Rainer Braun and Pascal Luig, writing for the Stopp Air Base Ramstein coordinating group:
“Is this worth it?” asks the doubter. “Does it accomplish something?”, thinks the skeptic. “Just me?”, ponders the interested. Yes – you too, and hopefully many more!
The Ramstein Air Base is the synonym for drones, war, interventionism and militarism, in Germany and around the world. We no longer want to accept this symbol of war and destruction, we want a peaceful policy. Peace, not war, should come from German soil, that’s why we are also involved in the actions in 2019.
It is the famous long breath that is the basis of our lives and the elixir of life. Militarism will not be overcome overnight because peacebuilding is the recurrence and re-drilling of the thickest boards.
We owe it to our children, the next generations and Planet Earth to keep trying it again and again. We have small successes, such as the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, but we also get many headknocks, but we are always up because it is our livelihood, because it is about peace.
Can a woman and a man still look in the mirror if they do not defend themselves against the injustices of the world and the everyday cruel wars?
The “Ramstein Actions”are now of a size and dimension that nobody foresaw years ago, and they are an expression of this resistance, and also of courage.
That should not be forgotten this year, in an increasingly cold republic and the dramatically exacerbated international war situations – we have not forgotten the wars in Yemen, Central African Republic, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali, Congo, Syria … – perhaps even more convincingly than ever, this fact remains: courage to resist is required! One who does not resist, lives wrong!
We want to get in the way of the warmongers: Ramstein prepares the war against Iran, and logistically is also involved in the actions to overthrow the legitimate government in Venezuela.
No to further warlike engagement of NATO – and that is also also Ramstein 2019!
After the termination of the INF Treaty, where should the new US and NATO medium-range missiles, equipped with nuclear weapons, be stationed? All the technical and infrastructural conditions for a new deployment are available in Ramstein, just as nuclear weapons of mass destruction were stored here until 1996. With our actions in Ramstein we want to emphasize the fact that a storm of outrage and protest is sweeping away the plans of storing new nuclear weapons in Germany, making them politically impossible.
For this we need resistance in the region, which would be the first to be affected by the nuclear counter-attacks. The mayors and the municipalities must say no to new nuclear weapons in Ramstein. But our actions need to get even bigger and bigger.
We will never forget that without Air Base Ramstein, there would be no drone warfare, killing and terrorizing mainly innocent civilians, women, children and the elderly. The scandalous decisions of the Federal Government to lease Israeli combat drones and to develop eurodrones for billions drive us to the streets.
We no longer need money for armaments in a starving world, but disarmament for development and for the environment.
Ramstein Air Base is poisoning the environment and the population – we have not forgotten that the poisoning by kerosene discharge by the fighter planes, the illegal garbage disposal, the destruction of nature, dirty and inedible drinking water through extinguishing foams are inseparable parts of this war fortress Ramstein. Can we ever accept that? Do we not have to intensify the information on this daily destruction potential of the Ramstein Air Base in preparation and execution of our actions, the Enlightenment? The Ramstein Actions 2019 can and must be a strong signal.
Yes, it is this desire and our pursuit of peace and justice that keeps us protesting against the Air Base Ramstein.
But is it more than that? The actions and especially the peace camp are a meeting of solidarity, discussion, a friendly and loving meeting of the “sisters and brothers in spirit” – despite the diversity of opinions. It is the “shared life” and experience of belonging to the feeling of a great global peace community that unites and gives strength again. Impressive, encouraging and energizing, these are the protests. The peace camp is the best expression for it. The culture of the camp and the culture in the camp are part of our longing for peace and our deep rejection of war and violence. The camp is living peaceful conflict transformation.
But it is also the commonality of learning, discussion, exchange and solidarity that make Ramstein Actions so unique in their diversity. This also includes the international guests, who make the feeling of internationality on the limited world so practically tangible. Nationalism, chauvinism and hate against minorities have no place. Instead, a deep understanding of the actions and activities in other countries and a deep solidarity with the weakest and the most vulnerable.
It is the mix of life, experience, shape and protest that characterizes the Ramstein Action Week 2019 and hopefully will make it an impressive experience for many – perhaps many more than last time.
It will strengthen the peace movement in its diversity, carry on the idea of peace, encourage more action.
Peace is the goal and the way, is the Ultima Ratio – the Ramstein Actions 2019 are an important step in this struggle for a better world.Hopefully with you!
Reiner Braun and Pascal Luig from the Coordinating Circle Stop Air Base Ramstein