More than fifty activists from different parts of Spain and linked to various anti-militarist, environmental, feminist, trade union and climate protection organisations have carried out a nonviolent direct action at the Army War College in Madrid.

The groups that took part were: Desarma Madrid (Ecologistas en Acción, Yayoflautas, BDS Madrid, Alternativas No Violentas, Asamblea Antimilitarista de Madrid) and the state organisation Alternativa Antimilitarista-MOC, with activists from other territories (Basque Country, Canary Islands, Alicante…).

With this action they demand that “military spending should be reduced to the point of elimination, disarmament, the prohibition of nuclear weapons and the development of a concept of defence that promotes human and environmental security and puts life at the centre”.

National police officers chased the press away from the site of the action and arrested 28 activists.

Dressed in school bibs, and by means of graffiti, banners and songs such as “Al pasar la barca”, they demanded the conversion of the School of War into a School of Peace, denounced the murders committed on Friday 24th at the Melilla border and demanded the departure of the warlords from Madrid, a city that should be a city of peace and is going to become the spearhead of NATO’s 360º militarism.

This action is part of the context of the mobilisations that have been taking place for several days against the holding of the NATO Summit in Madrid. And of the longest-running civil disobedience actions to denounce militarism and war: both the one that has been going on for months on Ukrainian territory – and which is causing so much suffering, suffering to which the government of the Kingdom of Spain, with its arms shipments, is contributing – and the longer one on the southern border, in which thousands of people are killed every year, the participants affirm.

The activists denounce the summit that begins tomorrow, where this military organisation will outline its new strategic concept. This strategy will mean, as governments such as that of Pedro Sánchez have already announced, a sharp increase in military spending with the escalation of international tension and associated conflicts that this will bring.

Instead, the anti-militarist groups demand that military spending should be reduced to zero, disarmament, a ban on nuclear weapons and the development of a defence concept that promotes human and environmental security and puts life at the centre. The increase of up to two percent in the Defence Ministry’s budget will mean that funds will be taken away from other essential areas such as health care, education, the fight against the climate crisis, and so on.

They started with the music of “Al pasar la barca”, playing in front of the War College in Madrid:

“When NATO arrived
the banker told me
that all wars
give a lot of money.

I don’t want NATO
or NATO to see,
life in the centre
we want to put”.

“The war starts here, let’s stop it here” – they shouted in conclusion.