Pacifists stop the train with the equipment of Valencia's NATO headquarters, which was departing to prove its capacity to lead the new NATO Response Force (NFR).
Today, October the 17th 2004, at about 6 pm a group of antimilitarists coming from diferent places of Spain have stopped and blocked with their own bodies the train that transported the equipment of the «Jaime I» headquarters of Bétera (Valencia) to demand the devolution of the military instalations and the abolition of the military forces. The train was about to leave Valencia to begin its journey to the military training camp of «San Gregorio» (Zaragoza), where the NATO headquarter will carry out several exercises in order to prove its capacity to comand the new NATO Response Force next year.
After visual signs made to the driver of the train indicating that the line was cut, and after checking that the train was actually stopping, three people chained themselves with metal tubes to the rails of the service line that the train was taking from the terminal of containers of Valencia, where it has been loaded with the equipment of Bétera´s headquarters. Together with these activists, and simultaneous to this first action, other activists were hanging banners with the motto «STOP NATO», and «LET´S STOP WARS». The action hasn´t caused any type of material damage nor has produced any trouble in the railway traffic, since it hasn´t affected other lines but the one used by the military train.
After maintaining the blockage for 2 hours, the activists have been brutally vacated by the police. They have been taken to the cells of the central Police Department in Valencia. They were under arrest for 6 hours.
It has been a civil disobedience action, public and non-violent, with which the pacifists want to claim for the closing down and devolution to society for a social an ecological use of the NATO Response Force´s headquarter in Bétera, as well as of all the rest of the military instalations. «Not even an inch for war: We don´t want to be part of a global war that makes all of us be potential victims». And it´s that the maneuvers in Zaragoza will serve to assess the capacity of the Bétera´s headquarter to lead the NATO Response Force, that are being promoted by Rumsfeld with the aim to fight against the «international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction», carrying out operations like the one in Iraq.
«The Valencia´s headquarter not only produces and stores violence, insecurity and fear as every military instalation does, it also has the capacity to bring them to any place in the world: For that reason we will do what is possible to hinder its functioning», as the activists declare. Moreover, together with the aero-naval bases in Rota (Cádiz) and Morón (Seville), the exercise camps in Chinchilla (Albacete), and San Gregorio (Zaragoza), the shooting camps in El Teleno (León) and Bardenas (Navarra), among other installations, definitely turns the Spanish territory into a «gigantic training and military agression platform that points towards the South».
As a specific measure to eliminate the wars from our present and our culture, the participants propose turn that strange myth that says that the military forces exist to defend us into: «To eliminate the wars we will abolish the military forces».
By blocking the military train, the antimilitarists wanted to appeal for the active disobedience and the non-colaboration with the preparations for war. As an example, they invite to make conscientious objection to military taxes in the tax return, «to block the train of military expenses: 40 millions of euros per day to maintain the war mechanisms well going and the third part of public money for investigation for new arms technology».
This non-violent action is in line with the other protest activities against military instalations that took place last May in diferent places of Spain and that will be repeated next year. At the same time, the action continues the labor of opposition to the military base of Valencia that for three years now keeps on producing demonstrations, actions, camps, etc.
Photographs on the Indymedia Center Barcelona: