The Common Declaration of the Freedom and Peace Movement and die Groenen from West Germany
Members of Die Gruenen and the Freedom and Peace Movement from Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw discussed aspects of peace in Europe, and worldwide.
This exchange of ideas, which was carried out in an open, intense, and friendly atmosphere, is an expression of our wish to develop peace and international mutual understanding through individual contacts with representatives of different societies.
Die Gruenen was deeply impressed by the attempt of Freedom and Peace to regain the meaning and aspirations of peace–a word almost completely discredited by the Soviet peace propaganda –for Polish society. This has been done through supporting and further developing the nonviolent methods used by SOLIDARITY, and by taking a firm stand in situations of real conflict.
During the discussion it became evident that due to different experiences and circumstances we had different points of view on the following:
i. an analysis of the nature of the Western military alliance and of the threat it poses to Polish people,
ii. the probability and possible consequences of unilateral disarmament, soviet totalitarianism, which WIP regards as the most dangerous form of totalitarianism in the contemporary world, while die Gruenen stresses that the modern military machinery, including that of democratically ruled societies, forms and embodies a new kind and quality of totalitarian threat to human kind.
Die Gruenen briefly touched upon the causes of conflicts and wars in the Third World; their ideas were received by Freedom and Peace with great interest. We would like to continue the dialogue about our different experiences and our similarities. We feel it is important to find a common language for all of us and believe that this is an integral part of building peace from below. As the first step we have identified the following similarities between us:
i. We feel that there is a real need for independent initiatives from people in the East and West to stand up and work for peace and mutual understanding.
ii. The respect and implementation of both the right to
self-determination and human rights, are fundamental conditions for peace in society and the international community.
iii. We oppose any kind of persecution and oppression of
people who are striving for peace all over the world.
iv. We reject and oppose all ideologies and regimes that
are based on violence or use violence against other nations or individuals. At the same time we oppose any kind of violent attacks against civilian people, e.g. bomb attacks, kidnappings, etc. Our solidarity is with all people who have become victims of violence.
v. The right to conscientious objection is a human right.
We therefore demand that all people who are imprisoned because they refuse to do military service be released immediately. We also demand the legal introduction of an alternative service for all people who refuse military service for reasons of conscience or deep moral, humanitarian, religious, political or similar beliefs. The alternative service should not have a discriminatory or punitive character and should not be a part of the military structure. It should contribute to peace and justice and be organized by organizations independent from the state.
The position of the Freedom and Peace Movement at the Convention of European Nuclear Disarmament, 1987
I. Peace and Human Rights
1. International peace is not only the absence of open war between states, but in their internal relations as well. One cannot describe as peaceful, countries where the vital needs and aspirations of citizens are suppressed by force. Every case of repression increases international tension and, thereby, the probability of war. In order to have lasting peace, each society has to provide institutional devices capable of resolving internal conflicts without resorting to violence.
2. The credibility of peace treaties between governments is built on the strength and sovereignty of societies. If a government does not comply with society’s will and operates outside of its control, all the treaties it signs are simply useless pieces of paper. No guarantee exists for their compliance, and their durability will rest on nothing but temporary interests and ideas of very narrow ruling elites.
3. A system which deprives man of his rights (political , social, economic) thereby destroys the sense of responsibility for the social dimension of his existence. It leads to enslaving and manipulating individuals, and a man who is ready to fulfill any order is much more dangerous than a nuclear warhead.
4. The fact, that such systems exist proves that peace activity must go together with activities promoting the concept of societies and individuals as subjects [and not merely objects in the hands of the government]. 11 Freedom and peace” has emerged from such an experience.
5. Disarmament can become one of the elements of the ‚peace process s as long as the reduction of military arsenals is accompanied by a process through which societies could regain and extend their rights and liberties.
II. Postulates Put Forward by „Freedom and Peace”
We believe that there is a need to discuss and work out a program for realization of the following postulates:
1. A ban on capital punishment wherever employed. In particular, we demand that the sentence of K. Rysbulbekov for the riots in Alma-Ata in December 1986 be repealed.
2. Immediate release of all political prisoners who did not resort to, or inspire others to the use of, violence and alI conscientious objectors. The following such persons are incarcerated at present in Polish prisons: Oskar Kasperek, Piotr Rozycki, Maciej Wijas, and tens of Jehovah Witnesses.
3. Demilitarization of societies which can be achieved through:
– abolition of obligatory military and paramilitary service,
– abolition of military and paramilitary training at schools and universities,
– a ban on military parades and any demonstration of force during national holidays and official ceremonies,
– efforts against the spread of militarism and violence in the mass media.
4. Providing freedom of travel and contacts through:
– passports available for everyone,
– abolition of visas,
– abolition of obligatory currency exchange for visitors upon arrival,
– abolition of a ban for employing foreigners.
9. Liquidation of all nuclear power plants and reactors, including those installed on ships and submarines.
10.Immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces from Afghanistan.