Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Talking space in Scotland
Last night Global Network board convener Dave Webb (also serves as chair of the UK's Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament) took Will Griffin, Mary Beth Sullivan, and me to
Edinburgh, Scotland to speak to members of Scottish CND.
We spent a few hours walking around the beautiful city - admiring the architecture and
visiting a fascinating museum called 'The People's Story'.
More than 25 people crammed into a tiny CND office space and we had a wonderful 90
minute discussion before we had to return to the rail station to take the train
back to Leeds - arriving at 1:00 am.
During his opening remarks Will Griffin said, "I've never heard of a good empire." A woman
sitting in the front row responded to him, "Neither has Scotland."
end of the meeting one woman, with a very strong Scottish accent, stood up and
said, "We know that Trump didn't get his nastiness from his Scottish mother, so
he must have got it from his father." The crowd roared.
speak in Otley (next to Leeds up here in Yorkshire) to a group called the
Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign that organizes
around the U.S. NSA spy base called Menwith Hill also located in North
On Friday we jump back on the train and head south to Oxford
Global Network annual meeting will be held over the weekend.
RT reports today:
Washington’s plan to create a Space Force could lead to catastrophe, a
Russian Senator has warned. Moscow’s ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US
violates the outer space treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction into
“Militarization of space is a way to disaster,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and
Security Committee told RIA news agency just day after the US President Donald
Trump ordered the creation of a new branch of the US military that would be
tasked with operating in what he called “forbidden skies.”
The senator warned that Washington could potentially violate international
agreements regulating the demilitarization of space and thus put the
international security in a grave danger. “There is a major risk that the
Americans would commit grave violations in this field … if one takes into
account what they do in other spheres,” Bondarev said.
“If the US
withdraws from the 1967 agreement that bans deployment of nuclear weapons in
space, [such a move] will be followed by a tough response not only from our
state but from other states as well, which would be aimed at preserving
international security,” he added.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to
which the US is a party, prohibits deployment of nuclear weapons as well as any
other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the Earth’s orbit. It also bans
states from testing any weapons in outer space, or establishing military bases
on the Moon and other celestial bodies.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Warning: Don't follow America over the cliff......
Last night Dave Webb took us to a Unitarian Church in
downtown Leeds to conduct a taped interview that will be used at an upcoming
conference that is being planned. He wanted to get my thinking about
weapons in space recorded for that event. After interviewing me he put Will
Griffin on the hot seat and had him talk about his experiences in the Army
during the Iraq and Afghanistan war and also his reflections on why he got
involved with the Global Network.
An invitation was extended to the
community to come and listen to these interviews and a few people did show
up. One who came was Colin Archer, the recently retired Executive Director
of the International Peace Bureau who has moved to Leeds after many years of
leading that group from Switzerland.
After it was all over seven of
us went 'round to a local pub for a pint' and some fun and stimulating
discussions. We resolved that we have to stay determined and keep our
public non-violent resistance alive during times like these where fascism
stares us in the face.
This morning we are packing up and preparing
for the train ride to Oxford for this weekend's
Global Network annual meeting. Dave got an early call from four people
from India who just got their entry Visa approved into England for the
conference so we are in a bit of scramble mode to get housing lined up for
them. When you organize conferences there are always some last minute
cancellations and last minute unexpected walk-ups. No matter how well you
plan there are usually these kind of late challenges. Comes with the
territory. (A suggestion to the public: register in advance for events
like this and make life easier for the organizers.)
Our time here in
Leeds, staying at the home of Dave and Leslie, has really been special.
Dave has arranged for a nightly talk each day we've been here (two different
venues in Leeds, Otley, and Edinburgh). But we've also had some lovely long
walks and seen some really beautiful Yorkshire countryside and of course the
trip to Scotland was very special. And much to my liking the food part has
been great - got my fish & chips with mushy peas yesterday.
We've witnessed the planning for a UK wide mobilization when Trump visits
Prime Minister Theresa May here in the next month. People of course are all
talking about 'the Donald' and want to hear our take on him. I keep saying
that the only good thing about Trump is that he is escalating the decline
and fall of the USA's military and economic empire as the world becomes
clear that it is not wise to follow America over the cliff. But the
ultimate question is - as America collapses how hard will it fall?
The Global Network is really lucky to have Dave Webb's leadership as our
board convener. In addition he runs our web site and puts alot of effort
into it. He's a gentle soul and a loyal person who cares deeply about
protecting space from the next arms race that the aerospace industry is
determined to create.
In the last few days there have been several
major articles published about Trump's 'space force' proposal. All of them
kindly acknowledged the Global Network. You can find them