“Stop the Ramstein Air Base” protests, 24 June – 1 July; German citizens preparing to block U.S. main base at Kaiserslautern

From Fort Russ

By Tom Winter
May 25, 2018

Translated from a German commentary by Klaus Hartmann

Again this year, the campaign “Stop the Ramstein Air Base” aims to expose the threat of war that emanates from this US military base at Kaiserslautern.

The Ramstein Air Base plays the central role in NATO warfare and all the covert and open aggression that the United States has in the Middle East. Whether drones to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, arms supply for the terrorists in Syria, the threat of war against Iran – nothing works without Ramstein. From here, from German soil, war is going out!

Surely the drone war out of Ramstein as a way station is superficially in the focus of public attention. This is also very justified, because this permanent murder without declaration of war and without court sentences is barbaric and scandalous. However, it should not be forgotten that the overall threat caused by the Air Base is many times greater.

In recent years and months, NATO has stationed a chain of new headquarters and weapons depots, battalions, and “spearheads” along the Russian border. NATO tanks are rolling through Germany to the “Eastern Front,” as the German media write without restraint, without inhibitions or scruples. With the Allied Air Command, the command center of a war against Russia lies in the US Ramstein Air Base.

The AEGIS missile system, deployed on four warships and land-based in Romania and Poland, shortens missile warning times for Russia. The US wants to secure a “risk-free” nuclear first strike capability by eliminating a counter-strike.

The misleading “missile defense shield” called the AEGIS system is offensive. At the push of a button from the US Ramstein Air Base, the land-based launchers can also shoot down atomic equippable Cruise medium-range missiles, which have been banned since 1987, bringing a new level of the nuclear threat to Europe.

Russia is not threatening any country in Europe or the world, and advocating collective security worldwide. However, NATO’s rearmament and new deployment threatens Russia’s sovereignty. Before that, it can not back down, but will take all necessary countermeasures.

Nevertheless, Russia has reduced its military spending by 20% to $ 55.3 billion, while the US has increased its own to $ 610 billion. The 29 NATO countries together spend $881 billion on armaments, almost 16 times that of Russia.

In the event of war, Russia could be forced to use its destructive power early and massively against the rear space of the enemy. Russia would have 6 minutes to press “the button,” then the Kaiserslautern region, the West Palatinate and all Germany in total is transformed into an atomic desert.

The intensified NATO confrontation with Russia gives further urgence to the protests in Ramstein / Kaiserslautern this year. On Friday,June 29, the big public evening event will take place in the Reconciliation Church Kaiserslautern with Gabriele Krone-Schmalz: “Don’t turn Russia into an enemy!”

The lethal US Air Base could disappear in a short time. The Federal Government must “only” terminate the “Contract on the Residence of Foreign Armed Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany,” and the notice period is only two years!

More than 50,000 people have signed the call “Disarm instead of arm up!” However, as a member of NATO, the Federal Government has committed to doubling its armaments budget to more than € 75 billion by 2024. Small note, this obligation is actually only for NATO members! What could be more natural than to withdraw from this alliance of aggression? We could save so much money and use it for education, social and affordable housing, care and health!

The protests from 24 June to 1 July 2018 include a one-week action, information and culture camp. The camp participants travel in buses to Büchel and demonstrate for the withdrawal of the nuclear weapons stationed there. From Monday to Thursday, a “Peace Workshop” will be held in Kaiserslautern with over 60 forums and workshops on topics relevant to peace policy. From the situation in Iran to the chances of armament conversion in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The climax of the protests will be on Saturday, June 30, 2018, two opening rallies in Landstuhl and Ramstein followed by a demonstration to the Air Base. Sahra Wagenknecht and Eugen Drewermann will speak at the closing rally. For the first time there is also a call for actions of civil disobedience – We will block the Ramstein Air Base!

