NATO GAME OVER was one hell of an experience. It was in every way a long day. It already started in the morning. Since Bruno was keeping himself busy with sending out the FYEG press release he also was late in meeting me and Laura from Grüne Jugend at Rogier to go to the briefing organised by Vredesactie (the organisers of NATO GAME OVER).
After only a short delay of 30 minutes we made it wonderfully in time for the Briefing where we joined Catherine, Celine, William, Gilles, Matthieu and Jonatan from Ecoloj. After the briefing we decided to form one group and follow a guide to try and penetrate the NATO grounds. After a tramride and unwillingly practising sport we came closer to the NATO.
There was noise everywhere because of a helicopter we had our first encounter with police on horses. This was the moment when our group was divided. There was a short scary moment where I believed that we would be arrested immidiatly but the police women on the horse simply asked us what we were doing there. Our simple answer was that we were taking a walk on such a sunny day.
After that brief encounter we formed another small group with people who were lost or shattered from the previous group and continued our journey towards the NATO grounds. Unfortunatly we had another encounter with the police 20 minutes later and we were all arrested, cuffed and brought to the transitplace only a few yards from the NATO grounds.
From the transitplace we were put in busses to be brought to the Palais de Justice (now know as Palais d’injustice) where we were the second bus full of arrested activists to arrive. The police just guided us to the cells (1 on 2 m’s) and put us in groups of 5 or 6 in those tiny cells.
As the cells were small, this didn’t kill the atmosphere at all. We played cards, shouted slogan to eachother, started singing and connected to the outside world as nothing of our personal effects was taken from us. This connecting with the outside world was a bit of a hazzard as in our cell we could not receive any mobile network unless we would stick our arm between the bars and reach as high as we could. This also explains the weird and noisy phonecalls that were made durig those hours of detention.
As we were one of the first that were detained we were also the first to be released (after the majority of the women and minors). We were welcomed back into freedom by Catherine who was waiting for us with beers and more info. After Celine, Laura, William and me were released we still had to wait over 3 hours before Bruno, Jonatan, Gilles and Mattthieu were released since they were caught later than us. For these 3 hours of waiting in the cold Laura (who was freezing at that time) came up with a new slogan; NO TO NATO! NO TO WAITO! A slogan worth to remember for next year.