The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation, continuing the long standing campaign against NATO in Portugal, carried out a number of initiatives alongside other Portuguese organizations, giving these year focus on the holding of NATO’s summit in Brussels and its objectives.
The 28 Portuguese organizations that joined this year’s initiatives developed a number of actions, including distributions in cities throughout the country of the “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!” campaign documents – like a leaflet with the campaigns call – and joined in the public events held in Lisbon and Oporto on the 24th and 25th of May, affirming slogans like “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!”, “Defend the Constitution, no to NATO!”, “Yes to employment, no to war”, “Health and Education! Not NATO!”.
Adding their voice to the peace movement in Europe, to the World Peace Council and to all men and women denouncing the aggressive nature of NATO and the warmongering goals of its Brussels summit, defending the cause of peace and the principles of relations between States set down in the Portuguese Constitution and in the Charter of the United Nations, many were the activists that brought to the streets the campaign’s demands:
- No more money for NATO and war! Yes to social progress and Peace!
- End NATO's aggression and military occupations!
- End the blackmail, destabilization and wars of aggression against sovereign States, against the sovereignty, rights and aspirations of peoples!
- Support for the displaced and refugees, victims of the wars that NATO promotes and supports!
- Dismantling of the US/NATO anti-missile system and closure of military bases in foreign territory!
- Abolition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and general disarmament!
- Dissolution of NATO!
- Compliance with the principles of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the Charter of the United Nations by the Portuguese authorities, for a foreign policy in defence of national interests, security, sovereignty and independence, for peace, friendship and cooperation with all peoples of the world!
At the end of the initiative in Lisbon several organisations addressed the demonstration, the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP-IN), the Women’s Democratic Movement (MDM), the youth organization Projecto Ruído and the Portuguese Council For Peace and Cooperation (CPPC).
http://wpc-in.org/statements/yes-peace-no-nato-defend-peace-and-security... (campaign’s call)
http://youtu.be/vfZLlr-paA0 (short video of the Lisbon demonstration)
http://issuu.com/conselho_paz/docs/folheto_sim_a_paz_nao_a_natocom_tod (campaign leaflet)
INTAL and WPC initiatives in Brussels
The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation also participated in INTAL and WPC initiatives in Brussels, held in the framework of WPC’s “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!” campaign.
May 23rd INTAL held a public meeting under the banner “NATO and its wars” where the consequences of NATO’s aggression were addressed. CPPC’s member of the Presidency, Helena Casqueiro, had the opportunity to address the audience.
On May 24th CPPC participated in the WPC “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!” conference, where peace loving organizations from 15 different countries were present. The conference was followed by the participation of WPC and other friendly organizations, alongside INTAL, in the mass demonstration held in the centre of Brussels, that brought unto the streets thousands of people, where a CPPC’s delegation participated with a banner.
Bellow the CPPC's speech in Lisbon demonstration and the CPPC's contributions to the INTAL initiative and to the WPC conference in Brussels
Speech by the CPPC’s Chairperson, Ilda Figueiredo
Yes to Peace! No to NATO! Demonstration
Lisbon, May 24th 2017
“Dear Friends of Peace
On behalf of the Leadership of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) I greet all those present in this rally integrated in the «Yes to Peace! No to NATO!» campaign, supported by 28 Portuguese organizations, on the same day that, in Brussels, there is a march with identical objectives and where CPPC is also represented, and a delegation of the World Peace Council.
Tomorrow, there will be an identical initiative in Oporto, on the day of the NATO summit in Brussels.
We are here, as already referred, to denounce a new military escalation of this aggressive military-political block, at the service of the US and European Union, and the main responsible for the aggression in several parts of the world, including the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and other sovereign States.
We've done this in previous years, and this initiative follows many others we have developed throughout the years, I would even say since NATO was created. But I recall in particular the large demonstration in 2010 during the NATO summit in Lisbon, and the initiatives we developed against NATO military manoeuvres and, for example, the summit last year in Warsaw.
As we know, the threats to peace are enormous. And those that say they are fighting terrorism are the same that pursue the arms race and foster the growing arms business, as we witnessed recently with the US selling more armament to Saudi Arabia in the value of 110 billion Euro, when it is known that this country is responsible for supporting the proliferation of terrorism, namely in the Middle East.
