The news is now being carried internationally with reports that at least 50 people have been turned away as Portugal has suspended the Schengen Treaty on free travel within most EU states. Whilst they say that this is to prevent violent anti-NATO protests, the reality is that peace campaigners are being turned away. They are being denied the right to peaceful protest.
The right to protest is part of the democratic fabric of our society – it has been hard won and will be defended. People have the right to oppose NATO. It is engaged in a murderous war in Afghanistan and costs vast amounts of money which would be better spent on meeting our genuine security and human needs – health, education, housing, employment, dealing with climate change.
This suppression of peaceful protest is a disgrace. It must be opposed and reversed. Our democratic rights must be defended.
UPDATE: As of Friday 19th – the first day of the NATO Summit – we have heard that 168 peace activists from France, Sweden, Finland and Spain have been prevented from entering Portugal.