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Netherlands/Belgium: Forrest Occupation Against NATO Base

The forest in Schinveld near the NATO airbase Geilenkirchen will be occupied this weekend. After almost 30 years the struggle against the NATO base is still being fought. Recent court cases and national politics are showing a bit less contempt for the forest and the inhabitants of Schinveld. This weekend we will show our national and international support and our ability to occupy the forest fully within a day.
The NATO airbase Geilenkirchen is used for AWACS radar aircrafts. These aircrafts are of the Boeing 707 type and are declared unsafe for use in civilian aviation. The AWACS are also banned from US airspace even when in military use, due to their bad safety record, their pollution and their enormous noise pollution. In Schinveld they fly less than 100 meter above the village and the school causing over 105 decibels (comparable to a jackhammer at 70 cm) of noise at the playground.

Since the first plans to reopen the airbase Teveren (now called Geilenkirchen) the inhabitants of Schinveld have fiercely opposed it. When it opened in 1982 a lot of promises were made and people were assured the forest did not hinder the AWACS. Some years ago NATO officials decided to break one of the few promises they had not yet broken and demanded the forest to be cut.

In December 2005 GroenFront! (EarthFirst! Netherlands and Belgium) occupied the forest and received tremendous popular support. In January 2006 there was a protest of 1500 people in the forest. The night before the eviction 400 people were in the forest. The occupation did manage to save from the cutting a part of the area which was planned to be cut.

After a couple of years without an occupation in Schinveld GroenFront! will have a temporary occupation of the forest from friday 29 august until sunday 31 august. This weekend we will show our national and international support and our ability to occupy the forest fully within a day.