The protests in Ramstein have become highlights of the action-oriented peace movement in recent years. But the success of the protest is not a matter of course! It depends on each and every one. We want, we have to become more so that the warmongers in Berlin can no longer play deaf!

Talk to friends and colleagues, organize the joint trip to Ramstein!  Inform yourself on the internet at https://www.ramstein-kampagne.eu/. With a variety of actions we contribute to a climate in society that puts the closure of the military base on the political agenda!

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/germans-citizens-preparing-to-block-the-us-main-base-at-kaiserlautern-heres-why/

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Executive orders and airport protests: Trump clashes with the CIA

A person who was at one of these airports when protesters began arriving, interacted with a number of them and asked what they were protesting. They replied, “Immigration”. When further questioned, “What about immigration are you protesting?”, they didn’t know.
The section on the airport protests below is particularly important.
Global Research, February 07, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 6 February 2017

Trump signed an executive order. Airports filled up with protesters. The media screamed about a Muslim ban. Federal Judges intervened. Anger and chaos erupted.

What is actually going on? The answers from both sides of the political spectrum are loaded with emotion and lacking truthful content.

“Trump is trying to protect us from terrorists! He’s keeping the Muslims out of our country!” shout Trump’s defenders. Well, no terrorist attack on US soil has ever been carried out by anyone from the 7 countries restricted. The countries that have been linked to recent terrorist attacks, such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, are not included.

“Trump is a racist! He’s banning Muslims! We can’t block people because of their religion!” Scream the liberal protesters. Well, many Muslim majority countries such as Turkey and Indonesia are not included in the ban. Furthermore, the ban applies to all people from these countries, not just Muslims. The Syrian Arab Republic, for example, is home to many Christians, Druze, and even a small Jewish community. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a large population of Armenian Christians, Jews, and many adherents to an ancient faith called Zoroastrianism. All of these non-Muslims are also subject to the ban.

One contributing factor to the outburst of rage is the crass, sudden, “slap in the face” nature of the executive order. Until the administration backed down, even green-card holding permanent residents were being turned away at airports, something that definitely caused anguish and panic among many people.

Calling It A “Muslim Ban” – Good for Trump & the Democrats

Throughout his Presidential election campaign, Trump repeatedly appealed to contempt and distrust of those who practice Islam. He talked about “banning Muslims” from entering the USA. His speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee included a lot of pandering to Anti-Islamic sentiments. Millions of working class people in rural and suburban areas voted for Trump, because of these very statements. In the aftermath of 9/11 many Americans have come to see all adherents of the Islamic faith as a single scary, foreign, violent group.

The idea that Trump would enact a “Muslim ban” is something that will increase, not decrease his credibility to millions of the middle aged right-wing working class whites who voted for him in rustbelt and southern states. It plays into Trump’s well crafted image as a bold defender of the common man, who is not politically correct, and unafraid of being scorned by elitist urban liberals.

However, as much as it would please his right-wing, anti-Islamic base, and as much as his opponents proclaim it in condemnation, the reality is that Trump has not enacted a Muslim ban. Donald Trump has temporarily suspended entrance to the United States from seven countries: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Sudan. Now the US public is having a heated argument about a “Muslim Ban.” Opponents call it bigoted, supporters call it bold, and neither side acknowledges reality.

Observers of American politics should be reminded of the healthcare debate in the early years of the Obama administration. The Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” was not universal healthcare or socialized medicine, and did very little to change the country’s private healthcare system. However, the right-wing rallied against it, proclaiming it was socialism, and the left rallied in its defense, employing socialistic rhetoric. Both sides of the American political spectrum clashed with each other, accepting a similar fictional narrative about the Affordable Care Act.

The Non-Spontaneous Airport Protests

After this sudden action, much like the healthcare debate, “the gloves have come off.” In 2009, Tea Partiers responded to the Affordable Care Act by displaying firearms at townhall meetings and engaging in other acts of protest that are normally considered “out of bounds.” In response to Trump, the Democratic Party apparatus mobilized its supporters to protest inside of airports. The demonstrations were mobilized very rapidly, and got intense with people being arrested, and maced with pepper spray at various locations.

