Anti-Nato Protesters March to Steel Cordon Protecting World Leaders
With police in riot gear and helmets looking down from higher ground, the protesters set off from the center of Newport at lunchtime in a public show of opposition to the Nato Summit.
With the biggest gathering of world leaders ever to set foot in Wales underway at the Celtic Manor resort opponents made a three-mile trek to the venue as part of a pre-planned peaceful protest.
Hundreds of locals turned out along the way to watch the 500-strong protest procession pass along Chepstow Road.
Loud chanting erupted as the march arrived at the cordon where scores of people pounded against the steel barrier fencing.
“Dear Nato, there is more power in peace than in war. Put the little person first.“
A small contingent carried flowers, poetry and letters from Newport to the center of the summit venue at the head of the 500-strong protest march.
Several protesters were then allowed through the cordon to make their peace presentations inside.
When those protesters were let through the protective steel cordon at the resort to present their messages of peace to world leaders they ended up making a double citizen’s arrest for war crimes on two civil servants who were sent to greet them, when they both refused to reveal their names.
Pippa Bortolotti, a No Nato campaigner and leader of the Green Party in Wales was present. She said: “The two men were handed over to the police, one was with the Home Office and had no ID at all.
“The other was with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and just said ‘You can call me Dave’. Well that is not good enough.
“We made a verbal citizen’s arrest and handed them over to the police, who were nearby, and they did absolutely nothing, it was disgusting.
The activists arrests included a 21-year-old man from Cambridge who was arrested for a public order offence and possession of an offensive weapon.
A 49-year-old woman was arrested from Cardiff for obstructing police and attempting to prevent an arrest, another woman, 24, from Cardiff for obstructing a police officer, and a 54-year-old man from Surrey for breach of the peace.
Protesters staged a set piece display for the media before setting out to confront world leaders three miles away.
Banners with messages such as ‘Nuclear NATO No Thanks’ and ‘Stop NATO’ were seen amongst the procession.
A small core of black clad figures with faces masked by red scarves carrying a yellow sickle carry a “Red Block” communist banner.
All chanted that the US president and UK Prime Minister are terrorists and hundreds of locals turned out along the route to watch the procession pass along Chepstow Road.
Pippa Bartolotti, part of the No NATO protest group and leader of the Green Party in Wales, will enter the resort to present peace messages from the protest group , and a bouquet of white flowers symbolizing peace.
The message carried with it says: “Dear NATO, there is more power in peace than in war. Put the little people first.”
Their sound was taken up by protest drummers as the main body arrived while others blowing piercing whistles shouted “Welfare not warfare” through megaphones.
Police in riot gear and helmets could be clearly seen at various points behind the barrier peering down from higher ground.
Among the protesters was pensioner Margaret Evans, from Church Village, near Pontypridd, who said: “I am here because I object to Nato. It is a war machine.”
While there were occasional scuffles the protests passed off largely peacefully – with police making three arrests – while crowds of onlookers also congregated to try and catch a glimpse of international delegates.
A colourful throng of protesters, waving hand-painted banners and chanting “No more Nato, no more wars”, stood beneath the statue of Aneurin Bevan at the western end of Cardiff’s Queen Street shopping thoroughfare ahead of the dinner.
Many of the protesters had attended the march in Newport earlier in the day, including 73-year-old Joyce Giblin, who had spent the whole week at the peace camp.
“I am totally against Nato because it is a vehicle for war, not a vessel for peace,” she said.
“They make illegal wars,” she added. “The whole Middle East is on fire and it’s all thanks to Nato.”
NATO OUT!..RUSSIA OUT! Take the Toys from the Boys!
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Nato Summit 2014: Hundreds of protesters reach steel barriers protecting world leaders at Celtic Manor
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