The other (anti) NATO summit in Madrid

While the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, intervened in the plenary session of Congress this Wednesday, assuring that the NATO summit which will take place in Madrid on the 29th and 30th of this month "will put Spain at the center of the world", at the same time, outside the hemicycle, representatives of the recently created NATO State Platform for Peace They did not present a counter-summit precisely to ask for the dissolution of the Atlantic Alliance, which they consider "an obstacle to peace".

The alternative conclave will not coincide with the official one, which will deploy an unprecedented security device in the city of Madrid. The 'No NATO Peace Summit' will take place this weekend – on Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th – at the Marcelino Camacho Auditorium at the CCOO headquarters in Madrid. The organizers have also called a demonstration that has already been communicated to the Government Delegation and that will travel the route between the Atocha station in the capital and the Plaza de España on Sunday 26, at 12:00.

"While they organize the war summit, we organize the peace summit that society needs," Nora García, one of the spokespersons for the platform made up of unions – including CCOO – summed up at the gates of the Lower House. , environmental organizations –such as Ecologists in Action or Greenpeace– and social. The United Left and the PCE, integrated into United We Can, participate very actively in the organization of the conclave, with the participation of several of its main leaders. The majority force in space, Podemos, which supports these acts and has championed the No to Warhas preferred to maintain a less prominent profile, although his deputy in Congress Lucía Muñoz will be present at this weekend's events, among others.

This same Wednesday the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra, has intervened in a new meeting of the European Movement for Peace of which she is a part. With barely a week left for the NATO summit in Madrid, she has pointed out that "this is not the time to increase military spending, but to increase social protection". Sources from the Podemos leadership, which, in recent months, has confronted the PSOE and Pedro Sánchez himself due to the shipment of weapons to Ukraine and the announced increase in military spending, they explained to elDiario.es that, despite the defense of these postulates, the summit of the Atlantic Alliance "is a circumstantial international issue" for the Government. And that although the party has been "critical" of NATO, Belarra's formation wants to "respect" the "attitude" of Sánchez, the head of the Executive, who seeks international projection with the holding of the summit in the Spanish capital .

Willy Meyer, a former IU MEP and member of the PCE, who now serves as one of the official spokespersons for the NATO Non-State Platform for Peace that calls the counter-summit, assures in a conversation with this newspaper that the conveners are opposed to NATO "that since 1999 it has acted outside the UN". "It is an obstacle to peace and has shown that it is a serious problem for a demilitarized security," he maintains. "We have managed to organize an international summit with the participation of the Sao Paulo forum, to converge for peace and give an alternative message to war and the increase in military spending" defended by the socialist part of the Executive.

"We are against the NATO summit being held in Madrid and against the Alliance's own policies, which have been aggravated by the implications it is having of demands for an increase in military spending or the militarization of lives", adds Enrique Quintanilla, a member of Ecologists in Action who is also another of the platform's authorized spokespersons, by phone.

The origin of the idea of ​​organizing a counter-summit dates back to last October when it became known that Madrid was going to host the NATO conclave. First, the NATO No Madrid organization was created, from which different groups disassociated themselves once the Russian invasion of Ukraine began because those who controlled that Madrid platform did not criticize the action of Vladimir Putin. In January, contacts began at the state level that resulted in the creation of the Spanish platform of which, in addition to the aforementioned organizations, Marea Ciudadana, Solidaridad Obrera, Desarma Madrid, the 25S coordinator, 'Fridays for Future', 'Transform Europe', the International Federation of Women, 'Rebellion or Extinction', the World Council for Peace, the European Social Forum of Social and Trade Union Forces, the Women's International Democratic Federation and the Rosa Luxemburg Federation, among others.

Between Friday and Saturday, all of them will be joined by various academics and activists who will participate in the different tables and conferences of the counter-summit. The program includes presentations on demilitarization, or on how current military structures affect the climate crisis, patriarchy or social movements. It will also try to configure an alternative security architecture for Europe, and it will try to find solutions for a new international order centered on peace.

IU will be present at the different tables with, among others, its federal spokesperson and MEP, Sira Rego, or also MEP Manu Pineda, as well as the Secretary of State for the 2030 Agenda, also the leader of the PCE, Enrique Santiago. In the case of Podemos, the deputy in Congress Lucía Muñoz and the secretary of Civil Society and Popular Movement, Alejandro Zapico, will intervene. In addition, the journalist Olga Rodríguez or the professor of Political Science Carlos Taibo, among others, will participate.

The conveners consider that NATO "is a multinational security system that acts on the international stage in violation of the explicit mandate of the Charter of the United Nations", which "turns it into a threat to peace", as "its actions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan, which have generated destabilization, destruction and setbacks in the full exercise of the social and human rights of the people in the intervened areas". "This continuous threat to peace has also occurred in European territory when the Russian Federation attacked Ukraine against the Charter of the United Nations, an unacceptable attack that prevents progress towards a Shared Security System and encourages the rearmament and militarization of security", they point out in their manifesto.

The summit for peace will demand that the Government and the EU "focus on the diplomatic channel that puts an end to the war and the Russian invasion in Ukraine" and will reject the sending of arms by the Spanish Executive to the Ukrainian resistance, in addition to request a reduction in military spending. "The No to War is still necessary more than ever," they conclude.

To "promote an alternative for peace and disarmament," the platform calls for "promoting the dissolution of NATO and the creation of a new demilitarized security system, based on the concepts of human security and reduction of violence," or "renounce violence and the threat of the use of force as a means of regulating conflicts, between countries and between people". The conveners of the counter-summit advocate "for the dismantling and reconversion of the entire military industry", so that "arms spending on health, education, housing, care and equality is reversed". It is "a paradigm shift that puts life at the center against policies that prioritize weapons and NATO bases to the detriment of equality and care for life."

This summit for peace was joined this Wednesday by the statement from the Coordinator of Organizations for Developmentwhich brings together 75 organizations and social platforms in Spain and which, a few days before the NATO summit is held in Madrid, asks the Government to drastically reduce military spending and promote diplomacy to resolve conflicts.

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