Concerned activists and writers from around the world will gather in Kiruna, Sweden on June 27-29 to discuss how the ‘High North’ of Sweden has become one of the largest training places (called NEAT) for NATO war exercises and advanced weapons testing.
The High North also hosts ground stations for military satellites and tests drones that are increasingly being used in the US-NATO war in Afghanistan.
Indigenous Samic people will be present at the conference to talk about the impact of these military operations on their lives.
Swedish Peace Council Vice-Chair Agneta Norberg stated: “US-NATO wants to control Russia and eventually get a hold of the enormous resources under the Arctic ice cap that is now melting due to climate change. To make Russia obedient the US-NATO is surrounding Russia with missile defense interceptors – key elements in their first strike system. For this purpose huge radars are installed in Vardö, Norway, close to Russian border, and on Thule base in Greenland. Norway and the US have established satellite stations on the Island of Svalbard which violate the Treaty of Svalbard that forbids the deployment of any war making technology.”
Global Network board convener Dave Webb (Chair of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK) said: “Not many people know that the satellite receiving stations in Sweden and Norway fulfill an important role for NATO and the US military. Space technology is vital to the military’s global reach and we really need to support and stand with those campaigning for alternatives to war in their protest against these installations spread around the world.”
The three days of events are being sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN), Women for Peace, and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. People will be coming to the conference from Japan, Germany, England, Russia, France, United States, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
2013 marks the 21st annual meeting of the Global Network. Each year the organization holds a space organizing conference in a different country. In 2012 the group met on Jeju Island, South Korea where villagers are protesting the construction of a Navy base for US warships.
The GN was founded in 1992 to stop the nuclearization and weaponization of space. Today the GN has 150 affiliate groups located on all continents of the world.
For more information about the conference check the GN’s website at http://www.space4peace.org