A demonstration in Oestersund against NATO’s military operations in Sweden (File)InternationalIndiaAfricaSweden submitted a bid for NATO membership alongside Finland in May 2022. On March 31, Finland’s application was ratified by all 30 members of the alliance, while Sweden’s bid is still pending approval by Hungary and Turkiye.Thousands of people gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday to protest against the country’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as against the Aurora-2023 military drills hosted by the Nordic state. As per the police estimates, between 2,000 and 2,500 people attended the rally. Holding banners such as “No to NATO”, the demonstration marched through the city. Protesters dubbed NATO a “war machine of the United States” and expressed concern that the alliance will drag Sweden into numerous conflicts. The protest was supported by local civil organizations, including the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society and several pacifist networks promoting the idea of nuclear disarmament. Nukes were another topic of protest – Swedes expressed concern that Nordic countries will lose their nuclear-free status should Stockholm join NATO. In this case, the territory may become a target should a full-scale nuclear war break out.Another concern was taxes – protesters argued that should Sweden join NATO, taxes will rise and the funds will go to financing the US war machine instead of education and social care.Traditionally, Swedish citizens have been negative towards joining NATO or any other military bloc. However, in the wake of hostilities in Ukraine, the Swedish government decided to access the North Atlantic Alliance. On March, 22, the Swedish parliament, the Riksdagen, supported the idea of joining NATO.
- November 27, 2023
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