By Wolfgang Lieberknecht, Initiative Black and White, April 7, 2021
The warning against an escalation of tensions between the USA, Russia and China was the focus of the first Easter march in Wanfried. The march led from the International PeaceFactory Wanfried through the city center to the harbor. In addition to Wanfried citizens and citizens from neighboring communities, peace activists from Berlin, Tübingen, Solingen and Kassel participated in the action. Members of the initiative Black and White also participated.
In the small town in northern Hesse on the border with Thuringia, Reiner Braun, coordinator of the International Peace Bureau, the Disarm instead of Rearm campaign and the Stop Ramstein initiative from Berlin, spoke at the rally at the harbor. Like the other speakers, he held NATO countries primarily responsible for inflaming tensions, for example by organizing the renewed maneuver “Defender 2021” in the next few months on the Russian border .
He calls for commitment to building a strong European security system.
Reiner Braun called for resuming the path of détente begun by Willy Brandt and Olaf Palme.
Torsten Felstehausen (Die Linke), a member of the Hessian state parliament, criticized the use of public funds for more and more armament of the Bundeswehr. This wasted money that was urgently needed to strengthen the health care system and secure the future of climate policy. He pointed out that scientists – including many Nobel laureates – have set the nuclear war danger clock to 100 seconds to twelve Doomsday Clock – WikipediaNuclear war clock – Wikipedia, (152) The nuclear war clock is ticking
Pablo Flock of the Informationsstelle Militarisierung from Tübingen, Germany, addressed the violence against populations emanating from Western military interventions in Afghanistan and Mali. These military operations would not solve the problems, but exacerbate them. In Africa, they were primarily in the interest of French great power politics and French interests in the exploitation of African raw materials. (His study “Selective Indignation” on West Africa can be read here: IMI-Study-2020-8-ECOWAS.pdf (imi-online.de))
Andreas Heine, member of the district council of the Left Party in the Werra-Meißner district and speaker of the Peace Forum Werra-Meissner, called for building bridges instead of tearing them down in the dangerous global situation. He had initiated the three Easter marches in the electoral district 169 in Eschwege, Witzenhausen and Wanfried.
Wolfgang Lieberknecht from the International PeaceFactory Wanfried recalled the two peace events with the Russian orchestra from Istra in Wanfried and the neighboring Treffurt in the past years.
Pictures of the two actions with the russian orchestra Istra in Wanfried in the past
years: Video of the second peace action in front of the Wanfried town hall.
He called on all people who are aware of the danger to survival to focus on the issue of peace in the federal election campaign. He suggested forming non-partisan constituency forums for this purpose, as people in many parties and without party membership who see the problems could together gain more influence.
The Easter march then symbolically crossed the Werra Bridge for “building bridges between peoples” and then led back to the PeaceFactory.
The event there began with a skit by Ulli Schmidt of Attac Kassel about the arms monster. It eats the taxes for armament, which are urgently needed for better living conditions. It can be seen here on the Attac page: https://www.attac-netzwerk.de/kassel/startseite/
Reiner Braun warned again against the danger of war. From the USA David Swanson joined via ZOOM. He represents the global citizens’ initiative “World BEYOND War – World Beyond War . . .” and presented its work. He called for advocacy now everywhere for the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan, recalling that the German government maintains the second largest contingent of troops in Afghanistan, while several other countries have now withdrawn from the country. The initiative, launched in the United States, has now established links in 190 countries around the world. It aims to bring together “Little People” around the world; together they can demand that policymakers build a global security system to banish war from the world. (Here is a contribution by David Swanson: (152) David Swanson: American exceptionalism, part 1 of 2 – YouTube)
The International PeaceFactory Wanfried joined Worldbeyondwar, as did Guy Feugap from Cameroon with his African group. The peace activist reported on the conflicts in his country that drive many people to flee. He welcomed the proposal to form a “Worldbeyondwar Africa” African as a network with peace activists from other African countries.
Pablo Flock showed in a PowerPoint presentation the neo-colonial French Africa policy; he called on German citizens and politicians to oppose it instead of supporting it.
From Ghana, Matthew Davis participated online. He had fled from his home country Liberia to Ghana during the civil war and supports children in a district of the Ghanaian capital Accra with 11,000 refugees to go to school. He had witnessed around civil war how soldiers shot a man in front of his family because he belonged to the “wrong” ethnicity. He has this image in his mind every day and warns everyone to keep their hands off wars.
Salah from Algeria is trying to get an Algerian journalist to report on the democratic revolution in Algeria on Sunday, April 18. This strong movement is hardly mentioned by German media. Algeria’s government buys many weapons in Germany and supplies many raw materials to Europe.
A video recording of the event will be linked here in the next days.
The International PeaceFactory Wanfried (IFFW) closed with the announcement that they are trying to organize regular peace webinars on Sundays at 7pm together with the initiative Black And White to network and strengthen more people to work for peace….
On April 11, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gieler from the University of Seoul and the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt will talk about “60 years of German “development” policy: claim and reality” (The next events: Die nächsten Veranstaltungen | Black and White (initiative-blackandwhite.org)
One week later, Algeria might be on the agenda; hopefully this will be confirmed in the next days.
Contact IFFW: 0049-176-43773328 – firstname.lastname@example.org