No. 6July 12, 2023
NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania
Actions in Canada and Quebec Say “Not in Our Name” to U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine
Pickets, rallies and other actions took place in a number of cities across Canada to oppose the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania being held July 11-12. The actions called on Canadians to speak out to oppose the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the Canadian government’s warmongering, demand that Canada get out of NATO and that Canada be made a zone for peace.
Picket at NATO Association of Canada Toronto Office
Anti-war activists held a noon-hour picket at the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) headquarters in Toronto on Friday, July 7 to call attention to and oppose the upcoming NATO Summit. The picket was held at the same time the NAOC was hosting an online discussion to promote the upcoming Summit with Estonia’s Ambassador to Canada, Margus Rava, Latvia’s Ambassador to Canada, Kaspars Ozoli and Lithuania’s Ambassador to Canada, Darius Skusevicius as guest speakers. All three diplomats are on record for championing Ukraine’s membership in NATO and lobbying for additional armaments and military aid from Canada to support Ukraine in the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia.
The activists from the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist Leninist) and Pax Christi called attention to the role of the NAOC in legitimizing and promoting the warmongering aims of NATO in Canada. They distributed the leaflet entitled “Oppose Escalation of U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine! Negotiate a Peaceful Resolution NOW!” to passers-by, many of whom took it and expressed appreciation for the action. Many drivers in trucks and cars passing by also gave the thumbs-up when they saw the placards. The response to the picket was a clear indication that many Canadians want Canada to get out of NATO and be a factor for peace in the world.
Picket at U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, July 8
Vigorous Picket in Montreal
On Saturday, July 8, dozens of anti-war activists took part in an energetic picket called by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec to oppose the escalation of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine. For over an hour, in front of the busy Mont-Royal metro station, they said No! to U.S./NATO War Preparations! Get Canada Out of NATO! and Let’s Make Canada and Quebec a Zone of Peace!
Statements opposing the escalation of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine were distributed to the many passers-by with many stopping to express support. Many gave a thumbs-up in support of the demands. The most common comment was “Well done, it’s important to do what you’re doing.”
Several people stopped to oppose the reporting in the monopolized media, making comments such as “They’re inundating us with information and would like us to swallow everything they say about Ukraine; it won’t work” and “I’ve always had the impression from the start of reporting on Ukraine that there’s something suspicious and you’re right to denounce them.” A man from Bulgaria said: “I’ve seen millions of people forced to leave Bulgaria since the 1990s. It’s these powerful, immensely wealthy people in the U.S. and Europe who are pulling the strings and are the cause of everything that’s happening now in Ukraine. Don’t give up!”
Several people, including a group of young people, were keen to have their photo taken with the banners, flags or placards.
Lively Public Forum in Toronto, July 8
A lively and informative discussion organized by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oppose the NATO Vilnius Summit took place in downtown Toronto on Saturday, July 8. The public forum was characterized by very militant opposition to any further escalation of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, for a negotiated peaceful settlement and for the disbanding of the aggressive U.S. imperialist NATO military bloc all together.
Four well prepared presentations were given. The first presentation was made on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee by Nick Lin dealing with how the talk of peace negotiations is used to distract attention from the U.S./NATO aim to prolong the proxy war in Ukraine and from destructive self-serving measures being taken by Canada. Steve Rutchinski then spoke, also on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee, addressing in some detail what was to be expected from the agenda of the Vilnius NATO Summit. Aidan Patterson, Chair of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity Organization reported on the experience of youth from Toronto who participated in the protest in Ottawa against CANSEC, the annual “trade show” of the biggest arms dealers and warmongers. The final presentation was made by Javier Jardeleza of Migrante Ontario who gave an informative overview of the Filipino people’s heroic fight for national liberation since the time of colonization, their current struggle against U.S. domination of their homeland, and the military significance of the Philippines to the U.S. in its drive to dominate the Asia-Pacific.
Following the main presentations many others contributed to the discussion during the open mic further enriching the discussion. Many expressed appreciation for the meeting organized to create a space for discussion and to exchange views and experiences and called for more such forums to be organized in the coming period.
Picket in Vancouver, July 8
Picket in Windsor, July 9
On Sunday July 9 an anti-war picket was held in Windsor to oppose escalation of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the upcoming Vilnius Summit. Calls were also given for the immediate negotiation of a peace deal to end the war, for Canada to get out of NATO and for NATO to be dismantled.
At the picket as well as at an earlier action on June 23 and during the weeks in between some 350 leaflets containing a statement of the Windsor Peace Coalition titled “Oppose U.S./NATO Escalation of Proxy War in Ukraine!” were given out to passersby and at the Downtown Farmers’ Market and at the University of Windsor. The statement was invariably received with interest, with many people expressing the opinion themselves that Canada should not be squandering public resources to fuel a dangerous U.S.-led proxy war at the expense of the Ukrainian people that Canadians had no part in approving. Several made a point of saying Canada should, like many other countries representing the majority of the world’s peoples, be working to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict instead of prolonging it and risking a wider all-out war.
