A long procession made up of convoys bringing together left-wing activists, anti-capitalists, anti-globalizationists, ecologists, feminists, communists or even movements such as “Fridays for Future” and “Extinction Rebellion” marched calmly and under heavy police escort in order to denounce the holding the next meeting of the organization in Madrid from June 28 to 30.
There was no member of the government from the radical left, member of the government coalition, with the exception of the communist Enrique Santiago, the secretary of state for the 2030 Agenda (in charge of the implementation of the development goals sustainable), the other ministers and Podemos figures preferring to keep a low profile two days before the summit.
Among the slogans chanted by the demonstrators often returned “No to war, no to NATO!”, while several helicopters flew over the procession on one of the main avenues of the capital.
The placards read: ‘Make peace, not war’, ‘Enough military spending, give to schools and hospitals’ alongside an image of a crying woman from Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica , one of the most famous canvases in the world, which became a plea against the war.
Still others proclaimed “we don’t pay for your wars” or “Dissolution of armies, Degrowth, No war between peoples, No peace between (social) classes”.
David Llorente, 45, who works in an association explains that he is present to protest against “NATO, created during the war, in the service of American imperialism, which continues to exist without having made it possible to maintain peace”.
For this anti-capitalist militant, the Atlantic Alliance “promotes war, the arms trade” and “Spain’s foreign policy increases military costs instead of increasing social and health expenditure”.
Virginia Cadiz, 74, also wants to protest “forty years later, again, against NATO: they promised us that we were not going to enter it”, she explains, referring to the date of entry of Spain in the Alliance in the early 1980s.
For this woman who defines herself as an anti-militarist, this summit is only “money, weapons and death”.
According to the organizers, 30,000 people took part in the demonstration while the Madrid prefecture mentioned only 2,200 people.
Hostess of the NATO summit next week, Madrid will be placed under high security with a total of 10,000 law enforcement officers deployed for this meeting, which will be attended by American President Joe Biden, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. and the heads of government of the United Kingdom and Germany, Boris Johnson and Olaf Scholz.
This summit will be dominated by the question of the Russian threat and by the invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24 by President Vladimir Putin.