Anti-NATO events in Washington DC

Posted: 10th July 2024

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America’s declining empire….

TUESDAY, JULY 09, 2024

Anti-NATO events in Washington DC


NATO’s ‘75th anniversary celebration’ which begins on July 10. We were joined by former Mainers Melody Shank and Ken Jones now living in North Carolina.

Things began with a conference on Saturday morning at a local church attended by about 150 people and organized by a coalition led by World Beyond War. Disappointingly (but not surprising) several of the speakers once again blamed Russia for the war in Ukraine with words like ‘illegal, immoral, provocative’ Russian invasion. Sadly there are still some in the ‘peace movement’ who continue to be reluctant to pin the blame for the proxy war on US-NATO which was particularly uncalled for at an anti-NATO summit. Those that do at some point admit that US-NATO did in fact instigate the ‘tensions’ always seem to say that Russia should not have responded to protect the Donbass. That option was of course unacceptable to Moscow which I fully agree with.

This of course has been going on ever since the 2014 US-NATO orchestrated coup d’etat in Kiev which was led by the Obama-Biden administration under the direction of Victoria Nuland, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Soon thereafter the US-NATO regime in Kiev (infused with Nazis from Western Ukraine) began attacking the Donbass region of Ukraine where Russian-ethnics predominate and killed more than 15,000 and wounded around 35,000.

Moscow made repeated attempts to create mechanisms to end the siege on the Donbass including the Minsk 1 & 2 agreements that leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany later admitted they never intended to honor – they just used the agreements to buy time to build up Ukraine’s US-NATO funded, trained, armed and directed army for a final charge against their own citizens whose only crime was they spoke Russian.

By early 2022 Russia knew that the western controlled Ukrainian military would soon launch a full scale attack on the Donbass so Moscow decided to preempt that move and began the slow and deliberate effort to push the Nazi-led forces away from the Donbass which sits on Russia’s border.


Later Saturday around 5:00 pm a larger conference began at another church in Washington. Oh, what a difference it was. This event was led by anti-imperialist organizations that have no doubt the US-NATO were in fact responsible for the war in Ukraine – to be used in a now failed strategy to force ‘regime change’ in Moscow in order for western resource extraction corporations to grab Russia’s vast resource base (among other reasons).

More than 300 (mostly young activists) gathered at this event with powerful speakers talking about a myriad of regions of the world where the US-NATO war machine is trying to regain their settler colonial domination. Good luck with that one.


At the youth-led anti-imperialist event – they put the elders up front


This multi-ethnic coalition was a stark difference from the smaller event we had attended earlier that day.

I learned years ago about the US anti-imperialist movement led by Mark Twain during the US war on the Philippines. At this event an impressive video was shown about the long US occupation of the Philippines that continues today as the Biden administration now floods that island nation with new missiles, warships, war planes and troops aimed at China. All part of NATO’s ‘pivot’ into the Asia-Pacific.

We also heard from young activists speaking about Palestine, Puerto Rico, black liberation movements across the US and much more. The Nicaraguan ambassador to the US also spoke and was roundly received.

Fascism is growing worldwide in order to protect corporate interests and to suppress the resulting people’s movements for liberation. US-NATO wars in the Middle East have cost 4.5 million lives in the last 25 years. Israel is a ‘partner’ of NATO and takes part in its war games. NATO also trains Middle Eastern reactionary regimes that have served as western puppets for many years – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan and more.

On Sunday we joined a march led by the anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist coalition to the White House. A rally was set up in Lafayette Park next to the White House led by the World Beyond War coalition. When we arrived very few people were at the rally site – thanks to the 400 in the anti-imperialist march the rally began to look more respectable though I didn’t see any of the anti-imperialist leaders invited to the stage to speak to the largely younger crowd.

Melody Shank and Ken Jones in the march

Mark Roman and Lisa Savage at the White House

At the rally in Lafayette Park near White House


Despite the long drive from Maine to DC we all agreed that it was well worth the trip – especially to be with the younger activists. We often hear elder ‘peace movement’ folks wonder where are the ‘young people’? Actually they are out there leading the protests against zionist genocide in Palestine and doing great anti-NATO work against the empire’s endless war machine. Some might call them radicals – but I stand by the definition of radical as those getting to the root of the problems that we face.

The half-stepping reformist peace groups (sometimes linked to the Democratic party and their foundation funders) have a long way to go if they hope to more fully integrate with the next generation of activism.


~ Photos by MB Sullivan and Ken Jones

posted by Bruce K. Gagnon | 10:25 AM 

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