PROTESTERS against Newport’s Nato summit will be addressed by a peace prize winner, it was announced yesterday.
NoNatoNewport announced that Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange, will be speaking in Newport at the demonstration march and rally in the city centre on August 30.
Ms Benjamin was awarded the 2014 Ghandi Peace Prize, received the Martin Luther King, Jr Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the 2012 Peace Prize by the US Peace Memorial.
She is a former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organisation. She is the author of eight books. Her latest is Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.
A spokeswoman for the umbrella group NoNatoNewport, which was formed in response to the impending summit in September said “The people of Newport have to suffer the shame of having this nuclear armed organisation on their doorstep, and the people of Newport have got together to provide a week of action, talks and events to promote peace, justice and human rights.
“It has already been announced that the Nato visit will close schools and roads, will cost £50 million in security and will not put one penny into the pockets of our people. Our events will be different. They will have a strong focus on the alternatives to conflict and war, they will be held alongside the people – not hidden behind bunkers and closed doors, and unlike Obama, Cameron and the like, our visitors will spend money in Newport.”
Four thousand people from peace groups all over the world are expected to attend the march, including CND, Stop the War Coalition, No to War Network, Anti Drones network and representatives of trade unions.
We revealed earlier this week that as few as seven Newport schools could be fully open during September’s two-day Nato summit at the Celtic Manor, as fears over “major disruption” along the M4 corridor cause head teachers and governors to close schools and take inset days instead.
This will be the first Nato Summit since Chicago in 2012, and the first in the UK since it came to London in 1990, with thousands of delegates and journalists from all over the world congregating in Newport.
Around 9,000 police officers will be deployed to South Wales to man the security operation and allow Gwent Police to continue responding to incidents and emergencies.