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A coalition of 39 national peace and social justice groups have organized a summit where they hope to envision “an alternative future without NATO.” The Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice takes place Friday and Saturday at the People’s Church on Lawrence Ave. German activist Reiner Braun, a noted speaker and representative of Germany’s peace movement since 1982, is in town to speak at the counter-summit.
If Obama campaigns on ending the Iraq War and “winding down” Afghanistan, it will only accelerate the march to the exits. No one wants to be the last American soldier to die, or the last Western country to suffer casualties, in an unwinnable, unaffordable war that Americans do not much care about.
“NATO has bet it future” on Afghanistan. Tom Hayden says its a bad bet. Tom Hayden has a 50 year career as a peace and justice activist, politician, and author. He has been a leading voice for ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. He will be speaking on the Friday May 18 evening plenary at the Counter-Summit for Peace & Economic Justice in Chicago.
Friday May 18 Media Advisory: Network for a NATO Free Future Convenes Counter-Summit in Chicago. U.S., Global Activists, Veterans Meet to Map NATO Alternatives, End Afghanistan War.
PHILADELPHIA (May 14, 2012) – Two hundred leading peace and justice activists from the U.S., Europe and around the globe are coming to Chicago this week to campaign for the end of the Afghanistan war and the retirement of NATO.
“It is both ironic and tragic that the media attention around the upcoming NATO summit has focused on the potential violence of some protesters, while ignoring the last 10 years of actual violence of the alliance meeting here,” said Michael McConnell, 65, a regional director for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization. The pacifist Christian group will house protesters as well as legal and medical teams at its headquarters during the summit weekend.
Who are the groups that are organizing the anti-NATO protests — and what do they want? Speaking at Occupy Chicago’s East Pilsen headquarters Thursday, leading faces from the coalition of left-wing activists, unions, military veterans, peace campaigners, mental health advocates, musicians and other groups introduced themselves and explained the issues they’re fighting for.
NATO should be retired, not re-purposed. Its Cold War-era rationale has ended, and we shouldn’t continue to funnel human and economic resources toward a military alliance that has outlived its purpose. President Obama, the pro-peace majority in this county wants to take a different path.