Keep Space for Peace Week Actions
and details from original call for action are here.
Protest spotlights space militarization
When demonstrators gathered for a vigil on Wednesday, Oct. 5, outside Vandenberg Air Force Base, they joined a series of actions in more than 40 locations worldwide marking Keep Space for Peace Week. Actions took place in such locations as Menwith Hill, England; Jeju Island, South Korea; Nagpur, India; Kaua’i, Hawaii; and National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Keep Space for Peace Week has been observed for nearly 20 years by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (space4peace.org), which was founded in 1992.
The demonstrators at Vandenberg felt confident base authorities would not try to arrest them on public roads adjacent to the base, following a ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court in mid-September in the case of U.S. vs. Hobert Parker, Jr. In previous U.S. District Court decisions in other states, judges rejected the Air Force contention that the boundaries of military bases are malleable, that protesters therefore could be charged with trespass even when they are on public property. The Ninth Circuit ruling specifically refers to Vandenberg and says base boundaries are fixed and may not be re-set by base commanders for reasons of security. Because similar rulings have been made in other federal courts, the judgment is expected to stick, even if the Air Force appeals.
The actions of Global Network members during Keep Space for Peace Week oppose a tenet central to Vandenberg’s mission: Neither the testing of strategic missiles from Vandenberg launch sites, nor the launch of intelligence and communication satellites from the base, should be viewed as defensive or deterrent in nature. Since at least the mid-1990s, such military organizations as Air Force Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command have explicitly declared their mission is to “serve the warfighter.”
For many decades, the world’s military organizations have been the largest users of space, and the 21st-century mix of orbital platforms is 70 percent dominated by the military. During the Cold War, space-based intelligence platforms were claimed to be stabilizing, a deterrent force that provided the “national technical means of verification” for arms control. But since the Cold War ended, the Pentagon has made it very clear space is intended as a “force multiplier to enhance the kill-chain from sensor to shooter.” The talk of defensive use of space has vanished.
Nevertheless, the specific systems addressed by Global Network protesters have changed over the past two decades. The focus on ballistic missile defense systems, which include a space component, has waxed and waned depending on the interest of the particular White House authorities in power. Today, although President Obama has said he is less interested in Star Wars weapons than was his predecessor, Global Network focuses on continued missile-defense weapons used in the ocean, as well as on radar networks and short-range missile systems in Central Europe and Turkey.
During the George W. Bush presidential era, large satellite systems intended for waging war, among them the Transformational Satellite, were challenged by Global Network. Though many of these planned satellites fell victim to budget cuts, current Pentagon doctrine calls for clusters of microsatellites and airborne drones to provide space support to the battlefield.
More recently, Obama’s escalation of the drone wars in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen has underscored the need to explain the way in which navigational and intelligence satellites enable killer drones. It is true that drones provide a cheaper and politically palatable alternative to troops on the ground and massive air assaults, but the ability of robot planes to target individuals raises this question: When the U.S. targets a U.S. citizen, such as al-Qaeda member Anwar al-Awakli, who was killed on Sept. 30 by a drone, does it violate the pledge made in the 1970s to not use military or intelligence assets to commit assassination? When the ACLU tried to raise that question in a lawsuit six months ago, Obama’s Justice Department declared the entire issue of assassination-by-drone a state secret.
The case of drones is one example of a troubling trend in the Obama administration, one in which Vandenberg plays a critical role. Conventional weapons that can strike anywhere on the Earth’s surface in two hours, including two new breeds of space plane and conventionally armed Minuteman missiles, are now lumped together under a mission called Conventional Prompt Global Strike. These weapons have been assigned to a new Global Strike Command that also has authority over strategic nuclear weapons. Could this joint authority erode the traditional firebreak between conventional and nuclear missiles? Certainly, when the commander of Global Strike visited Vandenberg in the summer of 2010 to witness a Minuteman missile test, there was no longer any mention of intercontinental missiles as a strategic deterrent to global war—only a mention of the Minuteman’s role in “warfighting.”
This year’s theme for Keep Space for Peace Week is “Even in the heavens, war is hell.” Citizens involved in a vigil outside Vandenberg want to remind Lompoc-area residents that Vandenberg’s mission is seldom defensive or deterrent in nature. The militarization of space does not just mean a future war in space—space support allows the perfection of war on the ground, acting in global, instantaneous ways.
