||International Day of Protest
Report from: Moorestown, NJ
By Robert M Smith
A report on the Brandywine Peace Community sponsored protests on October 13, amending the title to be: the International Day of Protest of the Militarization & the State of War. We sought to make the connection between the illusion of security that lies in Star Wars and its relationship to full-scale militarization of space for the sake of U.S. war-fighting on earth and the corporate assumption (read: Lockheed Martin) at the heart of these connections.
In conjunction with the South Jersey Campaign for Peace & Justice, from 10 - noon, about 25 people vigiled in front of the Moorestown, NJ, Lockheed Martin Aegis Warship site (the center of the Navy's Theater Missile Defense plan) and at the entrance to the nearby Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems Headquarters of which the Aegis is a part. Large Banners included: "Peace on Earth & in the Heavens: No Star Wars(no way no how) Stop Militarizing Space", "Justice not Revenge Peace not War", as well as signs: "Don't Fight Terror with Terror" on missile shaped cardboard. There was also a costumed darth vader with laser sword holding a sign reading: "Welcome to the Dark Side: Lockheed Martin War Star Wars".
From 3pm - 5pm, about 55 people protested in front of the Lockheed Martin complex in Valley Forge, PA, generally following the same scenario as in Moorestown, NJ, except in a much more well-travelled area. Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge, PA is located behind the King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the country. The protest in Valley Forge concluded at the main entrance to Lockheed Martin with a superb service prepared by a local community named the Circle of Hope.
In a related note, the following day, October 14, Brandywine organized an Interfaith Vigil & Plea for Peace in light of Rep. Curt Weldon's Unity Day for America parade. The parade drew about 40,000 people. About 60 people gathered about 2 blocks from the parade's kick-off point for the Interfaith Vigil, which included prayers for peace from major faith traditions, Islamic and Muslim, Hebrew and Christian, Buddhist and Hindu, among them. Rep. Curt Weldon (R, Delaware Co) is the self-described "pit bull" of "Star Wars" missile defense in Congress and has used the terror attacks on September 11 to bolster his Star Wars push.
The evening of October 14, Karl Grossman's "Star Wars Returns" was shown at the Brandywine Peace Community's monthly potluck supper and program.
From: Bob Bender