Those who pretend that the protests were completely random, unplanned, or spontaneous are completely delusional. Airports are among the most free speech restricted locations in the country. While decades ago it was permitted to pass out political leaflets or petition at airports, courts long ago forbid such things. Under normal circumstances it is illegal, not only to engage in protest or “public disturbance” at an airport, but even to video record inside one.

Yet, without any widespread public announcement or organizing, thousands of Democratic Party activists flooded into airports for some rather rowdy protests. Under normal circumstances doing such things would result in immediate arrest and perhaps even terrorism charges. Not only did the police not arrest the initial protesters, but they allowed the demonstrations to grow bigger and bigger. Though videotaping is not permitted in airports, live streaming videos found their way on to social media, and TV news cameras conveniently found their way in as well.

In many countries when the elected government is toppled by the military, one of the first actions taken is seizing the airports. One could even read into the sudden mobilizations, clearly supported by some of the most powerful people in Democratic Party, a veiled threat of a military coup d’etat.

The CIA Strikes Back

But why was there such a swift response to Trump’s action? Why did the Democratic Party unleash its forces so rapidly in response to Trump’s move? Are the Democrats like Hillary Clinton, who tweeted in support of the protests, simply humanitarians who hold deep compassion for immigrants?

Continue reading

100’s of U.S. tanks, heavy equipment flow into Europe to ‘counter Russian aggression’; not enough Americans are protesting

From RT

January 6, 2017

100’s of US tanks, heavy equipment flow into Europe to counter ‘Russian aggression’
Thousands of US and German troops, along with tanks and equipment, are being sent to Poland and countries bordering Russia, purportedly in “defense against Russian aggression,” author and journalist David Swanson told RT.

Europe is preparing to counter a perceived ‘Russian military threat.’ NATO countries in the East of the continent are awaiting the arrival of thousands of American soldiers as a part of a US-led battle group. The troops will be stationed along the Russian border from Estonia to Bulgaria.

However, ships carrying the first batch of troops were greeted in a German port by signs reading “Army Go Home.”

Scores of protesters marched through Bremerhaven, urging an end to the Alliance’s saber rattling…

In an interview with RT aired January 9, author and journalist David Swanson said

“…members of the Department of so-called Defense in Washington DC are almost openly talking to the media about profit being the motive for stirring up hostility with Russia. But this sending of thousands of troops – US and German – to Poland and countries on Russia’s border along with tanks and equipment – this is being done in the name of “defense against Russian aggression.” So unless you’re [the Pentagon] able to pretend there has been Russian aggression, you’re  not  going to be able to continue this; all this aggression has to be ‘defensive’. If Russia says otherwise, then what Russia is saying must be fake news.”

…you have serious protests in Germany by those who want peace [and are] against sending Germans or Americans from Germany eastward, as they should. There are not enough of us in the US similarly protesting.”
Hundreds of American tanks, trucks and other military equipment have arrived at the German port of Bremerhaven to be transferred to Eastern Europe as part of NATO’s buildup near Russia’s borders.

The Resolve cargo ship arrived on Wednesday, while two more vessels – Freedom and Endurance – are expected in Germany on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported. The unloading of the ships began on Friday, with the heavy equipment to be transported to Poland via rail and road.

The US plans to deliverer a total of 87 Abrams M1A1 tanks, 20 Paladin artillery vehicles and 136 Bradley fighting vehicles to Eastern Europe, according to Reuters.  Four thousand American troops will reportedly be spread across Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria and Romania where they’ll remain on rotation basis.

Polish and US troops are scheduled to hold joint “massing” drills in Poland later this month, which NATO says is aimed at reassuring its European allies in the face of what it calls aggressive Russian behavior.

