Walking Tour Introduction Introductions
Corporations MANLockheed Martin
Institutions Bertelsmann/CAP
Mental Warfare Preussen Neue Wache
ResistanceDeserters Herbert Baum Group


Print  Introduction

Welcome to the website "underway against militarism."
We'd like to invite you for a walk through central Berlin — a walk to learn about:

Adler - how the business of war is conducted in Berlin by corporations, politicians and industry pressure groups

- how growing militarism and the militarization of everyday life are connected to struggles over global resources and capitalist domination

- about the history of anti-militarist protest.

Typografie: Bild

„Not with us! “ In the early 1950s, just a few years after the atrocities of the Second World War, German armed forces were reconstituted as the Bundeswehr. At that time, tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets to protest the remilitarization of Germany. "Not with us!" was their slogan. Today, fifty years later, when the German parliament meets to debate and take decisions about German participation in wars and extended military operations abroad, the streets are quiet. Resistance to militarization has all but disappeared.

Since 1990, the Bundeswehr has been involved in 40 out-of-area operations, most of them in other peoples' lands, far from Germany. The atrocities committed in these wars are witnessed only by deployed soldiers and their families, and by the staff of the aid organizations and "security firms" working in conflict areas. Only infrequently do these wars penetrate our everyday routine, as news of kidnappings or bombings remind us to ask ourselves how much a human life is worth. Most of the victims killed by NATO bombs die anonymously and out of sight. With little media attention or investigation, they are classified as "collateral damage" or killed "Taliban combatants."

In the rhetoric-driven discourse of the "war on terror" and the bureaucratic language that governs "humanitarian reconstruction" the facts are concealed: war necessarily implies a violent intervention in a foreign country and inevitably results in killed and maimed civilians.

--To Take a Stand--
Critical journalists, researchers and victims" organizations have revealed the distortions and manipulations serving to justify and legitimate the wars of the past. The films and literature based on their work document past war crimes and show the resulting social impact and long-term infrastructural devastation in countries targeted by "interventions." Meanwhile, however, new military operations are justified by the new security and anti-terrorism propaganda and are conducted with scarcely any public objections or protest.

The Bundeswehr is again involved in military intervention, but these take place far away. Is it this distance that makes it so difficult to register the atrocities and devastation that result? Is the visual evidence of the damage too much for people to bear, or does the public really accept the official justifications for the new wars? Or are the reasons to be found in the ways in which militarism and militarization are subtly worked into the fabric of everyday life "in the form of a friend's brother, who has worked in the war zone as an employee of a private security firm; of the attractive woman at a cafe table who represents an arms manufacturer; of the cousin who works for a transport company delivering munitions to military bases; of the friendly neighbor who helped to design the drone aircraft that was already deployed in operations against anti-nuclear demonstrations in Germany"?

--War Is Business--
While the Bundeswehr is deployed in operations in far-away lands, the profiteers of war do their business while drinking a "latte macchiato" at a cafe on Unter den Linden or while dipping sushi in soy sauce on Potsdamer Platz. Right here and now, they do deals in "intelligent weapons systems," in body-destroying 120-millimeter smoothbore guns, and Tornado aircraft that will misidentify civilian hideouts as military "targets." Many German and European arms manufacturers maintain offices on one of Berlin's famous promenades. It's not the glamour that attracts them. They come to Berlin to be near the German government — to the politicians and bureaucrats who make decisions affecting their profits. Here, the lobby of the military industrial complex actively shapes foreign policy. The best-positioned firms will make good money from war.

--Militarization and Repression--
According to conservative politicians, the Bundeswehr will soon be operating inside Germany. The military mission during the anti-G8 protests in June 2007 set an important precedent. In Heiligendamm, the same Bundeswehr that wages war in Afghanistan provided local and regional police forces with surveillance photography and intelligence about the alter-globalization movement. What will be next?

Now is the time to stop militarization and global wars!

Disarm the military! Rededicate arms manufacturers! Desert and support deserters!

Dissolve the Bundeswehr, mobilize against the military!