CHICAGO, IL â€”Â On Thursday at noon, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, The World Canâ€™t Wait, Veterans for Peace and other groups associated with the NATO protests will attempt to present letters expressing outrage about NATO operations and their demand to an end to military operations, particularly drone operations, to four NATO countries: Â the United States, Canada, Germany and the UK. They will also bring visual representations of the civilians killed by NATO forces. “We are outraged by the numbers of innocents killed in NATO/US wars, and will we focus on their stories,” says Debra Sweet of The World Can’t Wait.
The protests will be held at Noon, Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Obama Campaign Headquarters, 130 E. Randolph, Prudential 1 Plaza, moving to the Canadian Consulate (Prudential Plaza 2 ), United Kingdom Consulate (400 N. Michigan Suite 1300), and German Consulate (676 N. Michigan, Suite 3200Â )
“As NATO meets in Chicago, it is important to remind member states of NATO of the extraordinary violence of NATO and their responsibility for these civilian deaths,” says retired Colonel Ann Wright.Â Â Of the 28 NATO countries, 18 have consulates in Chicago (Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom). The peace activists have chosen to visit the Consulates of Canada, the UK and Germany since all three nations still have troops in Afghanistan and have been key US allies in initiating and continuing the Afghan war.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of the new book Drones: Killing By Remote Control said “NATO represents an old militaristic agenda, but the world needsÂ a new paradigm that promotes diplomacy and puts our collective resources into urgent needs like eliminating poverty and reversing global warming.”
In the past ten years, NATO and US military operations have caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Both the British and US militaries have caused numerous civilian deaths by drone attack, and under President Obama, the CIA has killed over 3000 persons in the undeclared war on Pakistan, 65 persons in the undeclared war on Yemen, including the targeted assassinations of four American citizens.Â Â Â Additionally, a NATO helicopter attack on a Pakistani Army border unit killed Pakistani 24 soldiers in September, 2011.