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Czech Anti-Missile Defence Activists On 15th Day of Hunger Strike
Tuesday May 27, 2008 22:03 by Damien Moran
Two Czech humanists, leading voices in the campaign against the proposed US missile defence radar system in the Czech Republic, will tomorrow enter their 15th day of hunger strike.
They are appealing for international supporters to sign the following petition:
Updates on the hunger strike can be found here:
Below is the declaration released by the two hunger strikers 14 days ago:
On May 13, 2008 at 11:00 a.m,. humanists Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar began a hunger strike in Prague against the installation of the Star Wars' radar in the Czech Republic. This is their declaration:
For nearly two years, members of the Humanist Movement have dedicated themselves to the nonviolent fight against the Star Wars project, and, specifically against the installation of the proposed US military base in the Czech Republic.
The online petition against the radar at www.nonviolence.cz has been signed by more than 78 000 people. According to the last official poll, published in mid-May, 65% of the Czech population is still opposed to the radar base.
Unfortunately, the Czech government ignores the opinion of the majority of its citizens. It continues its negotiations with the US, and the signing of treaties that will allow once again for the presence of foreign troops on Czech territory is right around the corner. All of this despite the fact that the US Star Wars project has critics not only outside of the US, but within the US as well, including members of the US Congress.
Participating in this dangerous project of the outgoing US administration would not only make the Czech Republic a target, it would also lead to an increase in international tensions within Europe and possibly to the creation of an international conflict with the Czech Republic in its center.
The voices of various international organizations are recognizing that the US will, in fact, be carrying out a military occupation of the Czech Republic.
The issue of the US military base is not only an issue of international security for us, but also an issue of democracy. It is about whether we will once again allow a small group of elite politicians to ignore the wishes of the majority of the population on an issue of great importance to their fate. These methods remind us of times before 1989 -- times we don't want to be repeated.
The plan to build a US military base on our territory and the dangers it poses for the future of democracy in our country have led us to begin an unlimited hunger strike. Our goal is to highlight the dangerous direction our country has been taking for the last two years and to stop a minority of politicians from carrying out their plans against the will of the majority of the people.
We will continue our hunger strike until we receive clear indications that negotiations will be stopped, a national referendum will take place, or a real, open and democratic discussion on this issue will be allowed to take place.
Who are the hunger strikers?
Jan Tamáš, 31 years old
Weight at the beginning of hunger strike: 56 Kg.
Jan Tamas has been active in the International Humanist Movement for 11 years. Two years ago he started participating in the campaign against the radar. He has been the spokesperson for the initiative “No to the bases” since it started. As from 2005 he has been the President of the Czech Humanist Party.
A MSc degree in informatics engineering, spec. automation, and a PhD in cybernetics from the Polytechnic University of Prague CVUT.
Currently working in IT consulting.
Jan Bednář, 29 years old
Weight at the beginning of hunger strike: 71 Kg.
Jan Bednář has been active in the International Humanist Movement for 11 years, currently working for the campaign ‘non-violence, peace and disarmament’. He launched the initiative “NO to the bases” two years ago.
High School Diploma, Site foreman. Works as independent graphic artist.