Security for next week’s Nato summit is a bigger operation than the Olympics, say police, although expectations of 10,000 protesters have proved to be a little optimistic.
About 1,000 demonstrators marched through Newport’s streets ahead of the two-day event, due to be attended by 150 ministers and heads of state.
Police called the event “uncharted territory”, requiring the erection of a 12-mile security fence at key sites in Cardiff and Newport and a contingent of 9,500 officers from 43 UK forces.
Marchers carrying Palestinian flags, led by the Stop The War Coalition, voiced their opposition to military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.
Protesters called for the abolition of Nato and claimed that the organisation no longer has a role to play in international affairs.
Several marchers, carrying hammer and sickle, Cuban and other socialist flags declared a critical support of Russia’s right to “defend their borders”. They were joined by campaigners from CND, who urged the use of the United Nations as a diplomatic alternative to Nato.