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Join us to say ‘No to Nato’

RECENTLY, in reporting on the diversion of the Belarusian aircraft, an ITV commentator said of Nato that it was “seen as the world’s policeman.” 

So let us unpick that phrase. First, “the world’s” — and therefore global. 

From the time at the end of the cold war when Nato began to expand its membership to include the former Soviet states up to the Russian border, to in more recent years making agreements with countries around the Pacific and even venturing into Latin America, Nato has been expanding.  

And any shred of the concept of the North Atlantic area has been lost.  

But it isn’t really global in the sense it doesn’t include Russia or China. 

Those two countries are now “enemies.” And one might as well translate “global” as US — as Washington has always dominated Nato’s policies.

Then there is the word “policeman.” There are in the world some vicious police forces working on behalf of oppressive governments, but I don’t know of one which is nuclear-armed, with a policy of using those weapons first.  

Nato is a military alliance, not a police force, and is armed with nuclear weapons, including the so-called British (in reality, the US’s) nuclear-armed Trident submarines which are “integrated” into Nato.  

In the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Britain signed in 1968, nuclear-armed states were committed to reducing their nuclear arsenal, in “good faith.”

In defiance of the treaty and international law, Boris Johnson has stated that his government would raise the cap on the warheads on the missiles on the Trident submarines, to increase from 180 to 260 — in effect rearming, not disarming, and thus it is with Nato.  

You don’t need to be an apologist for the regimes in Russia or China to see how provocative Nato’s actions are. 

As recently as June 1, the French Mouvement de la Paix reported seeing four US B-52 bombers flying over Paris escorted by two French Dassault Rafale aircraft, as part of a Nato show of force. 

Defender 21 is one of the largest Nato-led military exercises in Europe in decades across 30 training areas. 

In response Russia deployed troops to its western border. Also this year will see a reinforcement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in Portugal, Romania, and the Steadfast Defender 21 in Bulgaria and Hungary.  

Norwegian campaign group Stopp Nato warns of increased tensions in the high north and nuclear threats in the Arctic. 

Coming to Britain in September will be Dynamic Marine 21 which will test Nato’s Response Force Maritime component, and Joint Warrior 21, preparing participants to operate as a joint task force. And these are only a few of the military exercises taking place this year.

But activists are preparing for the Stop Nato 2021 event — to say there is no place for Nato in the world of peace and social justice we want to build, and they are inviting us all to discuss the alternatives in a counter-summit. 

There will be a series of virtual meetings starting on Sunday June 13 from 2pm to 5.30pm, with the theme “Global Nato: a Threat to Peace” and featuring speakers from Belgium, Britain, Spain, the US/Hawaii, Venezuela/Colombia, Germany and France. There will be protest actions in Brussels itself on June 13. 

On Monday June 14 from noon to 1.30pm there will be a session on “The Dissolution of Nato —  for Solidarity, Sustainability and Disarmament,” with speakers Sean Conner (US), Kate Hudson (UK CND), Tamara Lorincz from Canada Women for Peace and Quique Sanchez from Barcelona.  

Also on Monday June 14 from 4pm to 6pm there will be session of “Protest Greetings Against Nato,” with 29 speakers from across the world speaking for two minutes each.

And there will be a Twitter storm with hashtags #NotoNATO #NATODangerToPeace. Do join in protest if you can.

To register go to mstar.link/Nato and for more information visit www.no-to-nato.org.

Read More: Join us to say ‘No to Nato’

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