Therefore, it is important to denounce the threats to peace, be they in the Middle East, in Africa and in Central Asia, or also in Latin America, not forgetting Venezuela, also a victim of encroachment and blackmail increasingly recalling what occurred in the fascist coup of 1973 in Chile, or more recently in the Ukraine. And what is occurring with the reinforcement of the aggressive anti-missile shield and the thousands of US and NATO troops and armament recently sent to Eastern European countries, near the border of the Russian Federation, as well as the the Mediterranean Sea and Asia-Pacific region with the proliferation of US and NATO aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, in what is a permanent provocation to the sovereignty of peoples and world peace, demanding increasingly more money from member-States, even when they refer there are no conditions to improve wages, social benefits and the social functions of the State.
Therefore, as we said during the march: No to the increase in military spending for war; money should be used for social progress and peace. We want the fulfilment of the Portuguese Constitution, as we have defended in the five Concerts for Peace the CPPC organized this year, in Oporto, Gaia, Lisbon, Viana do Castelo and Coimbra, involving thousands of people. And we will always say: Yes to Peace yes! No to War!
We want an end to blackmail, destabilization and wars of aggression against sovereign States and peoples. We want the closure of foreign military bases, we salute what happened recently in Japan, where thousands of people demonstrated against the new US military base planned for Okinawa. We want the abolition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and general disarmament, as well as the dissolution of NATO, respecting the Portuguese Constitution.
Therefore, let's continue to chant: «Yes to Peace! No to NATO!»
The struggle for peace continues.”
“Helena Casqueiro – CPPC
INTAL’s Public Meeting “NATO and its wars”
Brussels, May 23rd 2017.
I would like to start by on behalf of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation saluting all present.
Naturally, I would like to especially salute INTAL for promoting this event and to express our thanks for the invitation you addressed us to be here and, as other World Peace Council member organizations, to also to demonstrate against NATO alongside you tomorrow, in Brussels.
We value immensely this initiative, for we consider of the greatest importance the development of initiatives in the defence of peace at a moment that Humanity is once again faced with the threat of a conflict of large proportions at a global scale as a consequence of the USA and its allies, including NATO’s, militarist aggressive escalation against the sovereignty and the rights of peoples.
The peoples need a strong, acting and broad peace movement in Europe and in the world.
A movement for peace, against imperialist wars, of solidarity with the peoples victim of oppression and aggression.
A movement for peace that struggles for the disbandment of NATO and against the militarization of the European Union.
A movement for peace that strives for the respect for the right to self determination of the peoples; for the demilitarization of international relations; for the end of the arms race; for general controlled disarmament, namely the end of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction; for the end of foreign military bases; a peace movement that defends important principles in the relations between States, like the respect of their sovereignty and independence or the negotiated peaceful resolution of international conflicts.
Important causes for which the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation has intervened in Portugal as well as within the framework of the World Peace Council.
In this cadre denouncing the goals and militarist action of NATO assumes the greatest importance for CPPC, Portugal being a NATO member since 1949, during the fascist dictatorship in our country.
NATO is a political-military bloc responsible for wars of aggression against sovereign States and its huge legacy of death, suffering and destruction, including the tragedy of tens of millions of displaced people and refugees.
NATO and its members intervened directly or supported military aggression always carried out under false pretences and widespread campaigns of misinformation and deception. NATO bombed Yugoslavia and is responsible for the war that today marks the reality of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria or Ukraine.
The US, which has increased its military spending by 54 billion dollars, and NATO, whose member countries are already responsible for most of the world's military spending, demand increased spending for its warmongering action.
The US and NATO are promoting a race to increasingly more sophisticated armaments, including nuclear weapons and the installation of the offensive anti-missile system in Europe and Asia, with which they seek to ensure their military supremacy over Russia and China.
A US/NATO dominance strategy which includes its growing military presence in Eastern Europe, and the vast network of foreign military bases, naval fleets and global surveillance systems scattered throughout the world.
When unacceptable sacrifices and severe regressions in the living conditions of the workers and peoples are demanded in many countries, there is no shortage of money for NATO, the arms race and war.
