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  • Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth Europe also attended the demonstration, saying, "We refuse to normalize Trump

    Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth Europe also attended the demonstration, saying, "We refuse to normalize Trump's politics."   | Photo: Twitter/ @GUENGL

Published 9 July 2018

The protesters marched carrying the banners, "Make Peace Great Again," "NATO Game Over."

Ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, summit, thousands of protesters took to streets in Brussels over the weekend to protest the upcoming event and President Donald Trump's presence and his policies at the meeting.

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US President Trump Wants Europe To Spend More On Military
 

Carrying the banners, "Make Peace Great Again," "NATO Game Over," the protesters marched under the banner, "Trump Not Welcome." 

"This is not about the man himself," one of the organizers told the Brussels Times. "It's about the policies he stands for. A world where guns are welcome, but refugees and migrants are not. A world where children are being locked up. We are calling for a different kind of  society."  

Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth Europe also attended the demonstration, saying, "We refuse to normalize Trump's politics."  

"We are against this logic where militarization takes preference against the struggle against poverty, climate protection, migrant reception," a spokesperson for the Belgian group Ecolo J, told France 24.   

Just one day ahead of his European trip to Belgium, the United Kingdom and Finland, Trump took to Twitter ranting about how other NATO allies weren't doing nearly enough and the current position unfairly favors the European Union. To rectify the issue, Trump has imposed tariffs on the EU, as well as on Canada and Mexico, further straining relationships with these countries. 

"The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable," Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning. "While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more. Germany is at 1%, the U.S. is at 4%, and NATO benefits Europe far more than it does the U.S." 

In a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote he expects eight NATO nations to meet the two percent of GDP threshold this year, up from just three in 2014.   

"By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!" 

The two-day NATO summit is set to begin July 11.


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