Star Wars Protest on Wall Street
Advocates for Peace in Space Protest Pentagon Profiteers on Wall Street

October 4 2000

from: War Resisters League

Contact: War Resisters League
Chris Ney, 212-228-0450
Alice Slater, 212-726-9161

On Wall Street

Alice Slater (GRACE)

Bill Hartung

Karl Grossman (Global Network)

Tracy Moavero (Peace-Action)

Chris Ney (War Resisters League)

WASHINGTON - October 4 - "Putting weapons into space is no way to promote disarmament and peace on earth," said Chris Ney of the War Resisters League, an organizer of a march and rally on Wall Street planned for Friday October 6 at noon.

The demonstration, sponsored by a coalition of anti-nuclear, environmental, and peace activists, draws attention to the role that lobbying by weapons manufacturers has played in the revival of the failed "Star Wars" missile defense system—and to the massive profits they are likely to gain through Pentagon contracts.

"Weapons makers like Lockheed-Martin, TRW, and Boeing are motivated by greed and crass opportunism. They have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to support missile defense schemes that are technologically unfeasible and politically irresponsible," said Frida Berrigan of the World Policy Institute.

Protesters cite several problems with National or Theater Missile Defense schemes:

  • Development and deployment of Star Wars is opposed by U.S. allies and adversaries alike;
  • U.S. plans will spark new arms races and increased international tension;
  • Nearly three decades of arms control work will be destabilized if the U.S. violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty of 1972; and

They won't work, according to independent experts who cite massive technical problems Mega-corporations are promoting Star Wars to gain new Pentagon contract, a form of corporate welfare that has become the bread and butter for Lockheed-Martin and others. The Pentagon is promoting missile defense for reasons that relate to corporate greed.

"Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investments," is the stated goal of the U.S. Space Command as described in its document, Vision for 2020. In this document and in the debate on missile defense organizers see ominous signs that the military-industrial complex is preparing to move into space.

Speakers at the protest rally in front of Federal Hall will include William Hartung of the World Policy Institute; journalist Karl Grossman, an expert on U.S. space policy; and Alice Slater, a leader of Abolition 2000—the international movement to abolish nuclear weapons.

The Wall Street protest is part of the International Day of Protest Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and A Day Without the Pentagon, an anti-militarist campaign. Protesters will gather at Trinity Church (Broadway and Wall Street) at Noon and march one block to Federal Hall.

Report of New York Wall St. Event
October 12 2000
from: Alice Slater

Abolition 2000-NY with the special help of member groups, the War Resisters League, Institute for Policy Studies, and Peace Action organized an inspiring rally in the belly of the corporate beast down on Wall Street on October 6th. Marching from Trinity Church, where a number of our forefathers have come to rest, chanting "Hey Hey, Hey Ho, Star Wars has got to go" demonstrators carrying colorful signs and banners to Federal Hall climbed high up on the steps of this historic building and stood in the shadow of the statue of George Washington, with banners flying below, facing the New York Stock Exchange head on.

Karl Grossman, Bill Hartung, Tracey Moavero, Alice Slater and Chris Ney made impassioned pleas to bury Star Wars forever to crowds of Wall Streeters out on their lunch time break. Lots of flyers were distributed in the bustling canyons of the corporate capitol of the world, the press actually showed up, and a good time was had by all!!

Thanks for your inspiration in making this happen all over the globe.

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