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​‘Stop NATO!’ Anti-militarist protest gains momentum in Wales ahead of summit

Published time: September 01, 2014 01:47

Demonstrators march during an anti-war protest march in Newport, Wales, August 30, 2014. (Reuters/Rebecca Naden)

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Hundreds of people have gathered in Wales for the second day running to march through the center of Cardiff and Newport in an anti-NATO rally ahead of the alliance’s upcoming summit.

Organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Stop the War Coalition and South West against Nuclear, protesters gathered to state that 150 heads of state and ministers heading to the Celtic Manor Resort on Thursday and Friday will not be welcomed.

“Membership of NATO binds European nations – including the UK – to internationally unpopular US foreign policy, a foreign policy increasingly unpopular around the world. NATO membership forces non-nuclear countries to host US nuclear bombs in their countries, near their population,” CND said in its call to action.

As well as a strong Welsh crowd, demonstrators came from as far as the US, Belgium, France and Ireland. More rallies are planned throughout the week, with the culmination expected to hit Thursday and Friday, when dozens of world leaders arrive.

The summit is expected to focus on the Ukrainian crisis and what members consider a Russian role in it, tensions in Afghanistan, and security challenges across the wider Middle East. In total, some 9,500 police officers will provide security for the event. Twelve miles of security fencing was erected in Cardiff and Newport to ensure the world leaders' safety during the event, effectively turning the city centers into massive open-air prisons.