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, with 50 Black Hawk helicopters, 10 CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 1,800 personnel, as well as a separate aviation battalion with 400 troops and 24 Apache helicopters are also scheduled for deployment in Eastern Europe.

“The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation,” US Major General Timothy McGuire explained, adding that the deployment is about “just showing the strength and cohesion of the alliance and the US commitment to maintain the peace on the continent.” 

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will host troops from Germany, Canada and the UK, with each nation sending up to 1,000 servicemen.

NATO calls it military buildup near Russia’s borders a defensive measure, claiming it is justified after Moscow’s reunion with Crimea in 2014 and its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia views the military bloc’s actions aggressive and said the massive military is undermining the security balance on the European continent.

READ MORE: ‘No one in Russia plans to attack NATO’ – US envoy to alliance

In November 2016, the Pentagon shipped more than 600 containers of ammunition for Army and Air Force units in Europe, according military.com, marking the largest single shipment of US ammunition in more than two decades, the website reported.

Moscow has responded by stationing its most modern weaponry and armaments on its western borders, including the enclave region of Kaliningrad, and staging large-scale military drills on its own territory.

READ MORE: Russia not on Trump’s list of Pentagon priorities: Leaked memo worries establishment

Washington opted to speed up the deployment of its troops to Eastern Europe after Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election.

Trump, who is to be inaugurated on January 20, has been calling for improved relations with Russia and has voiced skepticism towards NATO, saying European powers would have to contribute a bigger part of the budget if they wanted to continue relying on US protection.

https://www.rt.com/news/372869-us-tanks-germany-nato/

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/373048-nato-us-europe-russia/

Military-style raid by police ends native prayer gathering against Dakota pipeline (VIDEO)

Please share widely.
Global Research, September 29, 2016
TeleSUR 28 September 2016

North Dakota police with military-style equipment surrounded Native Americans gathered in prayer against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday, disrupting their plan to cross sacred and treaty-protected land in protest of a project they fear will destroy their livelihood.

“ND authorities deploy armed personnel with shotguns and assault rifles, military vehicles, and aerial spray on peaceful Water Protectors gathered in prayer,” wrote the Sacred Stone Camp, in a Facebook post.

Officers with military-style armored vehicles and shotguns threatened the protesters, who call themselves “water protectors” for defending the Missouri River from imminent pollution, reported Unicorn Riot. Up to 21 were arrested, the channel reported.

Witnesses filmed the crackdown but said their access their Facebook was blocked. One participant, Thomas H. Joseph II, posted a chilling video narrating the mobilization and his getaway. Helicopters are heard as he says that tear gas is being dropped, and an officer loads his gun as protesters, some on horseback, chant, “We have no guns.”

In the video, Joseph said that “one guy’s about ready to blast us” but later added that no fires were shot.

“We gathered in prayer un-armed, prayed, sang songs, and attempted to leave,” he later wrote in a Facebook post. “No threats, No vandalism, No violence was taken on our part.”

Police and private security personnel have been more aggressively cracking down on actions against the pipeline since the governor declared a state of emergency. The state is currently investigating an incident in which contracted private security film Frost Kennels unleashed dogs during a nonviolent direct action, ending with six bitten, including a pregnant woman and a child, according to organizers at the action.

Alternative media outlet Unicorn Riot previously accused Facebook of censoring its livestream of police repression, saying they received a popup security alert when they tried to post the video.

“We will not let them stop our mission to amplify the voices of people who might otherwise go unheard, and broadcast the stories that might otherwise go untold,“ they told RT.

The pipeline, expected to transport over half a million barrels of oil a day through four states, has united over 300 tribes in resistance. Several lawsuits are pending against the company, which has retaliated with restraining orders. The White House halted construction on federal land, which makes up three percent of the pipeline’s path, but has not issued any other statement against the pipeline—motivating Facebook users to demand a response after Wednesday’s crackdown.

