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(en) Workers Solidarity #75 2003 - Global actions against the war

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 9 Apr 2003 10:32:02 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

> Action speaks louder than words in the run up to this war!
In the extensive build-up to this war the
United States had to enlist the logistical
help of many countries to prepare for the
invasion of Iraq. This in turn meant that
anarchists and activists had the
opportunity to display to their complicit
leaders their opposition to this impending
war. We have compiled a small selection
here of the various actions that occurred
thoughout the build up to the war.

Stoping trains

Across Italy anti-war activists have blocked trains
transporting U.S. Military equipment. The
protests continued over a number of days and
organisers say about 1000 activists were involved
at different points throughout the country. 120
stopped a train moving from Vicenza to the US
base near Pisa, forcing the train to take a
different route. A spokesperson for the group
known as 'I Disobbedienti'- the Disobedient- said
"We are guarding all the train lines being used by
the American Army to transport material from
war this is serious because they're using the
civilian transport network. There are 26 trains
expected, and we want to block them because we
don't want this war".

Invading arms factory

Britain is one of the main players in this war and
anti-war activists there have been targeting
military bases up and down the country. In early
March 8 anarchists in Cardiff invaded the BAE
Systems munitions factory at Glascoed in Wales.
They scaled a 3m high fence with the help of a
homemade rope ladder. Splitting into three
groups and dressed in appropriate white overalls
they proceeded to make an inspection of the site.
After some time they were caught and escorted
from the site, only to return later to make several
large holes in the perimeter fence. Some of the
group, once again, gained entry to the site.

The activists were arrested but released without
charges, as BAE did not wish to press charges.
The Cardiff Anarchist Network reports "The arms
trade is so ashamed of the bloody business of
death and destruction in which they deal that
they are scared even to prosecute a rag-tag bunch
of anarchist protestors for trespass and criminal
damage, fearing the negative publicity it would
garner them. Lessons of us all? Don't be scared of
fences &endash; jump 'em and expose the dirty
dealing of BAE and the arms trade worldwide".

Refusing to fight - Recruitment Office destroyed

Some people engaged in direct action by doing
nothing. In the UK one in three reservists either
asked to be excused from duty or failed to answer
their call up papers. This is the highest
percentage of 'refuseniks' in British Military
History. In Pittsburg, US, a marine recruitment
office was smashed during a breakaway from an
anti-war march.

Refusing to Work

Two train drivers in Motherwell in Scotland
refused to move a freight train carrying
ammunition. The two are the only pair of drivers
who were trained to take trains on the route from
Glasgow to the Glen Douglas base on Scotland's
west coast, and so were in a good position to
strike directly at the build up to war. In Italy and
Greece dockers refused to load military supplies
and in Brazil dockers boycotted all British and
US ships for a day.

Blocking Ships and trucks

Greenpeace sent the 'Rainbow Warrior' to block a
section of the Rota naval base in Spain to prevent
the US warship Cape Horn leaving for the Gulf. In
Turkey they blocked the entrance to the
Iskenderun Harbour with a truck in order to
prevent a convoy of trucks carrying US military
equipment from leaving. Two activists chained
themselves to the top of the truck and four locked
themselves behind the wheels. In Derby in
England 14 activists entered the military port,
occupying tanks and jeeps which were about to be
sent to the Gulf.

Invading Military bases

The biggest bomber base in the UK, which is used
for direct air raids on Iraq, is located at Fairford
in Gloucestershire. Peace activists have been
engaged in a steady campaign against its
presence. The fence has been breached many
times. On one occasion landing lights were
destroyed on others the gates and parts of the
fence were torn down. Activists who brought
bicycles through the fence and cycled them up
and down the runway blocked the runway at RAF
Lakeheath. The runway at RAF Brize Norton was
also blocked. 7 peace activists blocked the
entrance to the Trident Refit Factory in Derby.

In January 70 activists blocked the enterances of
the Northwood Military HQ. Three activists were
arrested trying to break into the secret US spy
base at Menwith Hill. A former British marine
was arrested while trying to block the gates at
Portmouth naval base. Anti-war demonstrators
managed to get inside the RAF base at Feltwell,
which is used in surveillance operations. In the
Netherlands a member of the Plowshares group,
armed with a sledgehammer, smashed three
satellite dishes at a NATO airbase.

These are some of the many direct actions that
have occurred in the last few months. In some
cases a few people have struck, in others
hundreds or thousands. On their own, none can
stop the war. But each make it more difficult for
the war machine to operate. We are faced with
huge military power and the organisational force
of state. Yet despite these obstacles we can have
an effect. We are the fleas on the back of the dog.
We are disobedient. We will not make it easy for

Aileen O'Carroll

More details on these and other Direct
Actions against the war at

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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