For immediate release
Contact: Joanne Landy, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, [email protected]
NEW YORK, March 18, 2009 – In a major setback for Pentagon plans to install a U.S. military radar base in the Czech Republic, the Czech government yesterday withdrew, at least for now (and possibly for good), its proposal to ratify an agreement on the base. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek halted the ratification process when it appeared that the Chamber of Deputies was likely to vote to reject the agreement. According to Jana Glivicka, a leader of the grassroots “No Bases Initiative” that has been active in opposing the radar for more than two years, this was a very significant retreat, since the radar has been promoted as one of the key accomplishments of the current government.
Two thirds of Czechs have consistently opposed the radar ever since it was first proposed in 2006. Anti-radar activists have repeatedly called for a referendum on the issue, but have been rebuffed. Meanwhile, in 2008 the Czech government signed the agreement with the
The anti-radar movement has drawn support from around the world from people alarmed by the dangerous military escalation of the proposed European “missile defense” program of the Czech radar and its companion Interceptor missiles in
The CPD open letter was sent on Monday March 16 to all 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies. A member of the Chamber planned to read the letter aloud from the floor of the Chamber if the ratification had come up for a vote, Signers included public figures such as Noam Chomsky and Ariel Dorfman, and leaders of many major U.S. peace organizations. Most signatories were from the
Czech Prime Minister Topolanek said that the government has not abandoned its plan for the radar. "This does not mean we would give up on the ratification process," Topolanek said in a live television address. "We will return to this issue after talks with the
THE CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY (CPD) advocates a new, progressive and non-militaristic
Other current CPD campaigns are an open letter to Iranian officials in defense of human rights leader Shirin Ebadi, published by the New York Review of Books at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22511, and a statement on Gaza entitled “No More Blank Check for Israel!,” available at the CPD website.
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