Protests being organized for NATO Summit in Madrid in June
In response to the deepening crisis in Ukraine and threat of war, the World Peace Council (WPC) has issued a call for global action. “The peace-loving people and forces in the world should denounce and condemn the imperialist war rhetoric and plans, demand the withdrawal of the NATO troops from the region around the Ukraine, and the de-escalation of the situation from all sides.”
The escalating tensions in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe are primarily the result of NATO’s eastward expansion. This includes a massive deployment of troops from the Baltic Sea to Bulgaria, creating a belt to encircle the Russian Federation. The WPC notes the connection between NATO’s expansion and that of the European Union. “Since the coup d’état of 2014 in Kiev and the takeover of the government by reactionary and pro-Nazi forces sponsored by the US, NATO and the European Union, NATO has been planning and implementing its further expansion aiming at the integration of the Ukraine into the biggest war machine which has committed wars, crimes and coups throughout its history.”
In recent years, NATO has become increasingly aggressive and is more openly advocating that position. At its 2016 Summit in Warsaw, the military alliance declared it was prepared to launch a nuclear strike against its opponents. It has held a number of huge joint military exercises with its member states including the annual Defender Europe exercise, which last year focused explicitly on countries bordering Russia. The WPC warns that, through its new NATO 2030 strategy, NATO is “ferociously escalating the tensions and opening a real danger of a regional war which could lead to a war of global dimensions.”
The WPC also warns that present conflicts and wars have at their heart the imperialist drive for control of raw materials, energy resources and roads, for the profits and markets and for the control of spheres of influence of powerful states.” The Council points to global military spending as an example of injustice that arises from this situation. “The more than $1.7 trillion USD global military spending annually (40 percent of which is by the US alone) on the one hand, and the 820 million people suffering from hunger in the world on the other, show clearly the injustice of the world today, dominated by the imperialist system.” The organization notes that the global health pandemic has shone a light on this injustice, particularly in terms of “how the access of the peoples in many countries – especially in Africa – to vaccination and medicine is being handled by the multinational pharmaceutical corporations and the respective governments.”
The deepening crisis and increased military buildup in Ukraine are driving huge increases in fuel and natural gas prices. This has had heavy consequences for the day-to-day lives of people in the region – and throughout Europe – while providing huge profits for the energy corporations.
The WPC also notes that the drive to war is accompanied by “an ideological campaign to rewrite history, [a campaign] in which the European Union plays a leading role by equating reactionary fascist, Nazi theories and actions with the ones that stood up and defeated these forces seven decades ago.”
Since it was formed in 1949, the World Peace Council has opposed imperialist war and militarism and defended the struggles of the peoples of the world for peace and social and economic justice. From its founding days, it has called for NATO’s dissolution and supported the campaigns of peace movements in NATO states for their withdrawal from the aggressive alliance.
In addition to campaigning against the drive to war in Ukraine, the Council is preparing for the NATO Summit in Madrid this summer. “The WPC is committed to the struggle against NATO and will actively participate with our partners at the anti-NATO actions in Madrid on 29 – 30 June 2022 with its distinct presence and, as in previous occasions, will organize its own events under the banner of ‘Yes to Peace – No to NATO.’”
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