On March 21, 2009, peace activists, declaring NATO Game Over, closed down the NATO headquarters in Evere, Brussels. From all over Belgium, by bus, bike, taxi, public transport and even by walking, hundreds of activists came to the NATO military base headquarters. They tried nonviolently to enter the NATO terrain. At the same time, during a farewell ceremony, NATO was symbolically buried. Today, this burial is symbolic, but the will to turn this symbol into reality is high.
|“60 Years is Enough! Let’s Make a Mummy of NATO!” Graphic: Titom|
Despite the massive presence of police equipped with water cannons, helicopters, horses, kilometres of barbed wire, several activists managed to enter the military base to seal gates, windows and doors. Four hundred and fifty activists were arrested and showed clearly that NATO business as usual cannot go on. "I left Liège this morning and we joined the group from Brussels. We have left the bus on the east side of NATO headquarters and we have spread in smaller groups. There were a lot of police there. I was arrested very quickly while I was walking towards the fence, but I saw at least one person who managed to climb over the fences supported by other participants. Anyway, we have been able to send our message very clearly: NATO must be shut down and the NATO nuclear weapons must disappear!" said Fabien, a participant.
NATO Game Over is a civil disobedience action. We commit an offense trying to prevent severe crimes. We are justified by International Law. All over Europe, people campaign against NATO. On the same day there were also actions in the Netherlands and Germany. In the Netherlands, activists occupied the military area of Nieuw Milligen where NATO's mobile air surveillance and command system is based. In Germany, people protested at Büchel nuclear weapons base and a NATO headquarters in Heidelberg.
With the NATO Game Over campaign, we give our government a message that's hard to ignore: a military alliance which intervenes worldwide, which deploys nuclear weapons and is prepared to use them, is a threat to world peace. Sixty years of NATO is more than enough.
-edited by Paul Frazier