A MEETING on building resistance against this year’s Nato summit took place in Newport city centre yesterday afternoon.
Thousands of police officers from every force in the UK will descend on South Wales to police this September’s summit, being held at the Celtic Manor resort, and protestors are anticipated to arrive in equal measure.
Billed as a talk followed by a discussion, yesterday’s event held at a former Thai restaurant on Commercial Street was closed to journalists, and the Argus was asked to leave as a member of the mainstream media.
The event, which was attended by around 25 people, was part of a week-long series of workshops and discussions organised by the Anarchist Action Network, dubbed the Newport Rising Festival (unconnected to Newport Rises), where free food and drink was also handed out.
The Argus reported earlier this week that protestors wish to hold an alternative summit on August 31, which could see between 400 to 600 people attend talks focusing on non-violent conflict resolution.
Yesterday’s agenda included a discussion about drone technology and military recruitment in South Wales, as well as a presentation by Stop Nato Cymru.
The organisers wrote online that they hope these events will address issues including problems with housing, welfare cuts, austerity, poverty, environmental destruction and racism.
On Saturday several dozen people walked through the city centre and around Pill with banners and paper masks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
Yesterday a man who wished to be known as Fred said the walk had not been a demonstration but more of an ‘outreach stunt’, handing out leaflets and speaking to residents who had questions.
“This has been about people from Newport, from lower income communities and migrant communities mainly, coming here and hearing presentations about different issues that affect their day-to-day lives,” he said.
“This meeting today is for local residents to discuss how they feel about the Nato summit and deciding what they want to do. The organisers want residents of Newport to be in charge of it.”