The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) will hold its 22nd annual space organizing conference in Santa Barbara, California, located near Vandenberg space warfare base on March 14-16. The GN is made up of 150 peace and religious groups around the world who are working to oppose the development of a new arms race in space. The theme for the conference will be Vandenberg’s Role in US Global Domination: Implications of US ‘Pivot’ into the Asia-Pacific.
Vandenberg AFB plays a key role in Pentagon military satellite launching, testing nuclear missiles, and most recently as a deployment site for so-called “missile defense” interceptors. Increasingly the US military is aiming at the Asia-Pacific region as the Obama announced ‘pivot’ of 60% of Pentagon forces moves to encircle China.
The conference weekend will begin with a protest at Vandenberg AFB at 4:00 pm on Friday, March 14. A public forum will be held on March 15 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara at 7:00 pm.
GN Coordinator Bruce Gagnon stated, “For years there have been peace protests outside Vandenberg AFB with many people arrested for their non-violent witness. GN members are coming from all over the world to honor and encourage these dedicated local citizens. We will share our deep concerns about current US plans to ‘control and dominate space’ and the Pentagon’s pivot into the Asia-Pacific.”
The GN has long maintained, having studied the Space Command’s Vision for 2020 planning document, that space domination was ‘necessary’ in order for full corporate control of everything. With resources declining around the planet corporations are using Pentagon space-directed surveillance and targeting to ensure their control. The public, facing growing cuts in social spending, are paying for these costly military space programs.
Dave Webb, National Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK, said, “We are coming from England and other countries to support the groups who are concerned about the role of Vandenberg in aggressive, destabilizing and dangerous military projects such as ‘missile defense’. Far from being defensive, these systems are part of a strategy involving the possible use of nuclear weapons without having to worry about retaliation. The US has so much to offer the world – but the defiling of the Pacific Ocean and its peoples through this expanding militarism is shameful.”
Each year the Global Network holds its space organizing conference in a different part of the world. Last year the group met in the ‘high north’ of Sweden, where the US and NATO are creating a space surveillance and testing center. People will come to the March 14-16 Santa Barbara events from Norway, Sweden, England, Canada, Japan, India, South Korea, and from throughout the US.
Full conference details are available at the GN website http://www.space4peace.org/actions/gnconf_2014.htm