World Social Forum:

Statement of the International No Bases Network

2009-02-09 00:00:00

The International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, meeting at the WSF in Belem do Para, Brazil, from 27 January to 1 February 2009, recognized that:

* The single biggest challenge in the militarization of Africa is the installation of the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, in Stuttgart, German, from where the US provokes rebellion, civil unrest and fabricated terror attacks, in order to deal with this by using military means, as well as controlling the ongoing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan;

* The Latin American and Caribbean region's sovereignty has been violated with the re-installation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet, the increased militarization through foreign military bases and other forms of military presence, the military occupation of Haiti and the probable transfer of the US Base in Manta, Ecuador to another country in the region;

* The remodelling of NATO to go beyond the North Atlantic and act offensively in its military expansion, makes NATO an unacceptable threat to world peace and complicit with the United States in the war against terror. People all over the World will join forces in April to demand an end to NATO.

* Asia and Pacific denounces the presence of the nuclear destroyer George Washington, which spreads nuclear radiation off the coast of Japan and the continued US military presence in Japan, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, Korea, among others.

* North America has an important role, especially in the US, because of the awareness that needs to be raised in the country in relation to the imperial power represented in its 946 military bases abroad and more than 4000 in mainland US, 165 in Alaska, 121 in Hawaii and 17 in Washington D.C.

The No Bases Networks shares with all movements that work for global justice, human rights, demilitarization and global peace, its commitments:

* We express our solidarity with the Palestinian people, especially the people in Gaza, for their struggle against occupation. We demand that Israel be taken to the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.

* We support the US decision to close the torture center in Guantanamo, Cuba, but find it inadequate if the bay is not returned to its rightful owners, the people of Cuba.

* We celebrate the withdrawal of US troops from the Manta Base in Ecuador, and urge social movements to be vigilant that it is not relocated in another country in the region.

* We support the Anti-NATO campaign and activities to be carried out around the 60th Anniversary, where we will actively participate in Strasbourg on April 5th and all activities planned around the world. We express our solidarity with the people of Vicenza who have reclaimed their land which has been occupied by a US Base.

* We denounce the 4th Fleet and will develop common strategies to fight its expansion and continued presence, during the meetings in Argentina in March, Trinidad and Tobago Presidents' meetings in April, Brazil in June, Ecuador in October.

* We support the people of Diego Garcia, displaced by the British government to install a US base, even after a favourable court ruling that gave them back their land, only to be dismissed by the House of Lords.

* We condemn the establishment of AFRICOM and urge all African governments, social movements and others, to deny its presence in Africa. The global network should support African initiatives and a regional gathering to address this crisis.

* We support the struggles against foreign military bases in Asia and Pacific and urge the global movement to join with the organizations and networks in the region to develop regional strategies and campaigns.

* We invite all organizations to the Security Without Empire ­ National US Conference on Foreign Military Bases to be held on February 27 ­ March 2, 2009 in Washington D.C.

* We condemn the hypocrisy of the US for endorsing the budget presented by George Bush, which includes the military budget, without any caveats, that presents an obstacle to our struggle.

* We propose the development of a Treaty to Ban Foreign Military Bases, similar to the Ban Landmines Treaty.

* We demand civilian oversight of US military activities in the world, with the involvement of multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations, among others.

* We need to challenge and counter the "War on Terror" rhetoric, when analyzing in particular actions of resistance groups and Islamic political organizations.

We commit to continue in our struggle to abolish all foreign military bases, end all occupation and send all troops home.

Belem do Para, Brazil, February 1, 2009

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