Loring Wirbel is a
board member of Global Network, and the author of Star Wars:
US Tools of Space Supremacy. He writes about advanced technologies for several
Twenty-three of us from around Maine gathered in the rain today
at Bath Iron Works during the Saturday shift change at the shipyard where Navy
Aegis destroyers are built.
Studies at the UMASS-Amherst Economics Department show that
$1 billion in
military production creates 8,555 jobs while investing the same amount of
money in building rail systems would create 19,795 jobs. That's a huge
difference and you'd think that every politician in the country would be
grabbing onto that fact and calling for conversion in order to create more jobs.
But sadly their silence on this important subject indicates the power the
military industrial complex has over these political figures.
On 1st October, protesters from across the country gathered at RAF Croughton as part of Keep Space for Peace week, an international week of campaigning against weapons in space. Speakers at the event included:
Rebecca Johnson - Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy
Kevin Lister - Plane Stupid and linking the environment and anti-military campaigns.
Amy Hailwood - Fellowship of Reconciliation England.
Croughton is a major US communications base which supports many US military bases in Europe and world wide. Its role includes space communications, bomber guidance, missile defence, diplomatic communications and command, control and other war fighting functions.
Video of the demonstration:
An open meeting infront of the Swedish parliament on Oct 3rd (International Childrens Day in Sweden) was held in protest against Sweden manufacturing and training drones and also in protest of the US using drones in the wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia.
Speakers were from the following organisations: SAME ÄTNAM - a Samic organisation in the North of Sweden, Afghanistan Solidarity, Swedish Peace Council. We had made a special banner for this occasion and handed out hundreds of leaflets with facts about how children are killed in these drone wars and how Sweden is involved.
Organisations behind this meeting were Swedish Peace Council, Swedish Women's Left org. Swedish Peace Committee and Women for Peace.
We Women for Peace in Kiruna had on the 3rd of October - International Children`s day a sit-in against all children killing drones in the world.
We (Edla, Eva Ingegärd, Barbro and I) had the sit-in first in the Kupolsquare and then in the afternoon outside a big store. We also handed out flyers about drones to around a hundred people.
A dozen activists gathered outside of Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona at 7 a.m. Monday morning, October 3 to protest drone warfare and war profiteering. The group held signs reading "No to War Profiteering", "We Have Guided Missiles and Misguided Men - MLK", and "Drone Attacks Inspire Hatred of the U.S.", as employees drove into the factory.
Tucson Quaker and Catholic Worker John Heid (email@example.com"@yahoo.com), holding a sign that said "Make Us Instruments of Peace", walked toward the Raytheon gatehouse to communicate with workers about weapons produced there (including Standard Missiles, Star Wars "kill vehicles", Mavericks, AMRAAMs, microwave crowd control beams, pilotless drones, cluster bombs and cruise missiles) and particularly about his concerns regarding drone warfare.
Heid was stopped while nearing the gatehouse, arrested and taken to jail.
Earlier he stated, "Today, October 3rd, sandwiched between Gandhi's birthday and the feast of Francis of Assisi, I come to Raytheon with a plea: Make me an instrument of peace! I come with Gandhian nonviolence and a Franciscan spirit to urge Raytheon Corporation to use its genius, its imagination, its fiscal and scientific resources for the creation and manufacture of those products that enhance life, not destroy it. I come with the knowledge that Raytheon Missile Systems is one of the world¹s leading manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) components and missiles. I come with the knowledge that U.S. drones are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates that 957 civilians were killed in their country alone last year. I urge Raytheon to make things that make for peace - make us instruments of peace!"
The peace vigil is one of dozens around the world happening from October 1-8, Keep Space for Peace Week: International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space. There was also an October 3 peace vigil at Raytheon Headquarters in Massachusetts.
The Raytheon Peacemakers have been vigiling once a month outside Tucson's Raytheon plant for the past 12 years. They continue to demonstrate against war and those who profit from it, firmly believing that survival demands better ideas, not better weapons.
Every year, since 2000, CAAB has responded to the call for a week of international protest by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN) against the US Missile Defense System – KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE week this year is 1-8 October 2011.
We had originally planned to have this event on Saturday 1 October 2011.
However we were informed by Yorkshire CND that they planned a demonstration on Saturday 16 October 2011. As the demonstrations were too close together we decided to incorporate into the weekly Tuesday evening protest (6-8 pm) and focus on the US Missile Defense and war fighting in space - including the alarming increase in the use of ‘drones’.
