May 20-21 in Chicago, delegates from the 28 NATO countries will gather to make plans for the 63-year-old military alliance. Peace and justice activists from around the country and the globe will be there too.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the main imperialist military force in the world today, being the vehicle for war and occupation in Afghanistan and Libya and beyond. Though it is an "alliance" it is an unequal one. The U.S. government has long used NATO as a tool of its military goals, originally to challenge the Soviet Union and the socialist countries and now to expand its geopolitical power and influence.
Despite being a Cold War relic and claiming to be a defensive alliance for Europe, NATO today continues its expansion in Eastern Europe, threatening Russia as well as pushing into Africa, Asia and elsewhere.
NATO is not a protector of peace, but an aggressive force that reinforces militarism, wars and military spending at a time when the U.S. and the world needs peace, real diplomacy and domestic spending for human needs more than ever. Working people demand peace not war.
That is why the Communist Party is joining with other organizations and thousands of individuals to protest the NATO Summit and participate in the Counter-Summit for Peace & Economic Justice the same weekend. The Counter-Summit will pose an alternative to the continued war and militarism promised by NATO.
It is long past time for NATO to end and for the U.S. to change its foreign policy to one of peace, diplomacy and international friendship. No to NATO!
Below is a list of some of the activities next week that we will be participating in.
We hope to see you in Chicago.
Counter-Summit for Peace & Economic Justice
May 18-19, 2012
People's Church, 941 W Lawrence, Chicago, Illinois
The NATO Counter-Summit is sponsored by the Network for a NATO-Free Future, a coalition of thirty U.S., Canadian and European peace, economic and social justice organizations.
There will be 28 workshops and panels at the Counter-Summit as well as an impressive list of prominent speakers. We encourage everyone to attend. Register today!
One great reason to attend is a very special workshop we are participating in:
A New Economy is Possible: Jobs & Economic Justice vs. Militarism
sponsored by People Before Profits Education Fund
Friday, May 18, 1:00-2:45pm
The current economic and jobs crisis and the structural inequality in the economy highlight more than ever the costs of militarism and war. In the NATO countries unions, community organizations, student groups and new social movements are responding in dynamic ways to the needs and demands of working people. From Occupy Wall Street, to the Republic Windows Take-over here in Chicago, to the anti-austerity struggles in Europe, the people are pushing back against the 1% and their policies that balance budgets on the backs of the 99% and prioritize military spending over human needs.
Moderator: Libero Della Piana
Panel: Vijay Prashad, author "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter"
Terrie Albano, People's World
Pierre Villard, Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Bamshad Mobasher, A New New Deal Project
Protests Against War, Militarism and Austerity
National Nurses United: March to Tax Wall Street & Heal the America
Friday, May 18, NOON, Daley Plaza or Petrillo Bandshell (see note below)
The Nurses United union and dozens of labor and justice organizations are gathering for a massive march to call on taxing Wall Street and building an economy for the 99%. The March to Heal America will demand a "Robin Hood Tax" to provide for essential services such as healthcare.NOTE: The city of Chicago unjustly cancelled this march's permit this week. They are negotiating for a possible new location. Watch their website for updates.
CANG8: Protest NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda
Sunday, May 20, NOON, Petrillo Bandshell
A mass protest rally and march organized by the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda. Featuring musical performance by Tom Morello and many speakers. Join the Communist Party contingent. Look for our banner on the east side of Petrillo Bandshell near Lakeshore Blvd.
Iraq Veterans Against the War: Unity March for Justice & Reconciliation
Sunday, May 20, 3:00PM, Michigan Ave. & E. Cermak Rd. (following march above)
Supported by thousands, Afghanistan and Iraq veterans will march to NATO Summit to ceremoniously return their military service medals in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. IVAW especially calls on military veterans from all conflicts to support and assist.
Live Video Broadcast
NATO Summit & Counter-Summit: Two Visions for the Planet
The CPUSA live video broadcast this month will be dedicated to the NATO Summit, Counter-Summit and the protests in Chicago.
Libero Della Piana, National Vice-Chair of the Communist Party USA will make a brief presentation about the history and role of NATO, the anti-NATO protests planned for Chicago and an alternative vision to NATO war and militarism. Questions can be submitted live during the event.
Thurs, May 177:00PM Eastern
To watch, simply visit cpusa.org/live at that date and time