Anti – Nato Week Bucharest 2008
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance, established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. With headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the organization established a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence will assist the Party or Parties being attacked,individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. The initial treaty was signed by Belgium, Netherlands,Luxembourg, France, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland which were followed after 3 years by Greece and Turkey. In 1954 Russia wanted to join NATO but was rejected by the NATO countries. In 1955 West Germany was incorporated into NATO, shortly after the Warsaw Pact was signed. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO. At the moment NATO includes the next countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, USA, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. With the re-evaluation of NATOs purpose in post-Cold War we could see a still ongoing expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe, as well as the extension of its activities to areas that had not formerly been NATO concerns. On 28 February 1994, NATO took its first military action, shooting down four Bosnian Serb aircraft violating a U.N.-mandated nofly zone over central Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the end of 1995 the war in Bosnia resulted in the Dayton Agreement, with the help of air strikes by NATO. On 24 March 1999, NATO saw its first broad-scale military engagement in the Kosovo War, where it waged an 11-week bombing campaign against what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A formal declaration of war never took place. The conflict ended on 11 June 1999, when Slobodan Milosevic agreed to NATOs demands. NATO then helped establish the KFOR, a NATO-led force under a United Nations mandate that operated the military mission in Kosovo.
After September 11th NATO confirmed on the 4th of October 2001 that the attacks where an attack against the entire group of members. On 16th of April 2003 NATO agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which was the first time in NATOs history to take charge of a mission outside of the north Atlantic area. But most people do not realize that there are approximately 49,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, about one-third the number in Iraq. Of those troops, 28,000 are from the United States: 15,000 operate under NATO and 13,000 are part of the Pentagon's Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The U.S.-NATO dichotomy is misleading, however, because the largest contingent of NATO troops is from the United States (the second-largest contingent from the UK is much smaller, only 7,700 soldiers). In addition, the military head of NATO operations, U.S. General Dan K. McNeill, is also the chief of OEF. In other words, America dominates all foreign troop operations in Afghanistan.
In fact, U.S. and NATO troops are doing the same things in Afghanistan and Iraq: bombing civilian areas, invading villages, rounding up people without evidence, torturing detainees, causing deaths in custody, and shooting into crowds.
At the 9th of May 2007 the NATO secretary general met with the North Atlantic Council in Brussels and had discussions on the subject of civilian deaths. But the conversation was less about how to reduce casualties, than about how to explain them to European governments. To most officials, the criminality and injustice of the civilian deaths alone are not enough to condemn them. But when they undermine the support base at home or in the host country, and threaten the crucial winning hearts and minds portion of NATOs counterinsurgency campaign, they become a strategic problem.
The facts are also clear, that there were secret prisons, certainly in Poland and Romania; and that people who suspected by the CIA of involvement in terrorism were interrogated and sometimes tortured in these prisons. NATO was also involved in the system of secret prisons and transports. After the US had, in 2001, issued a call for mutual support under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, NATO became a platform where the United States received the go-ahead and protective measures necessary in order to be able to begin the secret operations in the "war against terrorism". But of course NATO refuses to reveal details of the agreements concerning its involvement in the CIA Operation. But well who can be surprised if remembering that NATO also had a long held covert policy of training paramilitary militia as Gladios known as "stay-behind" armies, for a possible Soviet invasion of Western Europe, whose role would have been to wage guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. After September 11th Romania has expressed their willingness to join the USA in the war on terror and offered to help by sending military forces into Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2002 Romania was invited to the summit in Prague and began the accession process. In March 2004 Romania became a NATO member, as a gratitude for its loyalty. Romania now has military troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. There are 4 US
military bases in Romania, hosting more than 2.000 American soldiers.
20th NATO SUMMIT BUCHAREST
"We are here to thank the Government of Romania and the Romanian people for the support they have offered to us on several occasions. We are allies in the fight on terror, generally, in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are allies in promoting democracy and we appreciate the support of Romanian President" Stephen Hadley, Bush's National Security Advisor, October 23, 2005
On 21st of September the Romanian Vice Foreign Minister Victor Micula and North-Atlantic Council Secretary Berndt G�tze signed the memorandum for hosting the NATO summit in Bucharest in April next year. This 20th NATO summit will be the largest one in the history of NATO, as all the 23 member states of the NATO partnership for Peace will attend, besides 26 member states of the alliance. Approximately 3.000 high-ranking officials are expected to participate in the summit, whose security will be guarded by some 9.000 Romanian troops, officers of the Special Guard and Protections Service, police officers and gendarmes. The expenses of the event are estimated at 30-35 million euro. Where to find a better place to hide than in the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, the summits venue?
