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The construction of foreign military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq; the cases of torture at the bases in Guantanamo and Diego Garcia; the construction of new bases in Okinawa; the "realignment" of military alliances in Asia; and the dramatic increase of joint military exercises as part of the so-called "global war against terror" have highlighted how foreign military bases, other forms of military presence, and militarization of whole societies are used to secure certain states’ and corporations’ interests at the cost of democracy, justice, and sovereignty around the world.
Another world will not be possible without abolishing these bases and demilitarizing global and national societies.
Over the past two years, we have been building up an international network to achieve this aim. Many of us have come together for the first time at the World Social Forum and other meetings or through the internet so as to form a global community. Our approaches vary, our concerns are multi-faceted. But our objective is the same: the closure of foreign military bases around the world.
The times demand that we escalate our actions and improve our coordination. The next step in consolidating our community is to organize an inaugural conference for our network. After much communication and deliberation we decided to hold this conference in Ecuador in March 2007.
We hope that this conference will be the biggest gathering of anti-bases activists in recent history. We intend for the conference to provide a rare opportunity for closer, ongoing interaction; for sharing experiences, exchanging strategies and lessons learned; for laying the groundwork for more effective global coordination, and for building strategies for more effective international campaigning
In organizing the conference, we hope to further broaden the network, remaining conscious of the critical importance of grassroots anti-bases activists to be involved and to take the lead in building our global network.
We call on all anti-bases activists, individuals, and organizations to be part of building this international network and campaign.
We call on the global movements for peace, justice, and ecological sustainability; those working in campaigns and mobilizations against war; the movement against corporate-led globalization and against militarism and imperialism; movements for disarmament and demilitarization; and movements against racism and for liberation and sovereignty.
We call on grassroots women’s, indigenous rights groups, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, youth organizations, sexual minorities, trade unions, social movements, human rights groups and other local, national and international progressive formations to be involved in and to contribute to building this global movement.
We call on all those committed to abolishing military bases to send representatives to this meeting. Where possible, we call on anti-bases formations in a country to come together and send a national delegation.
While we hope to have the participation of the broadest range of groups possible, we also intend for the conference to be a working meeting that will come up with a concrete plan of action. Our challenge is to ensure participation that is both broad and at the same time manageable.
We call for solidarity in spreading the word about this initiative; in building a broad range of groups committed to this effort; in reaching out to grassroots or community-based anti-bases groups wherever they may be; in building links across movements and struggles; and in providing concrete support to sustain this long-term effort.
Abolishing foreign military bases around the world and working toward demilitarization is essential in the struggle against war. Abolishing foreign military bases around the world is one step to establishing another world that is possible and necessary.
5 November 2005
NO BASES NETWORK
International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
[For regular updates on the conference, visit www.abolishbases.org. To let us know your interest in attending the conference and to give us an idea of the possible number of participants, please e-mail us ([email protected]) your intent to participate, as well as the number of possible participants from your organization/delegation, by March 15, 2006.]
ENDORSERS as of November 2, 2005:
Peace and Justice Service (Ecuador)
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador
Regional Advisory Foundation on Human Rights (Ecuador)
Campesino Social Security (Ecuador)
Pro-Human Rights Collective (Ecuador)
Tohallí Movement (Ecuador)
Ecumenical Human Rights Comisión [(Ecuador)
Conscientious Objector Group (Ecuador)
Christian Youth Association (Ecuador)
Migrants, Refugees, and Displaced [(Ecuador)
Llactacaru Migrant Association (Ecuador)
Pakistan Peace Coalition (Pakistan)
American Friends Service Committee – Peacebuilding Unit (US)
US Peace Council (US)
Nonviolence International (US)
American Friends Service Committee (US)
Bangladesh Krishok Federation
Gathering for Peace (The Philippines)
People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-Up (Philippines)
For Mother Earth (Belgium)
Campaign for the Demilitarisation of the Americas
Focus on the Global South
Fellowship for Reconciliation (US)
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
LALIT (Diego Garcia / Mauritius)
Asian Peace Alliance – Japan
Bangladesh Sramajibi Kendra (Bangladesh)
Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty (Cuba)
Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (Cuba)
Stop the War Coalition (Greece)
SEATINI (South Africa)
Japan Peace Committee (Japan)