know that Washington has proposed to install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar military base in the Czech Republic. The missiles and radar taken together constitute an anti-missile system purportedly meant to defend against Iran and other "rogue" states. In fact, they represent a new expansion of US global military power and an escalation of the arms race with Russia.
Opposition to the proposed US installations, however, is gathering force within Poland and the Czech Republic. And even the US Congress has shown a measure of skepticism. The expansion of US military presence in Eastern Europe is far from a done deal.
To read the entire article, please go to www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5005
US tour by Czech "No Bases Initiative" leader Jan Tamás in April.
The leader of No Bases Initiative, Jan Tamás, will be coming to the United States in April, and a number of peace groups will be helping to organize a speaking tour for him.
"What you can do. "
* Join our demonstration greeting the Czech Prime Minister in Washington on Feb. 27.
* If you are interested in the Tamás tour in April, contact Bruce Gagnon, national coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, at email@example.com. The Campaign for Peace and Democracy is working on a major meeting for Tamas in New York City, so contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to work on this part of the tour.
* Contact your member of Congress to express your opposition to funding the dangerous and expensive anti-missile system for the Czech Republic and Poland (see the Foreign Policy in Focus article shown above for ideas of how to make the case.)
* Post signs against the radar and missiles at your peace marches and other local activities. Write to us at email@example.com and we will send you PDF's.
* If you haven't signed already, add your name to our anti-radar statement at www.cpdweb.org (While you are at our website you can also sign our statement calling for the Iranian government to free jailed student protestors.)
* Stay tuned for work in support of Polish anti-missile activists. You can check our website periodically or email us for information.
Donations to CPD welcome, including a p.c. laptop. We count on your support to sustain our work, so please make a tax-deductible contribution.
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
2790 Broadway, #12
New York, NY 10025
Thanks for your support!
Contact: Joanne Landy
Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy
firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 666-4001 cell (646) 207-5203
PROTESTERS AGAINST US RADAR IN CZECH REPUBLIC
TO GREET CZECH PRIME MINISTER AT THE WHITE HOUSE
ON FEBRUARY 27, 12:30-1:30 P.M.
"Activists Support Czech Opponents of Proposed US Military Base"
NEW YORK (February 25, 2008) — Protesters will gather on Wednesday, February 27 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in front of the White House, across from Lafayette Park, to greet Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek with signs opposing a proposed US radar base in the Czech Republic. Mr. Topolánek has been invited to visit President George Bush, where the radar base will be one of the main items on their agenda.
The radar is opposed by 70% of the Czech population, and US peace activists are demonstrating at the White House to show that they support the fight against the radar. The protest is coordinated by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy and Foreign Policy in Focus. Other groups will be represented, including Maryknoll Global Concerns and Code Pink.
The Bush administration is attempting to build a base in Poland to host ten interceptor missiles in concert with the Czech radar base. The Czech and Polish governments hope to finalize an agreement with the US government to accept the bases, but this expansion of the US military presence in Eastern Europe is far from a done deal.
“We are demonstrating to show our support for the Czech group ‘No Bases Initiative’ (Iniciativa Ne základnám), which is leading the fight against the radar in the Czech Republic,” said Joanne Landy, Co-Director of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy. “Washington’s scheme has already produced an ominous response from Russia, which has threatened to direct its missiles toward Poland and the Czech Republic if the US proceeds with the system. Moscow has also threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and to suspend participation in a treaty limiting the deployment of conventional forces in Europe.”
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called Russian concerns “ludicrous,” insisting that the Czech-Polish missile defense is aimed at Iran and not Russia. But there is no credible evidence that a missile threat from Iran exists today. The National Intelligence Estimate released in December 2007 further undermined the credibility of that claim by stating that Iran had discontinued its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. “And far from protecting against such a threat in the future, the anti-missile system and other nuclear escalations will only create even stronger inducements for Iran to seek nuclear weapons,” Landy said.
“The US bases threaten to restart a cold war between the United States and Russia,” according to John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus. “They have little to do with genuine defense and much to do with an aggressive US military policy.”
“No nation has the moral right to possess nuclear weapons, which by their nature are weapons of vast and indiscriminate mass destruction,” Landy added. “The US and other nuclear powers can best reduce the danger of nuclear warfare by taking major steps toward both nuclear and conventional disarmament and refraining from waging or threatening ‘preventive’ war — not by expanding the nuclear threat. Such steps by the existing nuclear powers would create a political climate that would powerfully discourage new countries from developing their own nuclear weapons.”
THE CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY (CPD) advocates a new, progressive and non-militaristic US foreign policy — one that encourages democratization, justice and social change. Founded in 1982, the Campaign opposed the Cold War by promoting "detente from below." It engaged Western peace activists in the defense of the rights of democratic dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and enlisted East-bloc human rights activists against anti-democratic US policies in countries like Nicaragua and Chile.
FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS (FPIF) is a "Think Tank Without Walls" connecting the research and action of more than 800 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. More information about the US bases strategy in Europe can be found here: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5005
• Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2790 Broadway, #12, NY, NY 10025. Tel (212) 666-4001, Cell (646) 207-5203, Fax (212) 866-5847. Email: email@example.com Web: www.cpdweb.org
• Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th St., Suite 600, NW, Washington, DC 20036; Tel (202-234-9382); Cell (202-294-9128)