The building known as Casa Poporului (the house of the people) was build during Ceausescu's regime. It is 84 meters tall with 12 floors, being one of the top 5 tallest buildings in Romania. It's area surface (64.800 square meters) makes it second largest after the Pentagon Building; it's underground floors, measuring down to 92 meters below the ground (more that over the ground); it's volume (2,55 billion cubic meters), third largest in the world (after Cape Canaveral and the Quetzalcoatlpyramid in Mexico). But even if you are not able to catch a guarded or even better - unguarded tour through Casa Poporului, or you are not even able to get any closer to the area, cause of suddenly appearing stable or moving fences during your visit in April 2008, don’t worry there is much more to explore (still watch out for the local teams, who might be willing to take you on a tour).
Since you are in the capital, with an estimated 1.862.930 (2006) residents, many other institution, worth a visit, are located here. So for example Casa NATO, which promotes Romania as a reliable member of NATO as well as free market institutions and enterprises. Casa NATO is located in Bucharest Primaverii Palace, headquarters to Romanian Euro-Atlantic Center and activities since 1992. Since Religion is very dominant in everyday life in Romania, especially orthodox (86,8 %), you can find a church on every corner, which deserves a disturbing visit. Might it be for their priests and monks spying for the Securitate, their power and money seeking domination, their gender roles you will surely find a reason. If you want to continue your travel a bit further east, you might want to stop by the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase near Constanta. Not only known for the US troops heading towards Afghanistan and Iraq, but also as a CIA detention center for Iraqis and Afghans. Surely you will find a worthwhile target, to make the ANTI-NATO-WEEK in Bucharest as disruptive, creative and longlasting as possible.
FORCES OF REPRESSION
As activists in Romania have never experienced protest against an event of this scale in the country, it is hard to draw from former experiences in regard of state repression.
So here will follows an introduction to the different forces you might be confronted with during your visit. The main forces of repression in Romania are the National Police (Politia Rom�na), the Romanian Gendarmerie (Jandarmeria Rom�na) and the Border Police. The Romanian police is devided into two forces, the Politia Rom�n (the civil branch) and the Jandarmeria Rom�na (the military branch).
Romania also has a paramilitary structure, beside a police force and a military force. The Jandarmeria is the structure that should really keep the order, as the Police is meant only to investigate crime, while the military is meant only to defend the country from outside threats.
The Romanian Police is divided into 41 territorial inspectorates, corresponding to each county (judet), and the General Directorate of the Police in Bucharest. Each county inspectorate has a rapid reaction unit (Deta_amentul de Politie pentru Interventie Rapid [Police Rapid Intervention Squad]). The similar unit attached to the Bucharest Police is called Serviciul de Politie pentru Interventie Rapid (Police Rapid Intervention Service). Before 2002, the National Police had military status and a military ranking system. In June 2002 it became a civil police force and its personnel was structured into two corps:
. Corpul ofiterilor de politie (Police Officers Corps) -corresponding to the commissioned ranks of a military force.
. Corpul agentilor de politie (Police Agents Corps) -corresponding to the non-commissioned ranks of a military force.
Politia Comunitar is the name for the local police in Romania - on city or commune level. They are subordinated to the
mayors and their main duties are to enforce the local ordinances and to assist the National Police and the Gendarmerie.
Also worth mentioning:
[Police rapid intervention (local)] The Special Intervention and Action Detachments are the special units of municipal police in Romania. DIAS are called whenever a Police operation may encounter severe problems.
SPIR Serviciul Special al Politiei pentru Interventie Rapida [Police rapid intervention (Bucharest)] The Special Rapid Intervention Service is the name of the much-expanded structure in Bucharest.
SIIAS Serviciul Independent de Interventii si Actiuni Speciale [Police Special Forces]
The Independent Special Interventions and Actions Service is an elite unit under the command of the Romanian Police.
Politia de Frontier
Between 2001 and 2005, the Romanian Border Police has undergone four stages of reform of its internal structure, in order to bring it into compliance with similar structures of the European Union.
SASI Serviciul Actiuni Speciale si Interventie
[ rapid intervention force ] SASI was created on October 1st, 2005 and represents the rapid intervention unit of the Border Police.
Jandarmeria Rom�na (The Romanian Gendarmerie) is the state specialized institution, with military status. The Romanian Gendarmerie is divided in 41 territorial inspectorates, corresponding to each county (judet), and the General Directorate of the Gendarmerie in Bucharest. Additionally, eight Gendarmerie Mobile Groups operate on a territorial basis, with headquarters in Bacau, Brashov, Cluj Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Ploieshti, T�rgu Muresh and Timisoara. The Romanian Gendarmerie was re-established on July 5, 1990. Starting in 2006, the corps abandoned conscription and in 2007 it became an all-professional military force.
