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    No to NATO! No to War! Abolish NATO Now!

    By Alison Bodine

    NATO will be 'welcomed' with banners, picket signs, loud voices and marching feet!

    Demands of No to NATO! No to War! will soon fill the streets of Chicago as people from the U.S and around the world gather in protest at the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), May 20th-21st.

    At the same time, within the walls of the Summit, leaders representing the 28 NATO member countries are meeting to discuss the best way to move forward with their increasing attacks on oppressed people, focusing on the brutal NATO occupation of Afghanistan. NATO leaders may make their plans in the name of 'mutual defense and security' but people outside of the Summit walls know that these words are only a cover for more death and destruction. They know NATO and it's terrible and bloody history of foreign intervention, wars and occupations in the interest of imperialism.

    NATO is responsible for the destruction and break-up of Yugoslavia in the late 1990's. It has led the over 10 year occupation of Afghanistan that has made that country the most dangerous country in the world to be a a woman, with the high maternal mortality rates and near total lack of economic rights for women. Only one year ago, NATO initiated a so-called no-fly zone over Libya that paved the way for a massive bombing campaign and complete destruction of that sovereign country. Now NATO is lining up for conflict with Russia, as member countries face increasing competition with other powerful states as they look for new markets and resources to try save their crumbling economies. These are the reasons that the NATO Summit is being welcomed to Chicago with banners, picket signs and the loud voices of people standing up for a world of peace and justice, not war, occupation and austerity.

    Dozens of events, from concerts to forums and discussions to protests in the street, are being organized both during the NATO Summit and in the week leading up to it. In fact, activists first began to arrive in Chicago May 12th and 13th for a 'People's Summit,” two days of educational workshops, plenaries and discussions to talk about NATO, the G8 and how to organize for a better world. The G8 is a meeting of the eight biggest economies in the world also taking place in the U.S. during this week, in Camp David, Maryland. The 'People's Summit' was organized by Occupy Chicago and CANG8, a coalition of antiwar, social justice and labour organizations.

    Then, on May 20th, the opening day of the NATO Summit will be met with a massive protest also organized by CANG8, whose members have spent the last nine months engaged in a massive outreach and educational campaign calling on people to come to Chicago. The May 20th protest includes a musical program, as well as speakers from many prominent antiwar and social justice organizations. The protest culminates with a march to the NATO Summit and an ending rally organized by Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW).

    It is not only people from Chicago coming out onto the streets during the NATO Summit, they will be joined by people from all over the U.S. and around the world. Given that NATO is an international organization, it is even more important that international antiwar movement unite and join together in protests to demand an end to NATO, especially those from NATO member countries.

    At the time of this article, people are confirmed to be in Chicago from Europe, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Latin America and Asia, as well as all over US. This includes a contingent going to Chicago from Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), Vancouver's antiwar coalition. MAWO, which has been involved in CANG8 since their formation in August of 2010, was also asked to a have speaker during the main rally program, and co-chair Alison Bodine will take the stage as a guest speaker with other speakers to denounce the participation of the government of Canada in NATO and to demand that NATO be abolished.

    The wars, occupations and destruction caused NATO will not come to a screeching halt with the protest of tens of thousands in Chicago. NATO will only end with consistent and unified actions between people and organizations all over the world.

    No to NATO!
    No to War!
    Abolish NATO Now!

    For more information about actions being organized in Chicago visit the CANG8 website: cang8.org"

    To find out how you can support the actions in Chicago from here in Vancouver, contact Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) at

    www.mawovancouver.org or

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