The European Union assumes itself as the European pillar of NATO, promoting its increasing militarization and its interventionism, be it in Africa, the Middle East or Eastern Europe.
NATO is a military instrument of the US, through which it continuously seeks to associate countries with its goal and strategy of world domination.
NATO is an instrument of aggression and war and the main threat to peace in Europe and the world.
In line with the decades long struggle for Peace and against NATO in our country, CPPC has been developing in Portugal a set of actions against NATO and its wars of aggression against sovereign States and peoples.
This set of actions has had important moments in recent years, from which we underline the “Peace Yes! NATO No! Campaign for the Defence of Peace and against NATO’s Summit in Portugal”. A campaign promoted by CPPC and other Portuguese organizations that held numerous initiatives throughout the country leading up to the larger mass initiatives in the days NATO’s summit took place on 19th and 20th November 2010, a campaign that, after 7 years, continues to be the unity basis in Portugal for the struggle against NATO and the demand for its dissolution.
The guideline for the campaign was a call to organizations with the following objectives:
expressing the Portuguese people’s opposition to the NATO Summit and its warmongering goals;
demanding that the Government withdraw all Portuguese forces involved in NATO military missions;
demand an end to foreign military bases and to NATO facilities on national territory;
demand the dissolution of NATO;
demand a nuclear disarmament and an end to nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction;
demand that the Portuguese authorities fulfil their obligations under the United Nations Charter and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, respecting International Law and the sovereignty and equality of all peoples.
Its important to understand that the Portuguese Constitution takes the side of peace. The Portuguese Constitution in fundamental aspects maintains the principles of April’s Revolution Constitution, that defeated the fascist dictatorship, ended thirteen years of colonial war, brought democracy to Portugal and enshrined the values of peace and cooperation in our Constitution.
Article 7 of the Portuguese Constitution enshrines principles such as «peaceful solution of international conflicts», «non-interference in the internal affairs of other states», the respect for the «rights of peoples», the «abolition of imperialism, colonialism and any other forms of aggression, domination and exploitation in the relations among peoples», «general, simultaneous and controlled disarmament» and the «dissolution of political-military blocks».
These principles and objectives, that are inspired and develop those stipulated in the United Nations Charter and the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, did not arise by change, but were born of the bitter experience of two world wars and were and are essential to avoid the conflagration of a third, which would have incalculable consequences for the future of all Humanity.
On the base of these principles, defending peace and being solidarity with the peoples struggles, CPPC's action is done in as many ways as we can, by going to schools to speak to teachers and students, promoting public debates, conferences, demonstrations, information campaigns, Concerts for Peace, participating the recent creation of a Municipalities for Peace Network, engaging other organizations to promote broad fronts of solidarity, among others.
The firm defence of essential principles to ensure peace and international security continues to be a central objective of the action of CPPC and the basis for a broad convergence in the struggle for peace, that the struggle against NATO is part of.
The Peace Yes! NATO No! Campaign was open to all organisations that agreed with the campaign’s call and asked to join, grew to over one hundred Portuguese friendship organisations, social clubs, popular sports clubs, political youth organisations and political parties, trade unions, cultural and educational cooperatives, environmental groups, theatre groups, amongst others, a diversified and broad spectrum – among which were those that, by themselves, represent the broadest and most inclusive movements for the unity of the Portuguese workers and people, in the struggle for their rights and for peace.
Each organisation carried out initiatives either on their own, with some other organisations or in converging central initiatives, like meetings, debates, street initiatives, publishing and distributing leaflets, concerts and other cultural initiatives a youth camp for Peace or the promotion of a petition that forced the discussion of the campaigns demands in portuguese parliament. All these led up the mass demonstration of November 20th when tens of thousands of peace loving demonstrators marched through the main avenue in down-town Lisbon.
Working from this national basis the campaign also gathered international support from tens of organisations from around the World, namely of the World Peace Council.
The clear political principles around the campaign and the rooting in national mass organisations was essential for the resilience of the campaign to attempts from forces that in an intentional attitude of pure political parasitism, tried to gain political capital from the popular mobilization promoted by the «Peace, Yes!; NATO, No!» Campaign.
