Prague (Czech Republic), 2008.06.23 Meeting with Jan Tamas,
one of the leaders of the Czech peace coalition, who went on
hunger strike in May 2008
Who are these incredible Czech citizens who resist NATO and
fight against the US Missile Defence bases in the Czech Republic?
Just few hundred metres from Vaklavske Namesti, in the centre
of Prague, Jan Tamas, is welcoming me today, Monday 23rd of
June 2008. Friendly welcome by Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, the
two Czech pacifists who went on hunger strike between 13th of
May and 3rd of June, 2008.
For the last two years, a large coalition of organizations
has disrupted the projects of NATO headquarters and its military
goals. This mobilization is strong, but it is not just because
the Czech inhabitants directly feel the danger because it is
the first time that a strategic military base could be situated
close to a large agglomeration, it is first of all because this
peace coalition is based on a broad coalition of organizations
such as Humanisticke Hnuti (Humanist movement), Greenpeace,
Mayors for Peace, Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM),
Czech Social Democrat Party (CSSD) and also trade-unionists
and citizens. When the Czech people learnt that their government
was negotiating the installation of a new base of the US missile
defence , in Brdi region, 60 km south west from Prague, the
mobilisation did not decrease, with the organization of demonstrations
in Prague, petitions, spectacular events such as a big balloon
against the US missile defence in Prague, and also international
conferences with celebrities. Jan Tamas travelled all over Europe
and was even in the USA to meet the American Congress. Despite
a large majority of 2/3 of Czech people rejecting the radar
base , the Czech government has continued to negotiate with
the US government and even planned to sign a treaty on the 5th
of May 2008. That was why the hunger strike was decided upon.
As a first victory, the planned date was postponed several times,
by the confused government, and finally, a new date of the 8th
of July was announced, when the Secretary of State, Condoleezza
Rice should come to Prague to sign the treaty.
The pacifist coalition says that a big demonstration will be
organized for this date, called D-day, precisely at 18 .00 on
Vaklavske Namesti. A meeting of the Czech coalition for peace
is planned on the 9th of July at the European parliament at
least with MEP from Social-democrat, left, and Green groups.
Humanisticke Hnuti also will organised a conference on 17th
of July with the vice-chairman of the European parliament, Dennis
Kucinich, member of US Congress, and Jan Tamas.
The mobilization will not end even after the Treaty between
the Czech and US governments is signed. The treaty would have
to be approved by the parliament. That's why another big battle
is expected in autumn as the parliament is divided fifty fifty,
by this sensitive question for Czech citizens. Communist of
the KSCM and most of the Socialists from CSSD are strongly opposed
to the installation of the US radar in Czech Republic, Greens
(members of centre-right coalition at the government) are divided
by this issue, such as right parties.
As with David against Goliath, and thanks to his humanist fight
for peace and against nuclear weapons, NATO and US missile defence,
one can be sure that Jan Tamas will be a strong adversary of
the dangerous US plans.
Non au bouclier antimissile » Planète Paix, No 529, février
 According to the pools 66 to 70% of Czech citizens are
opposed to the US missile defence
Jan Tamas (Humanisticke Hnuti) & Patrice
Salzenstein (Mouvement de la Paix)