Thousands took to the streets of Madrid on Sunday to protest the upcoming NATO summit.
Carrying modern-day Spanish flags, banners of the old Spanish Republic and flags identifying a range of Leftist forces, including the Party of Labour, the Communist Party, the United Left, the social democratic Unidas Podemos and the Solidaridad Obrera union, demonstrators chanted ‘No NATO’ and ‘NATO Bases – Out’ as they marched along Paseo del Prado Boulevard.
The protesters were joined by allies from other countries, including a group from the Communist Party of Greece,
and South Koreans carrying banners reading “Disband NATO, a vehicle of imperialist war!” and “Oppose South Korea Joining NATO!”
a heavy police presence on the scene, including checkpoints at the entrances to subway stations, and accused law enforcement of seeking to intimidate them.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles dismissed the protesters, calling them a “clear minority” and suggesting that “peace is not in their heritage.”
Robles highlighted Madrid’s role as an intermediary in the upcoming summit to soothe disagreements between Turkey and NATO hopefuls Finland and Sweden over their hosting of the PKK, a Turkish Kurdish party and paramilitary group which Ankara characterizes as a “terrorist” group. Ankara has threatened to block the Nordic nations' membership bids unless the "terrorist" threat is dealt with.
Last week, a US official told Sputnik
that the summit will include an announcement on “new force posture commitments to strengthen NATO defense and deterrence posture,” including a new “strategic concept” to “address challenges” to bloc security supposedly coming from Russia and China. The summit is also expected to include a virtual appearance by President Zelensky to ask the West for more support.
On Sunday, an unnamed White House official told journalists
that the new strategic concept is “gonna have strong China language,” and that the new document will be “a significant improvement or change from 2010 when China was not mentioned and Russia I think was called a strategic partner or something.”