The Campaign was a success for the Portuguese peace loving forces, and has been continued until the present with higher moments like in 2014 against NATO’s summit in Wales, 2015 against NATO’s military exercises in Portugal, Spain and Italy, 2016 against NATO’s summit in Poland and now in 2017 also against the Brussels summit with initiatives in some towns and two marches - tomorrow in Lisbon and the day after in Oporto.
As World Peace Council’s member CPPC also strives to promote anti-NATO common initiatives at European and World level.
This year, like the year before, the WPC European Member organizations promoted an Appeal “Yes to Peace! No to NATO! Protest NATO’s 2017 Brussels Summit!”, appealing for initiatives in each country and for the INTAL and WPC initiatives here in Brussels.
Affirming that war is not inevitable! And that the forces of Peace and the peoples have a word to say! The European WPC member organizations affirm:
• No to increased military spending for war, devote money to social progress and peace;
• The withdrawal of all NATO forces involved in military aggression and occupations;
• The end of blackmail, destabilization and of wars of aggression against sovereign states and peoples;
• The support to refugees, victims of the wars NATO promotes and supports;
• The closing of military bases in foreign territory and the dismantling of USA and NATO anti-missile system;
• The abolition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and general disarmament;
• The opposition to the further enlargement of NATO, namely to the Nordic countries, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Cyprus;
• The dissolution of NATO;
• The respect of the principles of the founding charter of the UN and of the sovereignty and equality of peoples and States.
CPPC will continue to struggle for in our country and alongside the peace-loving forces of the World, for Peace, justice and progress.
You can count on us!
“Helena Casqueiro – CPPC
WPC Conference “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!”
Brussels, May 24th 2017
Receive first of all a fraternal salute from the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation.
We are very satisfied to be able to be here in Brussels and share with you these INTAL and WPC initiatives for Peace and against NATO.
We would like to congratulate INTAL for yesterdays initiative and for the work and planing that allowed us to be here these days giving expression to WPC’s “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!”, voicing our condemnation of NATO, as an aggressive militarist block, the main threat to world peace in our time and to its Brussels summit warmongering goals.
In the preparation for WPC and its member organizations participation in the anti-NATO initiatives in Brussels, we value INTAL’s proposals for the holding of an INTAL public initiative with the support of WPC, the holding of this WPC “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!” conference, and the participation of our organizations alongside INTAL in this afternoon’s demonstration that will be a expression of the Belgian people’s, the peoples of our countries, the peoples of the world rejection of NATO and its warmongering, an expression of the desire for a world of peace, social justice and progress.
We would also like to value the contribution of the WPC European region that, implementing and giving expression to the outcome of our last World Peace Assembly held in Brazil, warmly hosted by the Brazilian Centre for Solidarity with Peoples and Struggle for Peace, drafted the “Appeal to the organizations and activists in Europe that defend the cause of Peace - Yes to Peace! No to NATO! - Protest NATO’s 2017 Brussels Summit!”, as a result of a broad consultation and collective work of the WPC European member organizations, as it was identically done the year before concerning NATO’s summit in Warsaw.
The appeal reaffirming and carrying on the WPC’s campaign “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!”, putting the governments of the NATO member countries in front of their responsibilities, stated the WPC European organizations would promote activities against NATO and against its summit in Brussels and to appeal for the mobilization and initiatives in each country, claiming: no to increased military spending for war, the end of all NATO military aggression and occupation, the end of blackmail, destabilization and wars of aggression, the support to refugees, closing of foreign military bases, dismantling of USA and NATO anti-missile system, the abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, general disarmament; the dissolution of NATO; the respect of the principles of the founding charter of the UN.
On our part, beyond our fraternal and solidarity presence here in Brussels, CPPC has also been developing initiatives in several cities of Portugal, including the distribution of documents, that will culminate with street initiatives in Lisbon today and Oporto tomorrow, together with other Portuguese organizations.
The times we are living are filled with dangers, but also of resistance and struggle by the peoples. US, NATO, EU and their allies dominance strategy and warmongering action are the big threat that the peoples of all around the world face. US, NATO and EU warmongering action feeds an escalation of tensions, destabilization and aggression with the real threat of a generalized war that would mean the destruction of humankind. The demand that this threat does not become a reality is more pressing than ever.
