Carrying signs proclaiming, "Make Peace Great Again," thousands marched through the streets of Brussels this weekend to protest this week's upcoming NATO summit and President Donald Trump's scheduled appearance at the meeting.
— GUE/NGL in the EP (@GUENGL) July 7, 2018
— RT (@RT_com) July 8, 2018
The "Trump Not Welcome" protest followed several demands by Trump and his administration that NATO countries increase their military spending, accusing the U.S. allies of showing a "failure to meet shared security commitments."
Speakers declared their opposition to "everything that Trump embodies" and said his aggressive stance toward NATO countries and the international community "is not leadership."
Protesters also expressed condemnation of Trump's agenda overall, as his "zero tolerance" policy and the separation of families and his withdrawals from the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal have made headlines all over the world since he took office.
"This is not about the man himself," one organizer 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."
Representatives of Amnesty International held a banner demanding, "End Family Detention" while others held puppets depicting Trump.
— Raphael Weyland (@news_rapha) July 7, 2018
Green groups including Friends of the Earth Europe also attended the demonstration, posting on Twitter, "We refuse to normalize Trump's politics."
With thousands of others on the streets of Brussels today to say #TrumpNotWelcome. We refuse to normalise #Trump’s politics: he will be met with huge protests everywhere he sets foot in Europe this week. #Resist! pic.twitter.com/loovsEIEyQ
— Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) July 7, 2018
"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.
The two-day NATO summit is set to begin July 11.