Greece: NATO turned away
In Greece thousands of people massed for two days of demonstrations against the presence offshore of the NATO Standing Naval Force of the Mediterranean. Protestors also targeted the Greek Government and the presidency of the European Union with their slogans Very early in the morning on February 19, the Communist Party of Greece and the left-led PAME labour federation hung two huge banners visible from the sea, saying "NATO killers go home" and "NATO fleet is not welcome". On the evening of February 20, the protest continued with one of the biggest demonstrations in the city's history. As a result, the Greek Government was forced to appeal to the commander of the fleet of US, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch and Italian vessels, not to enter the harbour. On February 20, the German vessel tried to dock at a secondary port in a suburb of Piraeus to take on supplies. Members of the seamen's unions immediately gathered at the dock, together with area young people. As a result, the ship left in midday, empty-handed. During a press conference, February 20, aboard the NATO fleet's flagship, Greek journalists presented US Admiral Gregory G Johnson, commander of the NATO forces in Southern Europe, with a statement protesting any attack on Iraq, opposing the role of NATO and emphasising the popular opposition to the fleet's presence in Piraeus. Italy: Train stopping The Government has illegally guaranteed the US military the right to use state (public) infrastructure to move its weapons, vehicles and personnel through Italy. On February 21, when the first trains left, protestors immediately began to stop the trains which were travelling from Ederle (near Vicenza) bound for the US military base at Camp Derby, near Pisa. On February 22, despite intimidation and threats from the authorities the protests spread to other towns with varying degrees of success. At Campo di Marte (Padua), where a train was blocked for hours, the route of the following train was changed. It was stopped by protestors in Verona for half an hour, until police charged on demonstrators. In Pisa there were two demos, the first in the morning at the military airport, the second in the afternoon with 600 people marching from the station to the centre of the city. The British consulate was occupied in Torino.