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Solo Parachutist Arrested After Stunt at NATO HQ

By adminon - Read 985 times

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A parachutist performed a solo aerial lap over NATO headquarters Wednesday to protest against United States policy on missile defense before landing in a nearby field, where he was arrested.

The German protester took to the air to beat tight security surrounding the alliance headquarters in Brussels where President Bush was meeting NATO leaders.

Trailing a "Stop Star Wars" banner, the activist from the Greenpeace environmental group flew over the NATO complex using a small motor-propelled parachute.

Greenpeace spokesman John Walters told Reuters the man was arrested when he landed.

Walters said 17 activists were earlier arrested after demonstrating against Bush's policies on arms and the environment at Melsbroek military airport near Brussels shortly before Bush flew in aboard his presidential jet, Air Force One.

Another 12 protesters were expected to be detained after they chained themselves to fencing near the airbase.

Some 300-400 demonstrators waved banners and blew whistles near NATO headquarters in a largely peaceful protest against Bush.

Opponents of plans for a missile defense shield fear it will effectively rip up the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty and spark a new arms race.

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