International actions oppose 'Star Wars' missile defense system
Bruce Gagnon
July 2000

Following the July 7 Nuclear Missile Defense fizzle the Pentagon is srambling to find some good reason to keep the Star Wars fires burning bright.

In the weeks before the crucial, but failed test, the peace movement showed great signs of life. Nearly all major peace organizations contributed, at some level, to the cascade of criticism against the NMD program. Worldwide media coverage was strong and unforgiving in the days before the test as questions about cost, implications for arms control, the lack of a real threat, and allegations of fraud surrounded the Pentagon.

Protests initiated by the Global Network in the days before the July 7 test sprouted up in England, Germany, and throughout the U.S. at key space warfare bases. Protest vigils were held at Cape Canaveral; NSA headquarters at Ft Meade, MD; Space Command HQ at Peterson Air Force Base, CO; at Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge, PA; at Raytheon in Tucson, AZ and at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. In England a declaration was made on July 4 at Menwith Hill U.S. spy base that the citizens shall be free of U.S. domination and control.

The message was the same at each protest site: We do not want to see a new arms race. The people are tired of their hard earned tax dollars being poured down a rat hole while health care, child care, environmental care and jobs are being cut back.

The Pentagon has announced that the next NMD test will be held sometime in October. The Global Network has put out a call for an International Day of Protest to Stop the Militariazation of Space on October 7. Already we have many commitments from groups around the world to hold local protest actions on that day. We urge all groups to consider holding a local action on October 7 in order to show the widening opposition to plans for Star Wars.

It's important to remember that NMD is just the beginning. George W. Bush is calling for a global missile defense system and a space-based laser weapons system that would give the U.S. military clear and total command of space and the Earth below.

The aerospace corporations have much at stake. They will now press hard to ensure that their plans for massive tax expenditures to nuclearize and weaponize space go forward. Even though they suffered a severe public relations loss with the July 7 test failure they will intensify pressure on Congress and work tirelessly to make their case to the media. We must work twice as hard to create a visible and forceful statement that the public is not following blindly behind the Star Wars piper.

In early August Defense Secretary William Cohen will make his deployment recommendation to Clinton. Sometime in the fall the president will follow with his own decision.

Our government lies when they tell us Star Wars is for our protection. The $100 million for each of the next 16 NMD tests is a theft from every human and environmental need that exists. Every dollar spent on research and development for space-based lasers, anti-satellite weapons, and nuclear powered rockets is wrong and must be opposed.

Please join us on October 7 as we make another step toward sanity. Join us as we hold hands with friends around the planet in the historic call to Keep Space for Peace.

Check our website at for the growing list of October 7 actions. Let us know if you plan to organize one in your community.

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