War is not inevitable! The forces of Peace and the peoples have a word to say!
CPPC shares the idea that this is also a time for hope, based on the struggles of the peace-loving peoples of the world, that the catastrophe of a new war of global proportions can be avoided. We need to recall lessons from historical struggles, and unite all consequent and broad forces for peace and progress in a strong mobilization whose strength, breadth and conviction can prevent new tragedies from occurring.
The struggle for Peace is at the core of the Peace movement namely in the objectives and actions of the World Peace Council. A pressing struggle that not only through denouncing the imperialist wars of aggression and for the demand for their end after their conflagration, but that is also urgent in making efforts and forces converge to avoid these aggressions whenever possible. A struggle that naturally stands in solidarity with the right of peoples to resist aggression and oppression.
Also in the core principles of WPC is the respect for peoples’ self-determination and for the sovereignty and independence of States, or the demand for universal disarmament.
We believe that the way to strengthen WPC is the strengthening of each of our organizations and our activities, always striving to live up to the WPC historical role of being an aggregator of wills and actions of all those that struggle for peace, disarmament and global security; for national independence, economic and social justice and development, for protection of the environment, human rights and cultural heritage; solidarity with and support of those peoples and liberation movements fighting for the independence, sovereignty and integrity of their countries, and against imperialism.
We believe that as WPC member organizations we all could contribute to the impetus and activity of WPC, all organizations having the possibility to present proposals and initiatives, within the World Peace Council’s values. CPPC has searched to contribute by proposals like, giving recent example, through the proposal of the “Appeal to the organizations and activists in Europe that defend the cause of Peace - Yes to Peace! No to NATO! - Protest NATO’s 2017 Brussels Summit!” mentioned before or the recent text in “Solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails”.
In Europe we recently held a fruitful and participated regional meeting in Berlin, fraternally hosted by the German Peace Council, where, taking into account the outcome of the World Peace Assembly, and in view of implementing and developing its guidelines in our region pointed several actions that concern our region in particular like the continuation of the WPC "Yes to Peace! No to NATO!" campaign mobilizing for the INTAL and WPC initiatives, that have what has joined us in Brussels these two days, but also to try and hold a conference on NATO’s expansion in Northern Europe, to continue to pursue solidarity campaigns, for example with the peoples of Ukraine, Cyprus and Turkey and Syria, Palestine, Western Sahara, Cuba and Venezuela, among others.
The European region decided to give its contribution to the outcome of the World Peace Assembly by marking days of action against nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction around August 6th and 9th promoting days of action in each country – in Portugal we will mark these days alongside the Municipalities for Peace network recently launched in cooperation with CPPC – within this framework we will also mark the International Peace Day (September 21st) another of our regional meeting conclusions.
And decided also to hold initiatives against foreign military bases, to hold a solidarity campaign with the refugees and an international conference in 2017 on refugees, to mark the 100 years of the October Revolution and its contribution for peace and the progress of humanity. The foreseen visits to Syria and Turkey, were adjourned until the conditions on the ground permit it.
At the regional meeting it was also decided that all European organizations should try to contribute with posters and other materials and proposals of initiatives that should circulate among all on the decided activities, and also to inform on the initiatives being prepared in each country searching for a greater convergence and sharing of experiences within the WPC activity plan already decided for 2017. Another important issue addressed was the need to strengthen WPC in Europe and that each member organization should strive to regain contact with organizations that are already member but have lost touch with WPC and search for new organizations that might come to have more common activity and connection with the WPC, including becoming members.
In this framework, CPPC considers that it is essential to promote the exchange of information between WPC member organizations, boosting the open and democratic forum for dialogue, cooperation, interaction and mutual assistance among sovereign and independent peace movements and organizations that is the WPC.
Heir to the Portuguese peace movement, CPPC a WPC member for many decades now, has always given and will continue to contribute within the respect of WPC principles of which it is proud, aiming at building the broadest unity in action within WPC, among WPC member organizations.
Confident that as WPC Member Organizations we will continue to develop our collective work for Peace and for the strengthening of WPC and its action, namely the «Yes to Peace! No to NATO!» campaign.