NATO's military occupation of Newport and Cardiff

World leaders banqueted as they prepare new wars

Modern fortifications around Cardiff Castle

Newport and Cardiff are being taken over by a military occupation. Tens of millions of pounds and thousands of police officers are being used to provide security for the NATO summit being held at the Celtic Manor on September 4-5th. Schools and roads will be closed. Hospital wards and operating theatres are being closed - the A&E at Barry hospital is being closed all together. Magistrate courts will be open all weekend in Newport and Cardiff. All so that NATO can have a summit.

The Welsh government has had a drive to penalise parents who take their children out of school because it alleges that for children to lose one day's schooling harms their education. None of that matters when it comes to the needs of NATO: Newport schools must close for the NATO summit. Hospital waiting lists have been getting longer and longer as the cuts bite; it doesn't matter: wards must be closed in case one the world's elite 68 leaders needs to have an emergency operation. City centre workers have been told to take a day off out of their annual leave and take the days of the summit off.

Two cities are being disrupted for two weeks for a two day summit. Ordinary people are being kept well away in a graphic representation of the gulf between the top 1% and the 99% and the massive military machine that NATO co-ordinates. Weeks before the summit millions are being spent dividing Cardiff streets with massive steel walls and erecting gates and barriers on pedestrian streets. All so the NATO governments' leaders can have a sumptuous banquet in Cardiff Castle. Its almost as if Cameron and the ConDems want to mock the people using Crwys Road food bank less than a mile from the castle. Millions spent on a banquet for the political representatives of the 1% while people on benefits are being forced into food banks by the hated bedroom tax.

The government has said we cannot possibly afford some public services but there are millions to spare when it comes to NATO - no expense is spared to wine and dine the elite. Leisure centres, libraries, day centres are being closed all over South Wales but millions can be found to pay for the summit.

NATO consumes $1.2 trillion a year in military spending - enough to eradicate world hunger and most diseases. It claims to be a "defence alliance" but it is the aggressive arm of western imperialism formed to counter the Soviet Union after the second world war but still used to further the interests of western capitalism all over the world. All the forces that took part in the disastrous invasion of Iraq were members of NATO. It was NATO that carried out the catastrophic bombing of Libya that has led to the break up of the country. NATO armed the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the Russians. NATO helped supply IS in Syria because it was fighting their enemy Assad, before IS also turned against western interests.

And Israel's murderous attack on Gaza is being backed to the hilt by NATO, despite the public hand-wringing of some NATO leaders. The same day that Obama publicly criticised the Israeli government's massacres of Palestinian civilians he ordered the re-arming of Israel for the next round of massacres, because the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) was running out of ammunition. The British government also supplies the IDF with the necessary military hardware to bombard Gaza.

Cardiff's new shopping experience

NATO was formed not to prevent wars, but to fight them on behalf of western capitalist interests. It has contributed to the deaths of millions of people and consumed trillions of pounds. If Britain's contribution to NATO was cut then there would be no need for any cuts to public services.

Demonstrate against the NATO summit Saturday 30 August, Newport Civic Centre, 12.00 noon.

Come to the post demo meeting organised by the Socialist Party and the Committee for a Workers' International Saturday 30 August, Queens Hotel, Bridge Street, Newport 4.30 pm.


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