Rally at U.S. Consulate in Toronto, July 9
Anti-war activists in Toronto held a rally across from the U.S. Consulate on July 9. They denounced the Canadian government for pouring fuel on the fire of that conflict by stepping up arms delivery and “training” of the Ukrainian military, and embroiling the Canadian people further into that conflict that could easily escalate into a war that would engulf Europe and the world. Speakers demanded an end to the war and denounced the plans of the U.S./NATO bloc to further militarize NATO member countries and boost support for the war at the NATO Summit at Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11 and 12. The participants chanted slogans such as Canada Out of NATO! No to War! Dismantle NATO! and Canada Out of Ukraine and pledged to step up their efforts to inform and engage their peers to strengthen the movement against the U.S./NATO warmongers and demand that Canada uphold the principles of the UN Charter.
Picket in Calgary, July 11
On July 11, anti-war forces in Calgary held an action to inform Calgarians about the Vilnius NATO summit and call on them to oppose the U.S./NATO proxy war and Canada’s warmongering. The action began by the war memorial and bridge, where commuters cross on their way home to the north and west, then walked along the river path to the Peace Bridge. Information was provided to passers-by many of whom stopped to discuss questions such as the significance of dismantling NATO and the proxy war in Ukraine. Participants decided to organize another information action in August.
Picket in Edmonton, July 11
Actions in Europe and Asia Oppose NATO and Its Expansion
Global Women for Peace United Against NATO Events in Brussels, Belgium
From July 6 to 9, an event called Global Women for Peace United Against NATO was held in Brussels, Belgium, where NATO headquarters are located.
On July 6, a delegation of women rallied outside the European Parliament to say No to NATO, Peace Now and No Nuclear War and to present the Women’s Declaration for Peace to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). To read the declaration, click here.
Inside, women MEPs spoke out against NATO’s continuation and escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. One woman MEP from Germany said, “We want peace in Ukraine. We need a political solution to the conflict but NATO’s strategy is instead to prolong it. I don’t want Ukraine in 30 years to be in the same situation as Afghanistan.” Another woman MEP from Ireland, remarking on NATO’s attempts to brand itself as feminist, stated, “There can be no route for peace and equality through bombs and war. The only feminist NATO is a disbanded NATO!”
Seminars were held throughout the day on July 7 and 8, such as:
– NATO/U.S. Threats and Consequences
– Global NATO or Global Peace?
– NATO in the Asia Pacific
– NATO in Latin America
– Stopping U.S. and Canada’s Participation in NATO’s wars
Also on July 7, activists handed over the Women’s Declaration for Peace at NATO headquarters, and later held a protest at Albertine-Square under the theme “Invest in Peace.”
Activists Across UK Hold Day of Action for Peace Talks to End War
Anti-war activists took to the streets across Britain as part of Stop the War Coalition’s Day of Action For Peace in Ukraine on July 8, in the lead-up to NATO’s Vilnius Summit.
The Stop the War Coalition reported, “From the Durham Miners’ Gala to the south coast of Dorset, cities and towns up and down the land hosted Stop the War activists making the argument for peace.” The actions had three demands – for Russian troops to get out of Ukraine; no to NATO expansion; welfare not warfare.
Protest in Paris, France
A march was held in Paris on July 8 to oppose NATO and France’s membership in the aggressive alliance.
Protest in Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgarians marched in the streets of the capital Sofia on July 11 to oppose their government’s support for Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, and for their country to take a neutral stance in the Ukraine conflict. Protesters also directed slogans against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Protest in Tokyo, Japan
Japanese people rallied on July 11 in Tokyo, opposing their Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s attendance at NATO’s Vilnius Summit. This is the second consecutive year that the Japanese PM has attended the NATO summit.
Protesters held banners that read “No Wars” and “No to revision of the Constitution,” and chanted slogans to oppose the Japanese government’s remilitarization, including its massive increase in military spending and its deepening relations with NATO, giving the latter an opening to operate far outside its stated area of operations in the North Atlantic and increasing the danger of war.
“What did Japan do during World War II? It imposed colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula and launched aggressive wars against China. The Kishida government hosted the G7 summit in May and now is participating in the NATO summit. They did not do it to protect their own country. “People around the world are now opposing war and as Japanese citizens, we should also voice against it,” one of the protesters said.
“NATO is a transatlantic organization, and Japan locates far away from the region where conflicts are currently happening. Now Japan wants to make the long journey to attend the NATO summit and even set up a NATO liaison office in the country. Why? Because they want to get Asia involved in the Ukraine conflict. We must not allow that to happen. We must expose their lies and join hands with more people to stop this preparation for war,” another protester said.