The conference launched ‘Keep Space for Peace Week 2005’, an international week focussing on peace and opposing the use of US military resources to occupy space.
Speakers including Kate Hudson, chair of CND, Jean Lambert, Green MEP and Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear power in Space discussed the implications of the US’ determination to develop weapons and technology as part of their so-called ‘Missile Defence’ programme and clarified that the programme is clearly a ‘Missile Attack’ agenda designed to increase the US dominance over the rest of the world. The idea that wars in the future will no longer be fought from land, space or the sky but from space, by the US, on their terms is set to become a reality.
Hidden behind the façade of ‘Defence’ the British Government are complicit in their support of the US war drive, allowing bases such as Menwith Hill and Fylingdales – both in the Yorkshire region to be developed for military and intelligence purposes, regardless of the security consequences for people living in Yorkshire.
The speakers from the US consistently referred to the importance of highlighting George Bush’s agenda and their work in publicising the development of the Star Wars programme. Whilst the US public are told by the Government are developing ‘Missile Defence’ as a method to defend their country from so-called rogue states and terrorist networks at a cost of billions of dollars every year, the reality is that the emphasis and costs of Star Wars are to the detriment of the American people who are getting poorer, are having less Government money spent on their Education and Healthcare and are increasingly living in fear of the impact of natural disasters such a Hurricane Katrina. How can a Government justify cutting spending on flood defence systems on the Gulf Coast yet increase military spending to ever astronomical levels?
Local campaigners, including Helen John, one of the thousand women nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize and Lindis Percy discussed campaigning techniques against the military bases in our region. Peace camps and protests, non violent Direct Action and legal objections to the expansion of the bases at RAF Menwith Hill and Fylingdales ensure that the British Government cannot avoid the widespread public opposition to their role in the US war drive.
Yorkshire CND’s Development Worker, Sarah Cartin said the day was well-attended and provoked much discussion about the campaign against Star Wars. “The reality is the science behind the US Missile Defence system is flawed. It costs huge amounts and produces few results. The US Government are pursuing their dream of ‘owning’ space and will use pre emptive attacks against any country who doesn’t agree with them or to hijack natural resources in the name of democracy and regardless of the costs. All this is aided by the British Government, by allowing bases in this country to be part of the strategic military programme.
We have brought together experts in the campaign against Star Wars who have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the project. Their work is invaluable in educating people of the very real threat of the US war drive and we hope to continue that work through our ongoing campaigns over the next year.”
There will be a demonstration at the RAF Menwith Hill base on Saturday 8th October from midday, organised by the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases.