09 no nato newport cameron
Protests against the Nato Summit 2014 in Newport, South Wales.Vertigogen, Flickr

The week before the Nato Summit in Newport is due to kick off, the first protesters have opened a "peace camp" in the city's Tredegar Park.

Campaigners have arrived ahead of a weekend of marches and meetings, as well as a Counter Summit, taking place on the campsite this Sunday (August 31).

Estimates as to how many protesters are expected vary, with Eddie Clarke of the "No to NATO" group telling IBTimes UK that his group alone is expecting hundreds of campers. They will be joined by representatives of groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the Stop the War Coalition and South West against Nuclear (SWAN).

A heavy police presence will patrol Newport and Cardiff, 12 miles away. There are 9,500 officers expected, with many being shipped in from as far afield as London.

Many of the protesters are aggrieved by the very existence of Nato, which is taken to represent nuclear proliferation. Groups representing refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are also expected to be in attendance.

"The objectives are to get rid of nuclear and Nato, to completely obliterate weapons of mass destruction. The short-term aims are to connect each similar group in Nato member countries to us, to have a single voice, equal in each individual country," Clarke said.

However there is also significant discontent on a local level. The Summit, which takes place at the Celtic Manor resort next Thursday and Friday, is expected to lead to widespread disruption.

There are 12 miles of perimeter fences now in place in parts of Newport and Cardiff, as police try to ensure the security of some of the world's highest profile politicians.

But with roads and schools closing, many have been forced to take time off work, with local businesses also complaining about the disruption.

"Nobody has given anything clear as to how much money it will bring into Wales or Newport. People having to take the day off work because of travel disruptions and schools being closed, it looks like it will have the opposite effect. Money's going to be taken out of the economy because people aren't going to be able to get to work," Simon Coopey, who will a stand for Plaid Cymru in Newport West at the next general election, told IBTimes UK.

The Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said: "I'm very sensitive to the fact that people are experiencing daily inconvenience but this is very much a temporary measure and we're hugely appreciative of what people are doing. The important point is to try to keep the disruption to a minimum, but not to rush the preparations."