Freedom and peace for all – No more war!
European trade unions called for freedom and peace for the whole world in May 1961. This appeal, this summons is today more topical than ever.
It’s been ten years now since the war in Afghanistan began. News about victims of battles, attacks and war actions reaches us almost on a daily basis. What the population needs is work and stability instead of instability and violence. We demand the retreat of all troops out of Afghanistan and strong support for civilian society.
Troops in Afghanistan, planes in Libya are signs of the willingness of the West to deploy troops in any place in the world. We do not want intervention armies, but a strong basis democratic control of all military decisions.
This years spring saw the massive protests in the Arab world. A wave of democratic protest rolled from country to country over North Africa and the Arab Peninsula. The regimes of Tunisia and Egypt were toppled. Especially the young generations hold high hopes that in these societies the democratic process will unfold peacefully, in solidarity and progressively. These processes need to be supported financially, with medical aid, assistance of suffering civilians.
Lessons from the past spell it out clearly that the weapons the ruling governments used against their own population for the major part had been sold to them by the European armament industry: Germany, Belgium, Spain, France ... The selling of arms to regions in crisis should be classified under crimes against humanity. Defense spending has to be curbed in a a sustainable way.
The farewell to nuclear energy should also entail the end of all nuclear weapons! After the end of the cold war today there are still 23.000 nuclear weapons ready to be deployed. Our wish is a nuclear free world!
Every form of contempt for people, glorification of war and chauvinism is an affront to human dignity and unworthy in a democracy. The extreme right, hate mongering groups instigating violence and racism shall not find a foothold in our society.
Annmarie Sauer organizers of the 2010 and 2011 European Poetry Festival
Text on the basis of a position paper of the DGB (German umbrella organization of trade unions)
September Days of Peace (Campaign of world internet books)
September 1: Salon 12b: Worldwide Anti-War-Day: 8 PM
Participating September 11: NINE ELEVEN TEN Performance, Organizer Frank De Vos, Casa Louisa
September 17, 2011, European Poetry Festival Antwerp
8 PM with the city poet laureate Peter Holvoet-Hanssen and the support of the Permeke Library