Posted on May 13, 2012 by FightBack! News
Minneapolis, MN – This coming weekend, Minnesotans will fill two buses headed for Chicago to participate in an anti-war march and rally outside the NATO summit meeting on Sunday, May 20.
The NATO summit is set for May 20-21 in Chicago.
The Chicago anti-war protest will greet the NATO summit meeting with a call to end the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan and to call for funds for human needs, not war.
A main topic of the meetings of the NATO summit will be the war in Afghanistan.
A statement issued by organizers of the Minnesotan delegation to the Chicago protest says in part, “While the NATO leaders look for ways to continue the war and occupation of Afghanistan, thousands of people will be in the streets of Chicago to say ‘get out of Afghanistan now.’”
The buses from Minneapolis will leave at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 from the parking lot of Saint Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Avenue S in Minneapolis. The buses will drive through the night to arrive in Chicago in time for the protest.
Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee said, “Going on the buses from Minneapolis will be a cross section of Minnesotans, students, working people, low-income families, long time activists and people attending their first major anti-war protest.”
In addition to the people riding the buses, organizers understand that many Minnesotans are planning their own transportation to the Chicago event. “The people on the bus are only a portion of the people from Minnesota who intend on bringing an anti-war message to the door of the NATO summit. People need jobs, education, housing and health care, not billions for war and occupation,” said Steph Taylor of Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota.
The recent agreement signed by President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, “Is not about ending the war, the agreement actually lays the basis for thousands of U.S. and other foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan until 2024. Despite what the politicians are telling us, U.S. troops are not leaving Afghanistan any time soon unless people demand an end to the war,” said Sarah Martin of Women Against Military Madness.
Martin continued, “Many of the people going to Chicago have been part of the Occupy movement. We understand that NATO is really the armed force of the 1%. NATO conducts wars and interventions, not in the interests of the 99%, but in support of corporate economic and political interests.”
In order to have the march and rally at the NATO summit, anti-war organizers in Chicago and around the country carried out an ongoing campaign of letters, statements and other public pressure to defend the right to protest, including a months-long effort to secure a permit for the May 20 march and rally.
“The Sunday protest is an opportunity for all people to come together and exercise our civil liberties and call for an end to the war and occupation,” said Aby.
In addition to opposing the war in Afghanistan, the protest will speak out against the threat of a new war against Iran.
A wide range of organizations from across the U.S. have endorsed the May 20 anti-war event in Chicago, including peace, anti-war, student, labor as well as many groups started as part of the Occupy movement.