Pat Sanchez and Rae Street set off from a cold Littleborough railway station on the evening of Wednesday 17 November 2010 and travelled to Lisbon by rail through the following night via France and Spain.
They arrived in the relative warmth and sunshine of the Portuguese capital at about the same time as NATO leaders laid out their plans to continue the war in Afghanistan until at least 2015.
In Lisbon, they joined other international delegates and protesters, including Jeremy Corbyn MP and CND national chair, Dave Webb in condemning NATO's decision to continue with its military occupation of Afghanistan, its policy of 'first use' of nuclear weapons and plans to spend tens of £billions on developing a so-called 'missile defence system'. They called for an immediate end to NATO's war in Afghanistan, an end to NATO expansion and for British withdrawal from the military alliance.
Pat Sanchez said: "We attended an inspiring conference that offered us a vision of the peaceful future we are all working for. People from many nations are working together against NATO's policies and were horrified by the latest the communiqué about that organisation's New Strategic Concept. Its contents made us more aware than ever that NATO's policies are no way to peace, but will bring greater dangers to the world.
“We are outraged that NATO is doing nothing further Obama's claimed vision of a nuclear free world, while their announcements lead us to suspect that the real plan is to develop new nuclear weapons and to share these amongst the previously nuclear-free states that have joined NATO in recent years.
“The US are now trying to include even Russia in their 'Star Wars' plans. Through NATO, they are trying to disguise attempts to gain even greater military dominance over the world, but we are confident that the peoples of the world will see through this subterfuge. We know that a 'Star Wars' missile system will not bring peace. We know that nuclear weapons will not bring peace. And we shall continue to resist the immoral squandering of tens of £billions on preparations for war.
“This is money that needs instead to be invested in education, in health and in alleviating poverty in Rochdale, in Britain and across the world.”