On Sunday, August 28th organizers from across the country are meeting in Chicago to plan major protests at the joint G8/NATO summit in May. Fourteen Twin Cities activists from the Anti-War Committee, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and U of M Students for a Democratic Society will be at the conference to bring experience and lessons from organizing protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Twin Cities activists are also planning to organize hundreds of people from Minnesota to travel to Chicago in May to protest the first joint meeting of the G8 and NATO in Chicago.
Chicago will host the NATO/G8 summit from May 15-22nd. NATO is the US-commanded and financed 28-nation military alliance. There will also be a summit of the G-8 world powers. The meetings are expected to draw heads of state, generals, and countless others. A national coalition is forming to organize protests at the beginning and end of the summit on May 15th and 19th.
Meredith Aby, from the Anti-War Committee, explains, “NATO has been a leading force for war in Afghanistan and Libya. Similarly, the G8’s austerity measures have been a recipe for poverty across the globe and its pain and misery is making the global recession worse. We are seizing the opportunity of this historic meeting of these two organizations to say money for human needs not war.”
“People from Minnesota are overwhelmingly anti-war and are tired of having their tax dollars wasted on killing people on the other side of the world while their families don’t have access to the quality of education, healthcare and other services that they need. People from around the country and the Midwest in particular will travel to Chicago in May to demand an end to NATO warfare and G8 enforced poverty. And we’ll be ready to help them get there!” Aby continued.
Aby and Tracy Molm, whose Minneapolis homes were raided by the FBI last fall as a part of an investigation of the peace movement, will both be speaking at the conference. Aby will be speaking on lessons learned from organizing anti-war protests at the 2008 RNC in St. Paul and Molm will address the importance of defending civil liberties during national security events.