Presentation on theme: "Reclaim the bases (and stop the military trains) actions in spain."— Presentation transcript:
reclaim the bases (and stop the military trains) actions in spain
historical context anti-militarist movement in Spain has closed a cycle centered in the struggle against conscription (early 70's-2002) CO as a tool of civil disobedience, not as a goal in itself CO as a tool of civil disobedience, not as a goal in itself abolition of conscription as a step to the abolition of the army abolition of conscription as a step to the abolition of the army network of local, autonomous, small groups network of local, autonomous, small groups DNA, civil disobedience, solidarity networks DNA, civil disobedience, solidarity networks
historical context key dates 1971: First anti-militarist CO 1977: Conscientious Objection Movement (MOC) is founded as a countrywide organization from the existing CO local groups 1986: Law on CO. MOC calls to disobedience 1992: There are 188 insumisos in prison. Conscription becomes controversial 1996: Conscription system is collapsing: thousands of insumisos and hundreds of thousands of legal COs. Government announces a totally professional army for 2003 1997: MOC launches a desertion campaign: dozens of antimilitarists desert once recruited 2002: End of conscription. Figures of professional army far less than planned. Anti-militarist movement weakens. historical context
now post insumision anti-militarist and pacifist movement is beginning a new cycle of struggle centered in: ● war taxes and military research ● reclaim the bases ● military recruitment ● support to CO movements in other countries ● anti-militarist media: insumissia.org main networks and organizations: alternativa antimilitarista – moc (former moc) alternativa antimilitarista – moc (former moc) campaign against military research campaign against military research fundació per la pau (peace foundation): in catalonia fundació per la pau (peace foundation): in catalonia
reclaim the bases military occupation Military is the first landowner in Spain, even after many sites have been closed down due to lack of soldiers.
spain as a platform for military aggression reclaim the bases NATO now aims to the South and Spanish territory has become more important in geostrategic terms. Apart from the US naval bases of Rota and the US airbase of Morón, Spain hosts an increasing number of NATO facilities: ● NATO Response Force HQ in Valencia ● NATO Land Component Command in Madrid ● Alliance Ground Surveillance (possibly, not yet decided) in Zaragoza ● NATO Tactical Leadership Programme (pilot training) in Albacete Some Spanish bases have adopted a key role in the new interventionist framework.
reclaim the bases ● annual open campaign since 2004 ● demos, marchs and (every year more) citizen inspections at several spanish military sites ● promoted by alternativa antimilitarista – moc ● starting points: reclaim the bases 2003 WRI call against Iraq war and campaign against NATO base in Valencia ● claiming for the closing down of military installations for social and ecological use campaign
campaign against NATO base 2001 Aznar government offers the military base of Bétera (Valencia) to host one of the HQs of the new NATO command and force structure A (relatively) broad social protest arises in Valencia
campaign against NATO base 2002 Social pressure fails to achieve its goals. Government inversion and geographical situation play the key role: Bétera base will be part of NATO High Readiness Forces Movement collapses and only a small core of activists keep the protest alive DNA, civil disobedience and “communication guerrilla” actions begin
campaign against NATO base 2003 US-UK bombing and occupation of Iraq. Spanish government gives complete political support against the vast majority of the Spanish population Strong social mobilization against war In Valencia, the “campaign” organizes a citizens inspection of the NATO base, inspired by similar actions in Belgium and UK. Fifty inspectors enter the base. Huge media impact 1st citizen inspection
campaign against NATO base clown invasion... * police infiltrated and partially aborted this action, which was initially planned to be an occupation of the base helicopter landing strip
campaign against NATO base... and other actions
campaign against NATO base 2nd citizen inspection
3rd citizen inspection campaign against NATO base 2005 Council of Bétera demands the training area of the base Base hosts the NATO Response Force rotatory command
4th citizen inspection campaign against NATO base 2006 A judge acquits 7 inspectors accused of “disobedience” and considers in his sentence their action and ideas “legitimate”. About one hundred inspectors have broken into the military perimeter in 3 years, but only 2 have been sentenced to pay light fines
Trainstopping October 2004 4 trains transport military equipment of the NATO base from Valencia to the training site of Zaragoza in order to check its capability to command the NATO Response Force next year. 4 activists block for 3 hours the departure of the last train. Two of them lock themselves on with metallic tubes to the tracks
campaign against NATO base Trainstopping Action was prepared one year before. This transport is very frequent. The main training site of the Spanish army is the Zaragoza one. Low risk action: Train was still at the station when they locked to the tracks The 4 people are accused of “public disturbances” and could be sentenced to 1 year of prison. But after 4 attempts in the last two years, the repression over the antimilitarists has failed
campaign against NATO base Trainstopping maybe the next one?