Belgian police arrest 150 anti-NATO protesters

23rd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The protest was organised by the group Vredesactie, translated as action for peace.

Brussels -- Belgian police on Saturday detained at least 150 pacifists who staged an anti-NATO protest, including some who tried to get into the organisation's headquarters, an AFP photographer witnessed.

The protest was organised by the group Vredesactie, translated as action for peace. Most of the demonstrators were picked up by mounted police close to the NATO building although there was no violence.

Other groups of demonstrators were also deployed at different areas around the huge complex.

Hundreds of people responded to the group's call to stage protests demanding the abolition of NATO, which is holding a summit from April 3 to 4 in Strasbourg in France and at Kehl in Germany to mark its 60th anniversary.

"Sixty years is enough," said organisers of the protest in a statement.

The demonstrators demanded also that troops from the Western military alliance be pulled out of Afghanistan and that hundreds of American nuclear weapons at air bases in Europe, including in Belgium, be relocated to the US.

Meanwhile, in Strasbourg, French police forced local people to take down rainbow peace flags hung from apartment balconies with the slogan "No to NATO," residents said.

"Some police came at the start of the week and explained that they had received an order to ask people to take down the flags," said one man, Christian Grosse, also a Communist Party activist.

Police refused to comment when contacted Saturday by AFP.

AFP/Expatica

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