A Czech activist, Jan Bednar, has been on hunger strike for two weeks to protest the “military occupation of the Czech Republic by the United States”—by which he means the plans to build a radar base for the new “missile shield” on Czech territory. From the Nonviolence.cz website, May 25:
Jan Bednar’s health conditions are deteriorating
Jan Bednar’s health conditions are deteriorating. He is on his 13th day of hunger strike against the military occupation of the Czech Republic by the United States, part of the Star Wars project. The medical team, his friends and family and sympathizers from all over the world have pleaded with him to stop. Nevertheless he is determined to continue.
“There are no signs that the Czech government is willing to open dialogs on this issue or any official statement by the European Parliament” he repeated this morning.
Sympathy and support for the pacifist Czech grows daily:
Former Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Kavan paid the protesters a visit, as well as other intellectuals and politicians.
Protests in support of the Czech democracy and against Europe’s nuclear rearmament policies increase daily: uncountable solidarity fasts, are continuing in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna, Budapest, České Budějovice, Brunswick, Copenhagen, Florence, London, Malaga, Milan, New York, Bologna, Paris, Toulouse, Trieste,Turin and have now reached Sidney. More than a thousand people sign the www.nonviolence.cz online petition everyday.
European reporters are arriving in the Czech Republic to cover this new Prague Spring but national TV continues its biased course.
Solidarity messages pour in daily from hundreds of organizations and personalities such as: Noam Chomsky, Dario Fo and Franca Rame Giorgio Schultze, Giulietto Chiesa (European Parliament member), Luisa Morgantini (Vice President of the European Parliament), Nichi Vendola, president of Puglia Region in Italy, French bishop Jacques Gaillot and Pulitzer prize winner Chris Hedges.
Unlimited hunger strike today:
Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in Prague since May 13, Dino Mancarella in Trieste since May 14, Federica Fratini Isabel Torres, Eduardo Calizza in Rome since May 19, José Alvarez in Spain since May 22. They have been joined today by Bruce Gagnon and the Korean Sung-Hee Choi in the USA and Gareth Smith in Australia and Joaquin Valenzuela in Bologna.
However, there is something which is not quite right about this effort. The banner of the Nonviolence.cz website displays revolving quotes and portraits of MLK, Gandhi and one “Silo.” Who the hell is Silo?
“Silo” (real name Mario Rodríguez Cobos) is the Argentina-based leader of a messianic psycho-therapy cult with political pretensions, whose modus operandi is to appropriate the names of previously-existing groups and movements. They call themselves the “New Humanists,” but are disavowed by the bona fide Humanist movement of Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein. They have also gone by The Community, The Greens and the the Movement for Nonviolence. (See this reporter’s 1989 exposé of their efforts to organize the “The Greens” in New York City.) Much information on their methods is online at Ex-Silo.org—which is mostly the work of Bob Von Holt, a former cult member who blew their cover in the San Francisco area in the ’80s. They now have enclaves in New York, Europe and Latin America. They dishonestly represent Silo as the “founder” of Humanism, the Green movement, nonviolence, and the Argentine answer to Gandhi and MLK (an honor that rightly belongs to Adolfo Pérez Esquivel). Their hubristic rhetoric about “humanizing the Earth” may sound like the usual New Age jive, but folks who have fled the cult report the use of psycho-drama and sexuality to manipulate members and keep them in the fold.
See our last posts on the Czech Republic.