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Portugal

"No to war, No to Nato"

Wednesday 1 December 2010, by Xeca Robles

On the 19th and 20th of November, the warlords arrived in Lisbon. The heads of state of the 28 country members of NATO gathered to sign the alliance´s new strategic concept. The Portuguese government prepared the most security expensive operation of all times in Portugal. Without any public consultancy, more than 5 million euro were spent on anti-riot equipment, like tear gas, armored vehicles, shields, helmets, etc.

The Schengen Treaty was suspended for 6 days and the frontiers locked. Hundreds of people were not able to get through the border checkpoints, like a bus with Finnish peace activists who were blocked with the argument that they were carrying leaflets and banners against Nato. At the airport in Lisbon, other activists were blocked and sent back to their countries with an official document saying they were considered a “threat to internal security”.

Despite repressive police presence, activists organize

Meanwhile, in the city center, several activities took place, mobilizing thousands of activists against the Nato Summit. On the 18th, Bloco de Esquerda organized a public concert with the slogan “Portugal out of the Nato/ Nato out of Portugal”. The square in the city center was fully packed with young people in a clear protest against the Summit and the brutality of the war.

From Friday the 19th to Sunday the 21st, the international network “No to War, No to Nato” organized the counter summit in an high school, also in the center of Lisbon. Activists from 21 countries had the opportunity to participate in tens of debates and workshops about the military industrial complex, feminism and militarization, nuclear weapons, alternative security systems, non violent resistance actions, war in Afghanistan, relations between Russia and Nato, missile defense system in Europe and several other subjects.

The most visible event was the demonstration held on Saturday afternoon with the participation of 20.000 people. Even though all the repressive attitude and apparatus by the police, the demonstration occurred in a peaceful way without any violence.

"New strategic concept" for keeping imperial and military control

All these events showed that the heads of state gathered in the Nato Summit were not welcome in Lisbon. They met to decide about the future of Nato and to recreate new ways of making the war. Afghanistan is becoming a huge military and political problem for the Nobel Peace Prize, Barack Obama, and an impossible solution for that conflit was outlined in this summit. Karzai, representing one of the most corrupted governments in the world, was seated together with the other Nato members begging for some more years of military occupation.

The new strategic concept approved in Lisbon is the tool invented by the warlords in Washington to keep the imperial and military control of the globe. This document assures a new partnership with the European Union with the increase of the military budgets with the legal support of the Lisbon Treaty, even in the nowadays economical crisis scenario, and confirms the installation of the so called missile “defense” system in Central Europe. It also confirms the abandon of the nuclear disarmament process.