The Romanian Gendarmerie is for example tasked to:
ensure public order during meetings, marches, demonstrations, processions, strikes, and also other similar activities carried out in public areas and involving large crowds;
re-establish public order when it has been disturbed by any kind of illegal actions;
maintain public order during official visits or during other activities in which Romanian or foreign high officials take part, on Romanian territory, in the competence area and in the places where the activities are carried out The Romanian Gendarmerie has two brigades, the 11th Mobile Brigade Baneasa and the Special Brigade Vlad Tepes as well as the Batalionul 1 Interventii Speciale(anti-terrorist force) and the Batalionul 2 Misiuni Speciale (special missions).
The Brigade is divided in two units:
Brigada Special de Interventie a Jandarmeriei (Gendarmerie Special Intervention Brigade, BSIJ) is a special operations force belonging to the Romanian Gendarmerie. The unit carries the name "Vlad Tepes".
1st Battalion "Actiuni Specifice si Antitero" (Specific Actions and Counter-terrorism)
2nd Battalion "Misiuni Speciale" (Special Missions)
Well the usual stuff: you can find crowd control paddy wagons, water canons, as well as the use of horses and dogs. Water canons, tear gas and rubber bullets have been used by the Romanian police before, for example at the Gay Parade in Bucharest.
GETTING TO THE ACTIONS
People from following countries are able to enter Romania without a visa for up to 90 days: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Cyprus, South Korea,
Costa Rica, Croatia (30 days), Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, United Kingdom, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Holland, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Holly See, El Salvador, Singapore (30 days), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States of America, Sweden, Hungary, Uruguay, Venezuela. Since January the 1st 2007 people from the Republic of Moldova can travel with a free issued visa. If you come from a country which is not listed above, you need an entry visa (if you are not intending to pass the green border, swim through the Danube river or overrun the border control with a huge crowd of other people protesting against the fortress Europe). The law bans: the possession of narcotic substances, even if for personal use bearing arms, hunting or sports weaponry must be mentioned in your passport. Bear in mind that the time difference to Central Europe is + 1 hour.
In 2005 the new leu (RON) was introduced, phasing out the old leu (ROL) in 2006. The new Leu (plural: Lei) is 100 Bani (notes in 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 Lei, coins in 50, 10, 5 and 1 Bani). The exchange rate is something around 3.4 lei for 1 euro; Romanian is the official language, with parts in the border regions where also Hungarian, German, Bulgarian and so on, is widely spoken. Anyway, in good old tradition some useful words and phrases:
please, thanks, sorry = te rog, multumesc, imi pare rau
where is = Unde este.
fuck off = Du-te naibii
come with me = vino cu mine
move on = continua
the cops are coming = vine politia
cops are attacking = politia ataca
to piss off = dispari
to attack = atac
attacking the cops = ataca politia
I need help = ajutor
good, bad = bine, rau
I am not guilty = nusunt vinovat
I want to call my lawyer = vreau sa sun avocatul
also the nationalists, nazis and neo-legionaires are for sure mobilizing actions against the NATO summit in Bucharest. The main nationalist action is Noua Dreapta (New Right). You can check them out at nouadreapta.org also easy to identify by their T-Shirts with the face of Corneliu Codreanu.
The naziscum are dressed like neonazi-skinhead, mainly with boots, shaved heads and even using openly signs like swastikas, celtic crosses or hate-bands. Also the football clubs are full with nazis, the most known are Steaua and Dinamo, both from Bucharest. Be aware of that and get informed at the actions in Bucharest, where the nazis might make a march or usually gather.
ACCOMODATION and ACTIVITIES
There will be a range of events in Bucharest and others place. Those coming from the north, can for example stop by at the ANTI-NATO info-point in Iasi (at the Ukrainian nd Moldavian border) before continuing their way to Bucharest. The city also held for a week in July the first squat Rebil in Romania (an English report can be found at
ttp://de.indymedia.org/2007/07/188166.shtml). If you are coming from the south you might be interested in joining the preparation for the ANTI-NATO bike tour and the critical mass, to be contacted over email@example.com (collective in Razgrad, Bulgaria near the BG/Romanian border). In Bucharest are plenty of opportunities to join into the ANTI-NATO week: a legal march, direct actions, probably the NoBorder from Timisoara seeking exile in Bucharest and many more.
Still you should keep in mind, especially if coming from the West, that the scene is not as big and equipped as you might be used to. So try to be as self-organized as possible: bring a sleeping bag, try to organize food (dumpster diving is not so common, but you can still find some stuff) or even join the local FNB group (or bring in your local group for joint actions). Organizing legal sleeping spaces on mass still requires money, so every soli-action is welcome. But also you might want to check out one of the plenty abandoned houses in Bucharest, waiting for a better use.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Anti – Nato Week Bucharest 2008
Posted by ptownpixie at 4:43 PM