Building the NATO /G8 protests

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The Oct. 15 demonstrations and forums called by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) to mark the 10th anniversary of the occupation of Afghanistan wonderfully coincided with an internationally called Global Day of Action against austerity and were able, in many cities, to link up with the Occupy Movement. In New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Diego the demonstrations were the largest in many years, swelling to the thousands as youth from the encampments and youth inspired by the encampments joined in large numbers.  

UNAC organizers in each city explained to new activists the profound connection between the drive for economic austerity and the U.S. wars abroad. “The U.S.-NATO war on Libya,” Chris Gauvreau said at the Oct. 15 march in Hartford, Conn., “was really a war to enforce the rules laid down by the IMF and the World Bank and Wall Street on the peoples of North Africa. In Egypt and Tunisia the masses rose up to protest the austerity measures forced on their economies by the financial institutions of the U.S. and Europe.”
While the United States, France, and other rich nations did not feel that they could directly intervene with planes and bombs to keep those revolutionary movements in check, Gauvreau asserted, they saw an opening to put special ops forces on the ground right between those countries, in Libya.
“In truth,” Gauvreau said, “NATO is the police force of the 1% abroad.”  She concluded by urging protesters to consider the meaning of Obama’s decision to invite all the generals and planners of NATO to meet at the same time as the financial ministers and heads of the rich G8 countries in Chicago from May 15-22, 2012. “Is there any doubt, that indeed, Wall Street is War Street?,” she concluded.
There is clearly a growing understanding of the relationship between the attacks on the economic well-being of the 99% and the wars waged by the U.S. and NATO abroad. On Oct. 26, the Occupy Chicago Movement and the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) marched together, 150 strong, to the offices of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to demand an end to the mass arrests of the occupiers and permits for the planned marches protesting the NATO/G8 summit.
Northern California organizers also introduced those inspired by the occupations to importance of the NATO/G8 protests by organizing a whirlwind eight-city tour of Jess Sundin, Steve Downs, and UNAC leader Jeff Mackler. Sundin is one of the victims of the FBI/grand-jury witch hunt targeting the Midwest antiwar and solidarity movement, and Downs is the founder of the Muslim civil liberties group called Project SALAM. 
> The article above was written by Vanessa Morisot.

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