Arrests delay start of NATO Summit

Photo by JC Guillaume via

A broad international coalition of peace activists, environmentalists, anti-globalists, and more were involved in a month of preparation and action for the NATO summit in Brussels at the end of May.

A week of training sessions in early May prepared hundreds of people for demonstrations and mass nonviolent action. Many of those who were trained joined the peace camp in a nearby park that served as an activity hub from May 21 – 26.

An estimated 24,000 people took part in the “Trump Not Welcome” and No to NATO, No to War march on Wednesday, May 24. While President Trump demanded more blood money from members of the nuclear-armed alliance, the marchers’ theme was People First, Not War. Marchers also demanded that NATO members join the negotiations for the future Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and ultimately, sign it.

On the afternoon of Thursday, May 25, more than 150 people joined actions to disrupt the arrival of NATO delegates at the alliance’s new headquarters for the summit. Greenpeace activists scaled a construction crane nearby and hung a large banner simply declaring “#RESIST”.

Three groups of activists occupied three different highway sign platforms that spanned the motorway, hanging protest banners over the road that Trump and the other leaders would travel. Police had to block the road while they spent two hours dislodging the activists, arresting 37 while the summit program was briefly delayed.
Meanwhile, about a hundred people occupied the major intersection by the headquarters. Several people locked down while a samba and clowns relaxed the atmosphere.
While it had been negotiated with the police that the blockade at the crossroads could remain until 5 p.m., at 4:45 p.m. the police moved in and made 91 arrests. The arrestees were bussed away from the site to have their details recorded and were then released.
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