Reprinted from Links
By Antonis Davanellos and Sotiris Martalis, members of the coordinating secretariat of SYRIZA
May 20, 2012
Dear comrades, dear brothers and sisters of the anti-war movement
We salute your mobilisations against the NATO Summit [in Chicago] and we send you our solidarity from Greece.
We don’t need to say much about the reasons to raise our voices
against NATO. Millions of people are familiar with its record or crimes
over the last years in the Balkans, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya to
name just a few.
And if we look further back, NATO has provided nothing but wars,
dictatorships and terror around the globe, from the day it was founded,
and during all the years of its existence.
In summits like the one here in Chicago, they are planning the
creation of a “new kind of NATO”, even more ruthless, aggressive and
dangerous. Under the guise of the so-called “global war on terror”, NATO
wants to act as the global watchdog against anyone resisting the
imperialist interests of Western powers. We have seen how they label
people or movements as “terrorist” in order to target whole countries in
the Middle East, but also anti-war activists in the West. In a previous
summit in Lisbon, NATO named a new challenge it will deal with: they
call it “political turbulence in member states” and it’s a direct threat
to social and political movements in the West.
Here in Greece, the struggle against NATO has always been important
and the demand to exit the war machine, and shut down its military bases
in Greece had always been central for the Greek left since the '70s.
More recently, we still remember that the foundations for the
emergence of the radical left, SYRIZA, that today is on the rise, are
back at the anti-war movement of 2003 against the invasion in Iraq. And
today, the country that is most hardly hit by the crisis and
austerity, maintains military presence to Afghanistan, it supported
actively the war on Libya, it deploys its navy in Somalia and Lebanon.
Greek governments, in their competition with the Turkish state about
which power can act best as the“military bully” of the area, had been
spending billions of euros in a frenzy of constant armaments.
And the military spending continues even now, at the time of the most
severe austerity that threatens public schools and hospitals with
collapse. We know that the same is happening with your government in the
USA, and the trillions of dollars that are spent on wars on Iraq and
Afghanistan, and not in education, health care and jobs.
Today, fighting against NATO is also a fight in solidarity with our
brothers and sisters in the Arab world who revolt against their
dictators. The Arab revolutions are under threat and NATO is the sword
and shield of the counter-revolution. The anti-war movement in the
member states of the war machine has the duty, and the power, to block
any attempts to derail or crush the revolt of the Arab peoples. We face
this task more than ever before here, as Greece has established a
strategic alliance with the Zionist State of Israel, becoming its no.1
ally in the eastern Mediteranean. This is against the will of the Greek
people, who have traditionally been pro-Palestinian, and we pledge to do
our best to break this alliance. We know that the same goes with the
US, that what the White House and the Pentagon are doing is against the
will of the American people. And we are happy to learn about
demonstrations like the one you are staging today, where the “other
America” speaks, where ordinary people can shout “not in our name”.
The struggle against NATO, against imperialist wars, against
occupations and dictatorships, in defence of the Arab revolution, in
solidarity with Palestine, in defence of the right of every people to
self-determination is a global one. But you comrades and friends in the
US are the ones who are struggling in the “belly of the beast”. It is a
hard struggle, but it is a struggle worth fighting. The anti-war
movement in the US is the one that can stop the leading force of the
For these reasons, you have our deep and sincere respect for all your
efforts, and our solidarity to your struggle. Today’s demonstration in
Chicago is exciting news, and we are sure that your presence in the
streets is really bad news for the warmongers. The press in Europe said
the previous days that “NATO is preparing for war in Chicago”. You
should all be proud for being out there.
There is this slogan we use in Greece, it doesn’t rhyme in English
but today it’s dedicated to all of you demonstrating in the US: “From
New York to Palestine – workers' struggles, internationalism, peace”.
In these times of severe economic crisis, their war machine is more
dangerous than ever, threatening with holocausts in Iran or in the
eastern Mediterranean, just to protect their profits. And in such times
of austerity, it becomes even more important to organise and fight for
our needs and not more fuel to the war machine. And we can achieve that.
In the US, in Greece, and in every country waging and sponsoring wars
abroad while ruining the lives of the working people and the poor inside
them, its important more than ever, to remember and realise an old
slogan back from the 1960s and the movement against the war on Vietnam:
“Bring the war home!”.
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