President Barack Obama met with tribal representatives on Monday but only made an indirect reference to the historic native gathering: “I know that many of you have come together across tribes and across the country to support the community at Standing Rock,“ he said. “And together, you’re making your voices heard.“

Moldovans protest against joint military exercises; NATO = War and Death

From Sputnik
June 2, 2016

NATO equals war and death, Moldova, Sputnik 6-2-16

Moldovan youngsters hold anti-NATO banners during a protest in the border town of Sculeni, Moldova, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 against the May 3-20 joint US-Moldovan military exercises as less than 20 percent of Moldovans want to join the military alliance

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160602/1040675105/leave-nato-europeans-petition.html

Operation “Sea Breeze”: How US Marines ‘studied’ Russian in Crimea in 2006

From Fort Russ

May 24, 2016

Blogger Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak (@sine-or in Live Journal)

Translated by Kristina Kharlova

In my personal archive I found a photo from the era when Crimea was still Ukrainian:

“From May 27 to June 22 2006 here was held a protest by citizens of Ukraine and Feodosia against the exercises and deployment of NATO forces in Crimea. With gratitude to Feodosians for their civil courage from deputies of 5th City Council”

For those who didn’t know or tried to forget – I will remind: on May 27, 2006 the American ship “Advantage” came into the port of Feodosia where it unloaded several dozen containers with firearms, equipment and construction materials for military exercises “Sea Breeze-2006.”

Immediately began protests of Crimean residents against the presence of NATO troops: rallies, tent cities, peace marches. The tension has boiled to a point when more than 200 US Marines had to be hastily evacuated from the sanatorium of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine near Alushta, where they, as it turns out, have been “studying Russian language”. At least, so said the representatives of the administration of then-President Yushchenko. In the end, the US State Department and the Pentagon have issued a joint statement on suspension of Sea Breeze-2006 due to a crisis … in the Middle East.

It should be noted that such NATO exercises were held in the Black sea 5 (!) times since 1997, and 4 of them in the territorial waters of Ukraine. Why did “Sea Breeze-2006” become a “stumbling block”?

Any military exercise initially has a script according to which further events must unfold. At the time, it went as follows:

Some “Runo peninsula”, formerly part of the country of Sapphire, with a thriving “regime”, hostile to NATO, comes under the jurisdiction of a “democratic state” of Emerald. Thus, the peninsula with all the familiar city names of Evpatoria, Sevastopol, Simferopol gains “political independence”, which Sapphire cannot accept and creates an IRM – “Independent Runo Movement”.
International community for a while ignores sabotage, murders of foreign citizens, committed by IRM. But ‘separatists’ commit a raid on a local university and take hostage a large group of students – citizens of countries-NATO members, and in Simferopol at the same time break out rallies and demonstrations demanding restoration of the previous status of the peninsula as a province of Sapphire. The government of Emerald appeals for help to the United Nations, and the UN gives NATO the permission to conduct the operation to free the hostages, for the establishment of peace and stability “in the Northern part of the Black sea”.

This legend was published in the media which finally infuriated the residents of “Runo Peninsula”. On June 24 2006 all American experts and military equipment finally left the “inhospitable” Crimea aboard a Ukrainian merchant vessel “Anatoly Kolesnichenko”.

P. S. As an expert comment from an interview with ex-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the Ukrainian TV channel “Inter” on August 7, 2014: “What a ridiculous accusation, NATO never intended to establish military bases in Ukraine…”

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/05/operation-sea-breeze-how-us-marines.html

Londoners march on Downing Street to decry UK intervention in Syria (VIDEO)

From RT
December 13, 2015
Protestors in London, Britain December 12, 2015 take part in a demonstration against bombing Syria © Neil Hall

Protestors in London, Britain December 12, 2015 take part in a demonstration against bombing Syria © Neil Hall / Reuters

Thousands of people have marched in London to protest against UK intervention in Syria and the airstrikes which have recently been launched. Anti-war activists also demanded a full stop to other UK military campaigns abroad.