A protest demonstration planned by a coalition of groups opposed to NATO’s increasingly aggressive profile is being subject to such a degree of harassment that it amounts to a ban.
The Schengen agreement, which guarantees freedom to travel within the area it covers – most of the European Union, including France and all of its neighbours – will be suspended for the duration of the 60th anniversary meeting, which will take place in Strasbourg on 3rd-4th April. The centre of Strasbourg will be declared an inaccessible ‘red zone’ and any demonstration banished to the suburbs.
Commenting on the draconian measures, European Parliament United Left Group Chair Francis Wurtz said:
“We support the coalition for the protests against the 60th anniversary of NATO on 3rd and 4th April in Strasbourg and condemn the massive obstruction of the organisation of opposition activities by the French authorities.
“To guarantee that the NATO military alliance can carry out its self-promotion activities completely undisturbed, not only have huge costs been incurred but violations of fundamental democratic rights are being accepted by governments. We cannot accept that – NATO does not own Strasbourg . We support the claim that Strasbourg , as a symbol of democracy and peace, remains an open city for the world.”