About 20 people attended – which was excellent considering the dark evenings and weather that we could not be sure about. We had ‘the Alternative Tea Party’ – with tea, cakes and the alternative (and true!) view about the US Missile Defense System. A message of solidarity from Oxford Peace Group, who had a demonstration at USAF Croughton on 1 October 2001 was read out.
Thank you so much to everyone who came and also who helped.
UAV Tactical Systems company based in Leicester, England which
builds the Watchkeeper is in part set up by the Israeli company Elbit Systems.
Elbit specializes in the manufacturing of electronic defence devices for the
Photographs of the joint pogramme by the All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation, Indian Women for Peace & Development and the Matru Seva Sangh Institute of Social Work, held on 5th Oct in Matru Sewa Sangh Institute Of Social Work.
Here, the "world's premier space operations team" known as the 50th Space Wing "wields space, cyberspace and expeditionary capabilities to deliver decisive global combat effects in support of national security objectives," the Schriever website says.
In other words, it uses satellites to help drones and ground forces kill people.
That's why Bill Sulzman and the other local peace activists have targeted the base, unfurling banners proclaiming, "U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now," "Cut Military Spending," "The chAir Force kills too" and "Keep Space for Peace." Surprisingly, they draw occasional thumbs-up and peace signs from the passing Schriever workers, though one woman leans on her car horn as she flips off the demonstrators.
Sulzman says space-based military operations are particularly despicable: "It makes it easier to do, because you don't have to put yourself in harm's way. It's seductive to make war safer and more deadly."
For the protesters, this stop is one of many to observe "Keep Space for Peace Week," co-sponsored by Citizens for Peace in Space, the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission and Moveon.org.
The observance ends Saturday with the local group's visit to a missile silo in northeast Colorado. Friday, they'll mark a decade of war in Afghanistan by delivering petitions signed by more than 1,500 Colorado residents to offices of Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Rep. Doug Lamborn, calling for the return of U.S. troops from the Middle East.
A Bennet spokesman says the senator wants to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and joined 26 other senators in urging President Obama in June to "shift course in Afghanistan" by withdrawing troops.
Lamborn says in a statement that he supports the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that Obama should "listen to the recommendations of our military leaders on the ground" in timing troop withdrawals. Udall's office didn't respond to a phone call seeking comment.
Last week, Obama told Congress in a letter that he plans to pull 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by mid-2012, the Associated Press reported. But that would still leave 68,000 troops there, more than when he took office, according to the Huffington Post.
For weeks, the peace posse has been standing outside supermarkets and malls, gathering signatures in support of ending the $200-billion-per-year wars. Sulzman says he and another petitioner were threatened with arrest outside New Life Church on Sunday morning, where Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine flags are displayed along with "Old Glory." A New Life spokeswoman says the church doesn't allow solicitations of any kind, even by other faith groups.
"We must stop the killing," the petition says. "No more phased withdrawals, no continued combat troops in Iraq. Bring the troops home now. Move the money — rebuild lives here, create sustainable jobs in the USA."
Sulzman says several active-duty soldiers have signed, commenting on "the futility or stupidity of the war." But on this Monday, even with the occasional positive gesture from passersby, the reception they get is far from an outpouring of support.
Rosemary Curts, a Colorado College student wearing a T-shirt proclaiming, "I'm not disturbing the peace. I'm disturbing the war," helps hold a sign as most workers stare straight ahead as they stream by.
Despite that, Curts says, "I think all protesting is effective, because all these people are going to have to think about it."
For those who followed the petition campaign we have a photo of the presentation at Senator Bennet's CS office.
With last minute petitions the total there was 2144 signatures. At the other two offices we had 2116 signatures.
The discussions were very similar. "We will pass on the signatures and your concerns to the Senator or Congressman". In each case they seemed impressed by the sheer volume of signatures and how they were obtained and from whom they were obtained. We still have copies and will build on the number to be presented to Obama when he visits Denver on October 26.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how that might happen?
Today we are getting ready for our all day trip to missile silo N-8 for the memorial for Sister Jackie Hudson.
Could encounter snow up there.
There was a screening of "Arsenal of Hypocrisy" in the Gangjeong village, Jeju Island on Oct. 7, during the Keep Space for Peace Week, 2011. It was the next day when 11protesters were arrested during their protest against the navy's test blast of the Gureombee rocky coast six times.
