No To NATO, No To War – Fiona Edwards speech at London Rally

Video of Fiona Edwards speaking on behalf of No Cold War Britain at the NO2NATO NO2WAR rally in London on 25 February 2023.

Other speakers at the rally included: George Galloway, Chris Williamson, Dan Kovalik, Nick Brana, Clare Daly (MEP), Mick Wallace (MEP), musician Lowkey, former diplomats Craig Murray and Peter Ford, ASLEF vice president Andy Hudd, academic David Miller, journalist Richard Medhurst, and campaigner Audrey White.

The full rally can be watched here.

The Not The Andrew Marr Show has produced highlights of the rally which can be watched here.


Text of the speech

No To NATO – No To War Speech | 25 February 2023

I want to thank and congratulate the organisers for their determination in ensuring today’s Conference has gone ahead in the face of intimidation and threats.

It is vital that we stand our ground.

There is hardly a more important task today for people like us, who live within NATO countries, to stand up and speak out against this aggressive military alliance which has caused such great human suffering, death and destruction in Afghanistan, in Libya and today in Ukraine.

Western governments and the mainstream Western media want to smear us, to ridicule us and to silence us.

But we cannot allow ourselves to be cowered – we have to raise voices to say No To NATO – No To War – Yes To Peace.

We meet today in London, the heart of British imperialism. As we know Britain has been a key partner of the United States in its brutal wars in the Middle East and North Africa which have killed and displaced millions of people.

Today Britain, once again is following the lead of Washington.

Moving on from the devastating ‘War On Terror’ to play a leading, hawkish role in the new cold war – which explicitly aims to stop the peaceful rise of China and preserve US global domination.

This is new cold war is destabilising the entire world – threatening world peace and prosperity – and has already brought a devastating hot war to Europe, in Ukraine.  

We have to be clear about the following: the greatest threat facing us today – the greatest enemy of humanity – is the warmongers in Washington and their lackeys in Britain and other NATO countries.

We are living through perilous times. The US is simultaneously escalating a proxy war in Ukraine against Russia and increasing aggression against China with an enormous military build-up in the Pacific.

It is vital that we play our part in building an international movement against these massive threats to humanity.

NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is a tragedy that has caused great human suffering. Finding a political solution to end the conflict through negotiations is vital.

To find a political solution it is crucial to understand what has caused this war.

Decades of NATO expansion, bringing an aggressive military alliance right up to Russia’s border has caused this war.

US interference, including a coup in 2014 to install a pro-NATO regime in Ukraine has caused this war.

The 8 year civil war following the US coup, which saw NATO powers arm Kiev and Ukrainian fascists in order to carry out attacks on the Russian speaking population in the East of Ukraine has caused this war.

Instead of pushing for negotiations and a political solution which is urgently needed to achieve a lasting peace, the United States, Britain and Europe are escalating their proxy war in Ukraine.

They are pouring billions of dollars, euros and pounds worth of weapons into Ukraine to prolong the war.

The explicit goal of US foreign policy makers is to use this proxy war to “weaken Russia.” In other words the Ukrainian people are being used as cannon fodder to advance US geopolitical goals.  

So, why is the US aiming to weaken Russia?

The US does not want any country to pursue an independent foreign policy – Washington has launched countless coups, wars, proxy wars and so on to achieve regime change all across the world, to install US puppets that will subordinate their countries to Washington. This of course applies to Russia.

But this is also about the US’s cold war against China. The Biden administration believes that if it succeeds in weakening Russia – a large country with serious military power – this will strengthen the US’s ability to attack China in the future.

US imperialism’s threats to China

At the same time as the West ratchets up aggression against Russia, the cold war against China is also heating up. 

In recent weeks the Western media has been focused on hyping up the alleged ‘threat’ posed by a solitary Chinese balloon which was blown off course into US airspace.

The furore over the balloon sparked a diplomatic crisis. Incredibly the United States deployed advanced weapons to destroy this balloon.

This ‘balloon crisis’ is quite simply hot air.

Manufactured by the US to whip up further hostility towards China within the United States and create an atmosphere of tension.

