The Guardian April 21, 1999


World protests against NATO's war:
ACT NOW

Protest rallies are escalating world-wide as NATO continues its bombing 
raids on Yugoslavia. While opposition to NATO's aggression is growing, time 
is running out. NATO is preparing to widen the aggression by sending in 
ground troops, leading to full-scale war in Europe.

Outraged over the NATO bombings of civilians on a tourist train and a 
refugee convoy in Kosovo and the ongoing bombing of Belgrade, tens of 
thousands of demonstrators throughout the US and around the world marched 
on April 17 to demand "Stop the US/NATO bombing of Yugoslavia!". There have 
been demonstrations in over 100 American cities.

In New York, 15,000 protesters marched past the missions, consulates and 
government facilities of the United States, Germany, Britain, France, and 
Italy  all members of NATO. The rally announced the formation of a 
national Emergency Mobilisation to Stop the War, which will organise a 
national march on the Pentagon.

The call for the march on the Pentagon states in part:

"Now, as the bombing and its terrible toll escalate, the threat of a US 
invasion of Yugoslavia looms. A ground war will mean the deployment of 
hundreds of thousands of troops.

"Now is the time to act! We are urging you to join us in the newly formed 
Emergency Mobilisation to Stop the War. Hundreds of thousands of us marched 
against the US war on Iraq in 1990-91. We continued to work against the 
sanctions that have killed more than 1.5 million civilians in that country.

"Now the Pentagon is embarked upon another bloody intervention, in 
violation of all international law, and against the interests of the people 
of the Balkans and the people of [the US] as well.

"We must act urgently to build a broad and deep movement that says `NO' to 
this madness."

About 500 Greeks stoned and forced back a convoy of NATO trucks carrying 
military equipment to Macedonia on Thursday last week in protest against 
the air strikes against Yugoslavia.

Police said the protesters blocked the national road a few kilometres 
before the Evzoni border crossing at the Greek-Macedonian frontier, and 
forced the 15-truck convoy to turn back after smashing the leading 
vehicle's windows with stones.

Three sailors who are crew members of the Greek destroyer 
Themistoklis have written letters protesting the NATO aggression and 
that they do not wish to join the NATO war fleet. Email messages of 
solidarity with these courageous sailors can be sent to the
Communist Youth of Greece. Thousands have protested in the Czech Republic, and opinion polls show that the majority of Czech people are opposed to NATO's war. Protest rallies were held in most major Australian cities over the weekend. A Concert For Peace In Yugoslavia was held in Perth, which brought together over 3,000 people from diverse communities in WA. The desire for peace was expressed in a wide range of music, song and dance, including Russian and Macedonian performers. Greens ex-senators, Christabelle Chamarette and Jo Valentine condemned the bombing and the use of depleted uranium shells. A message read out from Dr Harry Cohen, Vice-President of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, also condemned the use of depleted uranium. The rally adopted a resolution calling on the Federal Government to distance itself from NATO operations in Yugoslavia and urged the people of WA to contact their local politicians. Rallies also took place in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. A resolution adopted by the CPA Central Committee Executive at the weekend suggested ways by which opposition to the war could be expressed. * Take part in the many demonstrations taking place; * Write letters to the daily newspapers; * Take part in radio talk-back shows; * By distribution of leaflets. Draft leaflets are available from CPA Sydney office; * Adoption of resolutions in your trade union and other organisations; * Make use of the internet to send protest messages to NATO leaders and to break through the lying NATO propaganda; * Send protests to Mr J Howard, Prime Minister, Parliament House, Canberra. ACT 2700 * Take part in the coming May Day marches in all capital cities. Ground troops There is a serious danger that NATO will launch a land invasion of Yugoslavia which could result in a wider war and massive loss of life by all countries involved. The Australian press on Monday quoted Britain's Observer newspaper as reporting that NATO was laying plans for a ground invasion as early as the end of May. It said 80,000 troops had been earmarked and that some American troops had started training in Colorado. Citing sources in London and Washington, the Observer said military planners considered six weeks the minimum period necessary to wear down the Yugoslav military so they could offer only limited resistance to an invasion force. Considering that more civilians have been killed on a daily basis as a result of NATO bombing than were said to have been killed by military action in Kosovo before the bombing, it is clear that NATO's aggression has done more to "ethnically cleanse" Kosovo than the Serbs were accused of. It must be asked: "What is the aim of the NATO offensive?" The rising civilian casualties from NATO bombs including the recent death of over 60 ethnic-Albanian refugees belie the claims that the air attacks are to defend the human rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. NATO's real aims include the breakup of Yugoslavia, control of the Balkans and ultimately Russia, as well as the oil resources of the Middle East.

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