Northampton Joins an International Day of Protest to Stop The Militarism Of Space
raising our community's awareness about the real cost of weapons escalation!

October 7 2000

Contact: AFSC, (413)584-8975

NORTHAMPTON, MA On Saturday, October 7, 2000, local activists representing a broad range of peace, globalization and disarmament communities will gather on the steps of Northampton's City Hall for a walking vigil in honor of the International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarism of Space. Beginning at 1:00 pm, this action is one of 63 taking place worldwide to call attention to the real cost to communities and individuals of outrageous weapons escalation.

The United States has spent $4 trillion $33 billion annually over the last 50 years to maintain its nuclear forces. In September of this year, President Clinton yielded his decision regarding whether or not to deploy the National Missile Defense to his successor, saving himself from having to commit an additional $60 billion over 14 years to a program proven to be ineffective, faulty and in violation of the Strategic Arms Reduction and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaties. We can be certain that this issue will resurface early in next President's first term.

The call for an end to the militarism of space rightfully originates with the residents of Western Massachusetts and our colleagues in cities and towns across the globe. Our labor and tax dollars fund the construction of new weapons and the clean-up of those already built, tested or deployed. A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences found that more than two-thirds of government sites involved in decades of nuclear bomb production will never be completely free of contamination. Our labor and tax dollars will help ensure that we are stewards of these sites for thousands of years to come, sites which pose a known and profound heath risk. In the United States, increased defense spending is also at the cost of sufficient federal allocations for affordable housing, Head Start, health insurance, and one of the barriers to closing the gap between our country's minimum wage and the widely-know living wage.

Please Note:

There are now 63 actions in 16 countries and 38 U.S. cities for the October 7 "International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space."

Please participate in our day of actions by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper; sending a message to your nation's political leaders; calling the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country; or attending an action near your community.

Demand that the U.S. stop all plans to put weapons into space and that all nations support a treaty calling for a global ban on weapons in space.

TALKING POINTS:



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