No nuking report from Juneau, Alaska

1 March 2003

From Stacey Fritz
Coordinator, No Nukes North
PO B0x 84997
Fairbanks, AK 99708
(907) 457 - 5230
(907) 388-3846 (cell)

Dear Global Network Friends:

I am here in Juneau for a week taking part in a nonviolence workshop with the local group, Juneau People for Peace and Justice.  We are all lucky to have Paul Cobert, who has taken over where Sally Light left off with the Nevada Desert Experience, up here leading the training.

I've already done a talk with the Juneau World Affairs Council and a couple interviews and it's going well, this is a wonderfully liberal place compared to Fairbanks.  Even all these well-informed active Alaskan folks are shocked and disgusted by what they hear about star wars, vision for 20/20, nukes in space, and what is going on at Greely and on Kodiak. The news that the MDA is considering putting the X-band on a floating oil platform in the port of Valdez has lots of new folks interested.  Many recall how freaked out TEd STevens was years ago to get it built on Shemya or else deployment would be delayed.  Apparently these minor details about tests and x-bands and SBIRS no longer have any bearing on whether you can deploy or not, because we are "deploying" as soon as we get a few interceptors in the ground.

Juneau People for Peace and Justice organized a march on the 15th and 1,500 people came.  That was not a typo.  Juneau has a population of 30,000, and ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED marched on the 15th.  Percentage-wise, that has to be some kind of record.  I think I mentioned to the list before that we had a great march in Fairbanks - probably the largest ever there - with 350-400 people.  That was about the same as the rally in Anchorage.  Here's the other crazy thing; that is about the same number who turned out for the rally on the 15th in Sitka.  Ever heard of Sitka?!?!  There are only around 6,000 people there, and some 400 marched.

The hearings for the draft EIS are over -- they had a great protest out front in Anchorage but very few commented there and I haven't heard any news about the hearings in Kodiak and Valdez.  They didn't bother having hearings in Fairbanks or Delta Junction (or anywhere in the Aleutians, for that matter, which includes Shemya and Adak, another possible x-band site).  I'm sure Kodiak had great comments, but the MDA is already repeating that while they have the go-ahead to build the two interceptor silos there, now that we are charging ahead with deploying 16 at Greely by 2005 (10 by 2004 = deployment) there will not be enough money for construction at Kodiak.  Thank heavens for that, I suppose.

You will remember that we had to sue the DoD to get them to do EISs for the test bed sites, and that when we settled one stipulation was that we couldn't sue about Greely for 4 years unless they did anything that wasn't covered in the original NMD EIS.  Now they are deploying (still fewer interceptors than the NMD plan called for) but without the same architecture to back it up.  The NMD EIS that was approved was contingent on future tests, an X-band, and SBIRS.  If they deploy without those things, I think it is grounds for another lawsuit.  I also think that we should start working on a resolution that would clearly prohibit testing from Greely.

More soon - thanks to everyone for the constant influx of stuff that makes me cry and makes me keep going -


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