International Space Conference Set for Portland, ME.

April 23-25, 2004

From: Bruce Gagnon
(207) 729-0517 (o); (207) 319-2017 (cell)

In the midst of Bush administration efforts to wage war around the world, hundreds of activists from more than 12 countries will gather at the Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland on April 23-25 for the 12th Annual International Space Organizing Conference sponsored by the Maine-based Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN).

Events will begin with a protest rally on Friday, April 23 at Waterfront Park in Bath at 2:00 pm. Following the rally the assembled will march to Bath Ironworks at the time of a worker shift change. The Aegis destroyer, now being built at BIW, will be outfitted with new Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems and forward deployed in the Asian Pacific region surrounding China. These deployments are not intended to protect the American people but instead will provoke China to build more nuclear missiles. Today China has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the continental U.S., while the U.S. has 7,500 nuclear weapons.

On Saturday, April 24 at the Woodfords Congregational Church (202 Woodford Street) the GN will hold its day long conference entitled Resisting Empire: Understanding the Role of Space in U.S. Global Domination featuring plenary sessions and educational workshops. Featured as the keynote speakers at the conference will be Dr. Helen Caldicott founder of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and Dr. Craig Eisendrath, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy. Dr. Caldicott, a long time leader in the anti-nuclear movement, years ago founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Dr. Eisendrath helped write the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that outlaws the placement of weapons in space.

“George W. Bush is now building the costly and destabilizing Star Wars system, that once deployed, will throw the door wide open to a new arms race,” said Global Network Convener Dave Webb from Leeds, England. “We are told that Star Wars is supposed to make the U.S. and its allies more secure but we know that turning space into a battlefield can only lead to greater threats. The only people to benefit from the weaponization of space will be the aerospace corporations and their congressional friends.”

The Bush administration is embarking on the controversial deployment of yet proven “missile defense” systems in Alaska and California before the next election. The U.S. had to withdraw from the 1972 ABM Treaty in order to carry out these deployments.

The Global Network was founded in 1992 to stop the nuclearization and weaponization of space and today has 185 affiliate groups all over the world. Each year the GN meets in a different part of the world.

For more information about the conference see: the conference website

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