One of the activists who's preparing to cause havoc at NATO's 60th birthday celebrations on April 3 and 4 tells us how her group, "Dissent", is going about it. For the sixty heads of state taking part in the summit, the opposition doesn't look pretty.
Three cities are hosting this year's NATO summit: Strasbourg in eastern France, neighbouring Kehl on the German side of the border, and Baden-Baden, just north of the two. The security operation is impressive: almost 9,000 officers and riot police on the French side, 21,000 from their German compatriots, and on top of that, French GIPN and GIGN forces (SWAT-style police) are on hand in case of emergencies. Fighting the other corner, however, is an immense and diverse circle of activists. Anarchists, libertarians, alter-globalists, unionists - they all want to cause havoc, whether it's in opposition to the enlargement of NATO or the occupation of Afghanistan.
Liaphine arrived in the 'anti-NATO village' near to Strasbourg a few days ago. She tells us about her first day there. We'll follow her until the end of the summit.
However, there's already been an incident on the Franco-German border - our canteen's been closed down by German customs. They're holding all the supplies, which could feed the entire camp, because they suspect us of smuggling arms. What, kitchen knives?! People have gathered on the border in order to stick up for the canteen team, but seven of them have been detained [information not verified]."
Setting up the anti-NATO village. Image posted on Village 09.
Extract from one of Dissent's press-releases on the event:
Since the end of the last millennium a modification of the '"security architecture" within the EU has taken place, accelerated by the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. Visible phenomena are for example the entanglement of internal and external security, a "pooling" of prosecution authorities and intelligence sevices and a simplified data exchange.
At the technical level, we are confronted with new digital surveillance cameras, satellite surveillance, biometrics, drones, software for intelligent search in databases and new broadband networks to manage this huge flood of digital data." Continue reading..