A banner has been put on the site of people's daily candle light vigil, during the space peace week days. The banner reads:
"No Jeju naval base! To save the Gureombee is to prevent militarization of space as well."
Two page introduction leaflets on the movie and space peace week were distributed to the audience of about 40~50 villagers and activists prior to the screening. Sung-Hee Choi briefly mentioned that the Jeju naval base that would serve for the U.S. missile defense system can be connected to the Nazi Germany in history when Hitler developed first rockets. She also mentioned about the need of transfer money spent to war system into people's welfare.
There was also an email- informing on the 2011 space peace week, space movies, danger of drones and solidarity activities for Gangjeong village in the world during the space peace week and beyond through introductory and summary translation on those subjects.
The screening on the two other space movies of "Space 4 Peace" And "Pax Americana and Weaponization of Space", will be held in October mostly for the activists residing in the village and Jeju Island. Screening for college students in the Jeju Island are considered as well. Even though space peace week was finished, the efforts for expanding the issue on the space peace will be continued.
The Gangjeong village will host the Global Network annual conference From Feb. 24 to 26, 2012. prior to it, there is a mini conference in Hawai'i.
Thanks very much for all the works and care.
I've been coughing and vomiting, and my head aches from pepper spray. I'll post videos and photos of why at the link above.
We intended to hold signs and sing inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, protesting its promotion of unmanned drones, missiles, and bombs, including its sponsorship by and promotion of weapons corporations. We don't have any museums promoting health coverage or education or retirement security.
We had marched from the Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square occupations, taking over the streets of DC. The museum knew we were coming. Some of our group got in and dropped a banner. Hundreds of us did not. Instead, we were greeted at the door with cans of pepper spray.
There were three sets of entrance doors. I was among the first to open the third set of doors. A guard shook a can of pepper spray in front of me and demanded that we back out. But a dozen feet away at the second set of doors, people were staggering out and collapsing in pain, having been pepper sprayed in the face. I started to go toward them, but began coughing and vomiting. A lot of people were effected, directly or -- like me -- indirectly by the pepper spray.
It is not true that we assaulted the police. Nobody was accused of or charged with that. I didn't hear about it until later from the media. A young woman named Thi Le was told she'd be charged with assaulting a police officer after she was pepper sprayed and handcuffed, but they switched the charge to disorderly conduct and released her a few hours later.
It is not true that they only pepper sprayed one person. Many people were pepper sprayed.
It is not true that the crowd dispersed. The guards locked the doors and closed the museum. We had not planned to close the museum but to demonstrate and leave. With the museum closed and one of our own in custody, we held a rally on the steps as more people made their way over from Freedom Plaza to join us. We were there for hours.
We will be here for as long as it takes.
Congress comes back to this town on Tuesday.
We're not scared.
We're not discouraged.
We're not fooled.
We've got demands as clear as a blue sky:
Occupy Wall Street
Veterans For Peace issues the following statement from Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C., 6pm Saturday October 8.
Approximately 50 members of Veterans For Peace participated in a march this afternoon from Freedom Plaza to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The museum was featuring an exhibit on unmanned drone bombers that a group of about 250 people from the October2011.org encampment at Freedom Plaza intended to protest.
The marchers ascended the museum steps, chanting, “When drones fly, children die.”
They opened the doors at one of the three entrances, and when that entryway became full, they went to the second and third entrances.
VFP Acting Director Mike Ferner said, “I was at the first entranceway, holding the door open for people to enter. I saw a police or security officer in a white shirt hold his hands up, telling people to stop. The marchers continued and the officer began pepper-spraying everyone. From everything I saw until that moment, there was no reason for the pepper-spraying. The door of the museum clearly said “free admission.” It did not say “Free admission if you are quiet” or “Free admission unless you have opinions contrary to government policy.’
“This was a clear abuse of authority and a use of force far beyond what was called for. Our members are consulting with National Lawyers Guild attorneys who are working with the october2011.org encampment.”
“We are aware that one of the marchers shoved aside one of the officers. We do not condone this behavior.”
Veterans For Peace is one of several groups organizing the October2011.org encampment. VFP is an organization composed of U.S. military veterans from WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars and every period in between.
|CONTACT: Max Obuszewski, Tel: 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net|
As part of the Freedom Square Occupation, NCNR decided to attempt to obtain a meeting with Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the Director of the National Security Agency, to discuss perceived illegal and unconstitutional activities by NSA operatives.
