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130 Czech Mayors protest US Missile Defense

The Czech Republic and Poland: US Trojan Horses to divide Europe?
Contact: Gerardo Femina (Prague, Czech Republic)

Three buses filled with Czech Mayors from the League of Mayors against the Radar and activists from the Nonviolence Movement will travel to Brussels to meet Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday and to protest against the “Star wars” plan. They have been invited to attend a public hearing about the controversial US Missile Defense enlargement into the Czech Republic and Poland. While in Brussels they will meet with several MEPs, Belgian Senators and the Vice-president of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini. They will also attend a public rally against the radar held outside the European Parliament building.

Dozens of Czech Mayors will be accompanied by citizens from across the country and what originated as a plan to invite 40 people is now a two-day trip of 130. The mayors represent a delegation of a total of 130 Czech mayors who publicly oppose the project. The trip of the mayors is also supported by 13 of the total 14 heads of regional governments as well as many mayors from other European countries. As polls show, approximately 70% of Czechs are also against the plan.

"It’s not by chance that after the fall of the Berlin wall, the United States rapidly opened the doors of NATO to ex-socialist countries. In this way they were able to train the military and political leaders so that they would be closer to their interests.

"At the beginning of 2009 one of these 'Trojan Horses', the Czech Republic, took over the Presidency of the European Union; precisely for this reason we are carrying the protest to the heart of the European Parliament and we will ask it to express itself on this fundamental question,” said Giorgio Schultze, of Europe for Peace.

A press briefing will take place prior to the departure of the buses in Rokycany at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday, February 17) in front of the Winter Stadium.

Program for Wednesday, February 18 in Brussels:

10:00 first rally outside the European Parliament (Luxembourg Plaza)
12:00 meeting of delegation with the members of the Belgian Senate
14:00 main demonstration and event “The invisibles” (Luxembourg Plaza)
14:45 Jan Tamas (Nonviolence Movement) and Josef Vondrasek (Mayor of Rozmital) will speak at the GUE/NGL meeting in the European Parliament
15:30 meeting of delegation with MEP Jill Evans
16:00 meeting of delegation with vice-president of the EP Luisa Morgantini
16:30 – 18:00 public hearing in European Parliament, building ASP, room 1G3
19:00 departure of the 3 buses back to Prague

The protest will be supported by many people across Europe with events taking place simultaneously in Madrid, Copenhagen, Berlin, Rome, Palermo, Florence, Milan, Turin, Budapest and Buenos Aires. Many international organizations are also supporting the protest, including Mayors for Peace, Pax Christi International, World Without Wars and Europe for Peace.

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