Keep Space for Peace Local Action - Stockholm

1-3 October, 2004

From: Agneta Norberg


Dear Bruce Gagnon,

From October 1st to October 3rd a conference was arranged, by the Swedish Peace Council and WILPF among others, in Stockholm, with the theme "Keep Space For Peace! NPT and The Role of The Nordic Countries in US Spaceplans." Speakers and the audience came from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Aland, US and -Sweden.

The conference started with the eminent musicians Johan Norberg and Jonas Knutsson, giving a short concert followed by Joseph Gerson, American Friends Committee ,US, who gave an important analysis and historical overview to today, of the US foreign policy :"Arrangements for the 21st Century: US Empire, Full Spectrum Dominance, and Common Security Alternatives".

This was followed by a video: Arsenal of Hypocrisy, where Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons& Nuclear Power in Space, gives a vivid lecture of the origins of the present Space Programme in the US till today.

Day number two started with a video: The Hill, women's struggle to get to know what the spy base, Menwith Hill, in England is about. Today it is an important link in US NMD programme. The video was followed by Agneta Norberg, vice chair Swedish Peace Council, with an overview of the chain of radar bases and spy bases encircling the globe.

Norway's part in US war policy was scrutinized by Gunnar Garbo, former ambassador to Tanzania, where he described how he, in his youth had been in favour of NATO, had turned in the opposite direction, fiercely criticizing US pre-emptive war policy. He has recently published a book "War is also terrorism".

By then we were prepared to walk to the US Embassy, a big fortress

on Dag Hammarskolds vag 101. A group of young activists performed street-theatre in front of the Embassy, where they showed how president Bush held a speech, and protesters brutally were taken away, by the police.

Joseph Gerson, US, Kirsti Kolthoff, WILPF, Sweden and Anne Lise Ebbe, Danish Peace Council, gave short speeches where they protested against US foreign policy in general and space plans in particular. A letter was handed over to the US Embassy, where we protested against the militarization of space, the so called missile defence, and plans to include Europe and even the Nordic area into this military system. We ended the letter by referring to the general agreement in the UN, that an arms race in outer space should be prevented.

The afternoon was entitled to listen to the chair of the Danish Peace Council Annelise Ebbe who gave an overview of the US policy in Denmark and the Danish and US policy in Greenland in particular. Denmark rules over Greenland's foreign policy and US rules over Denmark's policy. A month ago Colin Powell was at Thule base in Greenland an confirmed that Thule radar base is an essential part of NMD.

Another important radar, Vardo radar, a few miles from Russian border in northern Norway, has been inspected by a team of activists from Finland, Norway and Sweden. They gave us a vivid report orally and with pictures about their expedition to the base and the inspection, which was a big surprise to those working at the base. This had not happened before.

The third day was devoted to planning for the future. We stressed the importance of continued cooperation among the Nordic countries and to further contact people in Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands for the next conference. Next steps for us to take are participating in European Social Forum in London in October and the NPT conference, next spring, in NewYork.

Agneta Norberg.

 



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