On August 30 several thousand people from Wales and many other parts of Britain gathered at the civic centre in Newport. Holding aloft banners with slogans "No new wars, No to NATO!", they took part in a militant demonstration around the streets of Newport culminating in a rally. Protestors denounced the summit as a "plot to establish infrastructures to enhance NATO’s aggressive capability in the Baltic, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere".
Police had set up a 12 mile long metal fencing around the summit site at Celtic Manor to keep away the protestors. The seas of the Welsh Coast were filled with NATO war ships to prevent protestors from reaching the venue from the sea coast. The security arrangements for the summit to prevent protestors from staging protests are estimated to have cost around £55 million.
Among other actions, protesters also opened a peace camp opposed to the summit at Newport’s Tredegar Park.
Representatives of the anti-war movement throughout Britain, Ireland, Europe, Russia, Ukraine and the US took part in the demonstration and rally and addressed the counter summits.
Protestors denounced NATO and the warmongering policies of the governments of the member countries as directly responsible for the poverty, joblessness, inequality and insecurity they are facing in their daily lives. The massive military budgets of the NATO countries could go a long way in eliminating these, in providing education and health care, they pointed out. They condemned the fact that the youth and people have to serve as cannon fodder for the wars that the imperialists organize, in pursuit of their aims of furthering their loot and plunder of the world's people. They denounced the role of the US and its allies in Iraq, Gaza, Palestine, Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan. Speakers at the protests denounced the barbaric attacks on the people in the south eastern part of Ukraine who are struggling for their sovereign rights.
A representative of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign spoke of NATO being a supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia and Israel, of the more than $3 billion annual military aid by the US to Israel, of Israel having the fourth most powerful army in the world. She passionately related how the most recent genocide by Israel in the Gaza had resulted in the deaths of many thousands of people and the devastation of hundreds of thousands, and condemned the NATO leaders for abetting Israel's expansionist policy in Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Other speakers reminded the people of the lies that the Anglo-US NATO powers use as a justification for war. They do daily propaganda about "Russian threat", "ISIS threat", "Hamas threat", but the big imperialist powers and their alliance, NATO is the biggest threat which has to be opposed. Protesotrs were unanimous in their conviction that "only we, the people can change the course of history and put an end to war".
Following this, two counter summits were organized. These counter summits were aimed at building the anti war movement against NATO, war and militarisation and for planning future joint actions across Europe. The conferences highlighted that it was the US and its big power allies along with their criminal military alliance of NATO that is behind the mayhem and destruction and war in every part of the globe.
These protests culminated in a march on Celtic Manor on September 4 and a protest action outside the Cardiff Caste where the NATO leaders were hosted to a banquet, popularly referred to by the protestors as the "banquet of death". Nearly 2500 people participated in the march. They carried placards and raised slogans such as "Welfare, not warfare!", "Nuclear NATO No Thanks" and "Stop NATO". Protestors denounced NATO as a launch pad to a dangerous global conflict. They also linked NATO's war preparations to the austerity measures that are being imposed on them by the governments of their countries. Protestors demanded that their governments spend on the people rather on building up their war machinery.
These protests are a clear indication of the fact that the working class and people of Britain are deadly opposed to the warmongering plans of the US and British imperialists and their allies and their attempts to embroil the people in different parts of the world in devastating military conflicts, to further their own aims. The working class of Britain is refusing to become cannon-fodder to satisfy the greed of the imperialist powers and is demanding that the resources produced by the toiling people everywhere be deployed for their well being, rather on the destructive war machinery.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar hails the British working class and the anti war movement of Britain for these courageous actions.