NCNR sent a letter, signed by thirty people from around the country, to Lt. Gen. Alexander requesting a meeting. On Sunday, October 9, 2011, approximately twenty-five people travelled to National Security Agency headquarters at Ft. Meade, Maryland, carrying a copy of the letter and signs, saying: "Close the NSA" and "NSA Surveillance - NOT in OUR NAME", and "Ground the Drones!"
Representatives of the NSA Police said it was not possible to meet with Lt. General Alexander. An NSA public relations officer told the group to leave Fort Meade and that she "would get back to spokesperson for the protesters, Max Obuszewski, on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Since activists had been unsuccessful for many years in obtaining a meeting with the director of the NSA, it was decided not to wait to see if a response would materialize, but rather to make an attempt at that time to peacefully walk, two-by-two, to the guard station to grieve our concerns about the NSA's national and global activities, such as illegal surveillance (using unmanned drones); involvement in the extra-judicial killing of U.S. citizens; and the firing of Thomas Drake, an NSA "whistleblower", to name a few.
However, instead of obtaining the desired meeting, fourteen people were arrested on the road heading towards the guard station,. which protesters believe to be in direct violation of First Amendment-protected activities.
Each of those arrested received three citations: “Entering a military, naval or Coast Guard property;” “disturbances on protected property; “ and control of activities on protected property.” These are Federal charges, and a court date is to be determined. After the citations were issued, the activists took several group photographs and left Fort Meade.
Of great concern is the NSA’s involvement in the illegal wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq for the control of oil and natural gas pipelines. This would include the immoral and illegal use of drones in Afghanistan and other sovereign nations and using drones to assassinate U.S. citizens.
In addition, there have been alarming revelations about the illegal unwarranted wiretapping and wholesale collection of Americans’ phone records. When this was revealed by NSA employee, Russell Tice, he was fired.
When Thomas Drake revealed an expensive "boondoggle" of a computer system, he was targeted by the agency by whom he was employed (the NSA) for being " a whistleblower". In July, 2011, however, the legal case brought against Mr. Drake by the government collapsed, after which his employment was terminated.
The citizen activists who went to the NSA located at Fort Meade believe they have both the right and most importantly, the responsibility as informed citizens to meet with National Security Agency officials in order to attempt to prevent further illegal activity against fellow national and global citizens. Those arrested on October 9, 2011at the ten-year Anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, have cumulatively engaged in non-violent direct actions to peacefully and non-violently for many years, in the process of protesting our government’s illegal operations involved in the so-called "War on Terror", including first-strike military attacks, followed by illegal occupations of sovereign nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, among others and to protest the covert operations involved in the so-called "Drug War", involving the trafficking of humans, drugs, and weapons.
Those arrested include:
Beth Adams, Ellen Graves, John Langford and Paki Wieland from
The defendants look forward to continuing to air their grievances in a Federal Court.
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives."
Eugene Victor Debs
(Las Vegas) Over 100 people held an interfaith service at the entrance to Nevada's nuclear testing grounds on October 9. After the prayers, the group processed towards the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly called the Nevada Test Site). At 11:30am 37 men and 22 women were arrested by Nye County Sheriffs for crossing onto the NNSS. Upon release, many of the nuclear abolitionists then went to Creech Air Force Base, where 18 were arrested around 3:00 pm by Las Vegas Metro Police. The activists at both locations prayed for peace at both locations in historical Shoshone and Paiute territory. Most of the arrestees were in the area for the international Catholic Worker gathering.
People arrested at the NNSS were quickly cited and released, and no further prosecution is expected, per the custom for Test Site main gate arrests for many years. Those arrested at Creech were taken to Clark County Detention Center where they were cited and released before midnight on a range of charges including "illegal assembly" and "jaywalking." Court appearances are scheduled for December 5 and 7 in Clark County regional court. Today's arrests were part of the largest anti-war demonstration ever at Indian Springs, Nevada, and the largest antinuclear civil resistance action in at least six years at NNSS.
Over 200 radical Christian and other pacifists from around North America swelled the ranks of local activists because of the international Catholic Worker (CW) gathering in Las Vegas October 7 and 8. The CW antinuclear, anti-drone demonstrations marked the 10th tragic anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Creech is the headquarters of the USAF's 432nd Air Wing of Predator and Reaper drones which operates armed remotely piloted aircraft in various foreign countries. The NNSS continues to support the country's nuclear weapons programs, has a mandate to restart full-scale nuclear bomb tests within two years if so ordered by the President, and receives and stores radioactive waste on land that belongs to the Western Shoshone Nation.