Britain joined in with this farce of course, with the Prime Minister declaring it will “do whatever it takes” to keep the country safe from balloons.

We’ve got to understand that the US and its allies are attempting to prepare public opinion in the West for a possible hot war with China.

Washington has been working with key US allies in the Pacific region to escalate the military encirclement of China in preparation for this potential hot war in Asia.

Instead of embarking on a policy of international cooperation to solve shared problems facing us, such as the deepening climate crisis, the entire US political establishment is uniting around an extremely aggressive policy aimed at stopping the rise of China.

The extraordinary economic, social and technological development of China is regarded in Washington as an existential threat to the US’s global hegemony, which US elites are determined to preserve by means that could endanger every person on the planet. This rise of China has brought over 800 million people out of poverty in the last 40 years – and the response of the West is “but at what cost?”

The US is losing in peaceful economic competition with China and so is attempting to push confrontation with China onto the military terrain where it is strongest.

The US is the most powerful military force on the planet – spending more on the military than the next nine countries combined.

With over 800 military bases around the world and a large stock of nuclear weapons. China only has 1 foreign military base. The idea that China is the ‘threat’ is absurd.

I want to mention the latest briefing of the No Cold War campaign, ‘Taiwan is a red line issue’ – please go and read it on our website. It addresses the question of whether the United States wants to turn Taiwan into the Ukraine of East Asia.

Taiwan is part of China – a reality that the international community overwhelmingly recognises. There should be no doubt that moves by the US to encourage Taiwan’s “independence” would represent an attack on China’s sovereignty and the Chinese government has been totally clear that such an attack is a “red line” which the US should not cross.

The planned visit of the new US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Taiwan is a deliberately provocative move designed to whip up international tensions. It should be vigorously opposed.

The US is also calling upon other countries to join in with its aggressive military build-up against China.

Japan is re-militarising – doubling military spending in the next 5 years.

Australia is bringing in US long-range nuclear bombers and spending billions on US made weapons and advanced missile systems.

The US is gaining access to another 4 military bases in the Philippines.

Britain is getting in on the action – with military pacts with both Japan and Australia.

NATO’s Secretary General is also getting in on the action – Jen Stoltenberg visited South Korea and Japan recently with a clear agenda of promoting hostility towards China.

NATO already has caused a major war in Ukraine. There should be no doubt that NATO interference in Asia can only bring further threats to world peace and prosperity.

Building a movement against the warmongers

Most of the world is against all of this. We’ve got to remember that whilst we are a minority in this country we are part of a global majority.

Building a movement against the NATO warmongers is a crucial task.

The US is on an incredibly aggressive path – a war-path – against two nuclear armed states.

This has the potential to escalate into further hot wars and of course has the potential to escalate into nuclear war, the consequences of which would be truly catastrophic for humanity.

The costs of this war in Ukraine and the new cold war against Russia and China are huge.

Tens of thousands of people have already paid the ultimate price, with their lives, in Ukraine. Many more will lose their lives if this war continues to escalate.

We need negotiations and a political solution to end this war and build a lasting peace.

Hundreds of billions of dollars, euros and pounds are being spent on weapons for the Ukraine war and the military build-up against China.

These enormous sums of money are needed in the fight against the cost of living crisis, for wages, to tackle climate change, for health and education and for economic development all over the world.

And yet NATO is pushing for more and more military spending at the expense of ordinary people in the US, Britain and Europe.

Britain’s Defence Secretary is demanding another 11 billion pounds for the military. This tiny island is already the 4th largest military spender in the entire world.

There is apparently no money for public sector workers striking for fair pay and for properly funded public services.

The same thing is happening in France.

A 40% increase of the military budget – and savage austerity attacks on pensions.  

In Denmark they are cutting a Public Holiday to fund an increase in military spending.

This is grotesque.    

There is always a magic money tree for war but not for the people.

Millions of people in Europe are protesting against austerity. The connection between austerity and war has got to be made.

We’ve got to say loud and clear: we want money for peoples’ needs NOT the war machine!

No To NATO – No To War – Yes To Peace!