In brief

Sardinians protest island’s “military occupation”

More than 40 groups denounce social, environmental consequences of bases, practising with weapons

Demonstrators demand an end to military exercises.
Demonstrators demand an end to military exercises. Author: A Foras @ Twiter
1,000 to 4,000 people demanded, 12 October in Capo Frasca (Sardinia), the end of the “military occupation” of the island, according to the motto of the platform that was calling to demonstrate, A Foras. It is the latest in a long list of protests against the effects —both on territory and on the health of people and animals— that those opposed to the bases have been denouncing for decades.

More than 35,000 hectares of Sardinian territory are under military servitude, according to data from the island’s government. The figure is equivalent to 60% of the total military servitudes of Italy, although the island only has 2.5% of the population and 8% of the territory of the country. They are bases used by the Italian and other NATO armies mainly for military exercises.

A Foras, made up of 42 associations and civil society groups, denounces the “oppressive” military presence on the island, which has led to “environmental devastation”, real estate “speculation” and “depopulation and forced emigration” in the face of social and territorial degradation. The platform also criticizes that Sardinia is being used to experiment with weapons “for the enrichment of the factories of death.”

On the other hand, several researches point to a correlation between military exercises in Sardinia and a greater incidence of tumours in humans —both among civilians and military personnel— and malformations in animals.