News Advisory | Minnesotans going to protest at NATO summit in Chicago to hold news conference

For release: Friday, May 18, 2012 

Minnesotans going to protest at NATO summit in Chicago to hold news conference:

Friday, May 18 at 3:00 pm

News conference: “Why we are going to protest in Chicago”
Mayday Bookstore
301 Cedar Ave. South, West Bank, Minneapolis
Speakers to include: 
Meredith Aby, member, Anti-War Committee; Sarah Martin, member, Women Against Military Madness;
Coleen Rowley, FBI whistleblower and peace activist; and Angel Buechner, member, Welfare Rights Committee.
Each speaker will make brief comments and be available to answer questions.
Minnesotans will load into buses to Chicago on Saturday to protest NATO summit:
Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 pm
Two buses will leave Minneapolis for Chicago carrying 100 Minnesotans to the
anti-war protest outside the NATO summit. St. Joan of Arc Church parking lot,
4537 3rd Ave. South in Minneapolis
This coming weekend, Minnesotans will join thousands of others in 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 to human needs not war.
One of the main agenda items for the NATO summit will be the war in Afghanistan.
Organizers of the Minnesotan delegation to the Chicago protest say in a statement, “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.’”
Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee explained, “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.”
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 have 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 Sunday 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 Sunday 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.