NATO Summit in Chicago faces mass protests

As the warmongering alliance NATO was holding its summit in Chicago in the middle of May 2012,thousands of protestors marched through downtown Chicago.

A series of demonstrations and protests against NATO were held throughout 18 – 20 May 2012. People had travelled from all across America, and some had even come from other countries to participate in the protests. Participants called for the dissolution of the 63-year old military alliance that was set up after World War II to intimidate Soviet Russia and the then newly formed peoples’ democracies and crush the aspirations of the working class and people's for revolution, national liberation and socialism. Over the years, NATO has been in the forefront of some of the most barbarous aggression and wars and has committed numerous crimes against the peoples. From the time of the aggression on Korea in the 1950s till today, NATO has been used to further the interests of the US imperialists and its allies.

Workers and students, peace activists and war veterans and people from many professions took part in the main demonstration held on Sunday, 20th May 2012. Working people from the city of Chicago provided water, rest stations and cooling buses along the over 3 km protest route. Towards the end, demonstrators clashed with a line of police who tried to keep them from the lakeside convention centre where President Barack Obama was hosting an event for the visiting NATO officials. The two sides were locked in a standoff for nearly two hours, with police blocking the protesters' path and the defiant anti-war, anti-NATO protestors refusing to leave. Almost 50 people were arrested at this event alone, while another 50 or so were arrested in earlier events.

At the intersection of Cermak and Michigan streets in Chicago, on May 20, veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the truth about the NATO occupation forces in a public demonstration, when they threw back their service medals in protest at NATO leaders, simulating a similar form of protest used earlier against the Vietnam War. A 28-year-old mechanical engineer, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, is reported to have said, "I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation." A former U.S. Army Sergeant, who served during the Iraq 2003 invasion and in Afghanistan in 2011, said, "There's no honour in these wars... There's just shame."

The protests show the mounting hatred of the working class and youth of the US for imperialism and imperialist war.   

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Jun 1-15 2012    World/Geopolitics    War & Peace     Popular Movements    

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