Letter to the editor: Occupy NU calls to protest the NATO summit

This weekend, NATO will hold its 25th summit in Chicago under the slogan “The Global Crossroads” an accurate slogan, for as students, as educators, as Americans, and as Citizens of the World, we at Northwestern are faced with a choice between many paths. NATO was founded in the late ’40s “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,” in the words of its first Secretary General. Since then, NATO has become a united front for Western powers to conduct offensive operations. NATO has occupied the Balkans and Afghanistan, and has instigated wars of aggression in violation of the Nuremberg principles. But we as a collegiate community can no longer stand idly by and watch our governments act as a “police force” for the world. In the 21st century we must understand the people of those countries are our friends and neighbors, connected by common dreams and aspirations. This is especially poignant as we welcome our brothers and sisters in Qatar to the NU alumni community. NATO accounts for 70 percent of global military spending. At the same time, members of the alliance are struggling with unfathomable amounts of external debt and imposing austerity measures upon the most vulnerable among us. We believe these resources would be put to better use protecting our world from poverty and environmental destruction, instead of pursuing imperialist expansion in the name of national security. And so, at this crossroads, should we continue spending billions on killing Afghan civilians, or will we invest on our real necessities? This Sunday at noon, more than a hundred organizations will be marching against the NATO war machine in a protest titled “Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment: NOT WAR!” featuring speakers such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Afghan member of Parliament Malalai Joya, and former US Army Colonel Ann Wright. We urge the members of our community to meet us at the Arch at 10:30 on Sunday, and take the El with us down to Daley Plaza. It is our duty as leaders to choose the right path at this Global Crossroads. Occupy Northwestern