Some of those arrested at Creech had been arrested before there. “In the time since I was arrested at Creech the first time in April of 2009, the number and variety of drones has only continued to multiply as has the number of innocent people killed. The drones’ lethal capabilities have grown, as well, and with along with advances in technology, infractions against law and morality grow even more flagrant,” says Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, who is also awaiting a November 1 trial in New York for protesting the expansion of the drone program to Hancock airbase near Syracuse.
Yesterday's Catholic Worker prayer-actions were also part of the Keep Space for Peace Week: International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space taking place October 1 to 8. Keep Space for Peace Week is cosponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Swedish Peace Council, Drone Campaign Network (UK), and United Against Drones (US).
Those arrested at Creech Air Force Base, awaiting prosecution, are:
Las Vegas Review-Journal
10 October 2011
Dozens of demonstrators were arrested and released Sunday after "praying for peace" at the Nevada Test Site and Creech Air Force Base.
Members of Catholic Workers, an organization that was gathering for its international meet-up over the weekend in Las Vegas, gathered to protest at two facilities they said promoted the nation's propensity to war.
The group said nearly 60 members were arrested at the Nevada National Security Site, which, they said, still supported the country's nuclear weapons programs.
The members were released by early afternoon. Some of those members continued to protest at Creech Air Force Base. Their message there was to demonstrate against drone attacks launched on occasion by the Armed Forces.
About 18 people were arrested and later released at Creech Air Force Base.
The organization said they were arrested on charges of "obstructing a road" and "jaywalking."
The protests were planned to coincide with the 10th
anniversary of the first U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan.
9 October 2011
Springs, NV (KTNV) - An anti-war demonstration was held Sunday at
Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs. It marked the 10-year anniversary of
the War in Afghanistan. Protesters were there to speak-out against the drones
that are operated from Creech.
At its Annual Conference held in Bradford, West Yorkshire on Saturday 15th
October, CND overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the US missile
'defence' system and also supporting the Jeju Islanders in their struggle
against the associated military expansion to their homeland:
Resolution: Missile 'defence' in North East Asia
Conference notes with concern:
The build-up of offensive missile 'defence' systems in North East Asia with:
Conference further notes that:
Conference resolves to:
Submitted by Jenny Clegg on behalf of CND's International Advisory Group
Another Resolution on "Missile offence and the militarisation of space" had also been passed with an overwhelming majority previously. This resolution stated:
Conference Notes that:
Conference therefore Resolves to:
Submitted by Yorkshire CND
In the evening at a reception
open to conference delegates and invited friends and colleagues there were
presentations from Dave Webb and Steve Wright outlining two ongoing research
projects being undertaken by Yorkshire CND (on the impact of Menwith Jill on the
local community) and the School of Applied Global Ethics at Leeds Metropolitan
University (on the extent of military influence in the economic development of
On Sunday October 16th CND Conference delegates gathered together in the morning for a workshop on "Missile Defence and Nuclear Instability and Menwith Hill: a US spy base in Yorkshire" led by Dave Webb which described and discussed the role of Menwith Hill as a downlink station for the Space based Infra Red Satellites used for US missile offence and US plans for a global missile offence system.
After this a coach and several cars carried about 60 people to the Menwith Hill base where a Peace Picnic was held, followed by a demonstration outside the main gate. Although in actuality Menwith Hill is run by the NSA, being their biggest spy base outside the US, the chief RAF officer (Squadron leader Currie) greeted us and accepted a letter which described why we were there. This was the first time that such a meeting between the RAF Base Commander and CND campaigners outside the main gate of the base has occurred.
After some speeches an Anne Lee of the Menwith Hill Women's Campaign led a partial tour of the base taking in some of its main features. On the way round Anne conveyed some of her experiences during many years of campaigning against the base and its activities. This was a preliminary launch of a new leaflet from Yorkshire CND which is a "Walker's Guide" to the base - indicating the pathways round the base and describing various features inside the wire. The full leaflet will soon be available on general release.
We had a great day and it was particularly well organised and directed by Yorkshire CND Worker Dominic Linley - thanks to him everything ran very smoothly and everyone had an informative and enjoyable day out.