Anti-NATO crowds march through Warsaw amid alliance summit (VIDEO)
Protests have taken place in Warsaw with members of the public angry the Polish capital is hosting a NATO summit. A few hundred demonstrators gathered in the city to march towards the national stadium where the conference was taking place.
Some of the protesters were carrying placards, such as “Stop NATO, Stop the War” and “Yankees, go home” as they marched from Charles de Gaulle Monument towards the national stadium.
LIVE: Anti-NATO protest in Warsaw, Poland https://t.co/qBj5jKqAZn#WSEF16pic.twitter.com/dbJUr3huXz— RT (@RT_com) July 9, 2016
“There were over 300 of us, which is not bad at all given the torrential rain and the circumstances. Everyone is in great spirits and we almost got to where we wanted. The demonstration is over,” a member of the international group No to War – No to NATO, Rainer Braun told RIA Novosti.
Ann Wright, a retired US State Department official was one of those taking part in the protest. She told RT that she believes it is time for the alliance to stop putting the blame constantly on Moscow.
“I think there are cracks in this NATO demonization of Russia and it is good because we need to lessen the tensions between NATO, the US and Russia," she said.
Activists from Poland, Russia, the US, the UK and Germany amongst others all took part in the demonstration. Their march through the Polish capital followed a conference held by anti-war campaigners in the city on Friday.
The three-day ‘Anti-NATO Summit’ has brought together activists from Poland, the Czech Republic, France, the US, Belgium, Britain and other countries under the motto: “No to War! No to NATO! No to militarism!”
The counter-forum to the NATO summit intends to discuss a range of topics, including the growth of military spending, the expansion of nuclear arsenals, relations between NATO and the EU, the European refugee crisis and the deployment of US missile defense components on European territory.
“Neither the Russians nor the Poles need the current arms race because in case of war, ordinary people will suffer, not the people who are making the decisions behind a tall fence at the NATO summit,” the leader of the Polish Stop the War Initiative Philip Ilkovsky told TASS.
A demonstration has also taken place in Sofia with opponents of NATO demanding that Bulgaria leaves the alliance immediately. The members of the “Leave NATO Now” coalition also want the organization to stop “provocation” and expansion towards Russia’s borders, and to put an end to the missile defense system, which Moscow believes is aimed at Russia.
“The deployment of the four battalions to the four countries is very dangerous. I think increasing the budget that each of the nations has to contribute is very dangerous and undercuts the social network of each of those countries. The deployment of the missile defense systems is very destabilizing,” Wright mentioned, speaking to RT.
On Thursday, thousands of protesters gathered in the Greek capital Athens to condemn the Warsaw NATO summit.
The Greek Committee for International Peace, trade unions, feminist groups, students and other organizations all took part in the march.
Thanasis Pafilis, a member of parliament for the Greek Communist Party, told the assembled protesters: "A fact we should know is that about 200 generals and admirals of Hitler's fascist army joined NATO's administration. This proves that fascism is a genuine child of imperialism, capitalism and nothing else."