Wednesday, August 17

Thousands of people demonstrate against NATO in the capital three days before the Madrid Summit




Accompanied by the good weather in the capital, 23°C, thousands of people have protested this Sunday against the NATO Summit which will be held in Madrid on June 29 and 30. The presence at the demonstration of the leader of the PCE, Henry Santiago, had generated a stir because as Secretary of State he is still a senior official of the same government that hosts the meeting of the Atlantic Alliance. His role, however, has been testimonial. He has joined the demonstration when he had already started, he has been placed at the head of the PCE just enough to have his photo taken and he has left the march long before its conclusion.

Despite the fact that the anti-militarist and anti-NATO demands are shared throughout the space of United We Canin the coalition have opted for a low profile so as not to stress the Government with the PSOE.

The general secretary of the PCE, Enrique Santiago
The general secretary of the PCE, Enrique Santiago – PCE

Podemos has not even attended and Izquierda Unida has left the leading role in its federal spokesperson, Sira Rego, who has claimed the participation of IU, far behind the main header, for its «DNA» in favor of «the culture of peace». The presence of Yolanda Díaz, Ione Belarra, Irene Montero and Alberto Garzón would have been too difficult for Pedro Sánchez to digest, even more so given the importance of this summit for the Atlantic Alliance due to the war in Ukraine caused by the invasion of Russia of Vladimir Putin.

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The most awaited presence

In the PCE delegation, just behind IU, a coalition of which the communist party is a part, there were deputies like Miguel Ángel Bustamante and MEPs like Manuel Pineda. But the most anticipated and most significant presence was that of SantiagoSecretary of State for the 2030 Agenda, who has come with sunglasses and little desire for prominence.

Beyond the political key, where this legislature there has been significant friction between PSOE and United We Can on account of sending weapons to Ukraine, the demonstration has passed with absolute tranquility, between Atocha and Plaza España, and a slow progress. Néstor Rego, deputy of the BNG, headed the Galician nationalism section, also opposed to NATO.

Juan Casillas
Juan Casillas

In a festive atmosphere, there have been pacifist and antimilitarist chants who asked to dissolve the Atlantic Alliance, allocate Defense money to education and health, and end “border” and immigration control.

have also been given chants against the government, especially against the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, for jumping the fence to Melilla where at least twenty-three immigrants have died this week. “Grande-Marlaska, you jump the fence.”

Songs against the EU and the Executive

At the height of Cibeles, although Ukrainian flags accompany the Spanish ones that surround the goddess, there have also been chants against the European Union (EU). “The EU kills, NATO finishes off”.

Isolated protesters have branded the Executive as “hypocritical, racist and imperialist.” A discordant note between the classics, «NATO, no», «bases out» and “military expenses, for schools and hospitals”.

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Juan Casillas
Juan Casillas

The communist youth, in a tone that contrasts with the message that the protest sought to convey, called for sending “the powers” to “the stake.” But there has been no hint of an incident and the extensive police deployment has been a mere witness to the protest. Performances by La Otra and Alicia Ramos at the end of the march, with a final climax from the organizers: “No to war, yes to peace.”

According to the organization, 30,000 demonstrators have supported the protest. The Government Delegation lowers attendance to 2,200. A usual war in figures that there is no song for peace that mitigates..

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