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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

INES and IALANA speaker was refused entry to Portugal to participate at the NATO - Counter summit.

From 19.-20. November NATO Heads of State's met in Lisbon to give itself a new perspective on the world. New threats and assignments were being tagged and declared to be in the realm of the self-called defender of freedom and democracy and western lifestyle. Parallel to the NATO Summit the international peace movement prepared a Counter Summit, criticizing NATO's politics of war, armament and obstruction for a nuclear weapons free world. As a project-related staff member of IALANA and INES, I was one of the main background organizers of this Counter Summit and one of its speakers in the workshop "Actions for Peace".

Also around - to be precise in the wake - of the NATO Summit in Lisbon the Schengen Treaty got suspended for one week (from 15. -22. November), restricting the freedom of movement in the European Union, enabling Portuguese authorities to strictly control the borders. Other "security measures" have been taken for the NATO Heads of State's meeting. But they work - like myself - in the background and usually are not visible and detectible.

On my way to conduct the actions and events that I have been helping to prepare for the past year, I was being randomly (?) inspected by the Portuguese border control (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, SEF). An official took me to a back office at the international area of the airport. My data was being checked and my luggage was being searched. I was refused to enter Portugal. I had to sign a “notification of refusal of entry at the border” of the Ministry of the Interior. It considers me as “a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more of the Member States of the European Union”. The search of my luggage resulted in this: INES Global Responsibility Newsletters and Flyers, IALANA materials as well as organizational material for the Counter Summit and our actions – press releases, telephone lists, internal schedules, etc. - were being found. All documents were kept by the authorities for “further analysis”.
The protocol of the authorities apparently states that a program of the Counter Summit and material of civil disobedience (a press briefing saying “Public training of civil disobedience, Thursday 16:00 at Rossio) were being found. This I learned in a telephone conversation in Paris, after being detained back to where I came from (the connection Berlin-Paris-Lisbon).
NATO is an organization that works aggressively to the exterior and repressive to the interior. Over 170 people were being refused to enter Portugal during and before the NATO Summit. I am sure that all of them received the same documents as I did. These 170 cases highlight the background procedures and programs of NATO and its member states. Freedom of movement and freedom of speech are being set aside – for freedom and democracy? - the western way of life?

Lucas Wirl

working for IALANA, INES, KriWi