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NATO decisions in Warsaw

mil | 09.07.2016 14:15 | NATO 2014 | Anti-militarism | Migration | Terror War | World

The decision to host the NATO Summit in Warsaw has turned Poland's largest metropolitan area into a military camp and a nightmare for the visitors and residents. Utilizing the unconstitutional anti-terrorist law that went into effect on July 1, the government has put Warsaw under terrorist alert, allowing for implementation of the harsh security measures previously possible only under the martial law.

On July 6, Prime Minister Beata Szydło signed the order to impose the ALFA terrorist alert in Warsaw from midnight on July 7 to 23:59 on July 10, i.e. throughout the NATO Summit. The anti-terrorist law allows for an introduction of one of the four emergency levels: ALFA, BRAVO, CHARLIE and DELTA. The highest alert at the Delta level is introduced during a terrorist attack. After introduction of the first level alarm, authorities are allowed to carry out security checks of places and people. Unattended luggage, "wrongly" parked cars, "suspicious" packages, vehicles, flying objects and people are to be eliminated.

From July 4 to August 2, the EU internal Schengen area along Poland's borders has been suspended and the temporary border control restored. Visa-free traffic between Russia's Kaliningrad exclave and Ukraine has been halted. These moves angered people who travel through these borders daily for work, tourism and shopping, and also hurt commercial truck transit.

Persons considered to be a potential threat to security are not allowed to enter Polish territory. Scans and searches of travelers, their luggage and cars drastically slow border crossings.

Changes to public transportation, parking restrictions and removal of parked cars have caused havoc in the already congested and densely populated Warsaw urban area. From July 7, large sections of the city's central districts have been closed to traffic, including pedestrians. Transit has been prohibited on the city's main arteries leading to the National football stadium where the summit is being held.

The consumption of alcohol is also prohibited. Unauthorized public gatherings are banned. Public bicycle stations have been closed, airplane routes modified. The public is advised to avoid the popular downtown area for the weekend and use the subway system.

During the passage of the VIP columns with the summit delegates from the army terminal at Chopin Airport to the downtown Marriott hotel, streets are to be temporarily closed to traffic. Garbage cans, vases and pots with plants and flowerbeds along the approximately nine-kilometer route have been removed from the sidewalks. Businesses, shops and cafés in the stadium area are prohibited to operate.

People living near the stadium and along the route have been subject to countless police searches, as officers look for potential threats and illegal weapons. They go from door to door and conduct in-depth surveys on the number and nationality of the premises' residents. They also question if anybody is in the possession of weapons.