From Bruce Gagnon’s Blog – January 29,2021
The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) was created in 1992 by the combined efforts of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, Colorado Springs-based Citizens for Peace in Space and journalist Karl Grossman from New York. The group’s offices were located in Florida until moved to Maine in 2003.
Below are a series of photos from many years of work on space issues. They are not in order by years due to the fact that moving photos around on this blog is a real challenge. (You can click on any photo for a better view.) Look for the links on each photo entry below for more details about that particular event.
Big thanks must go to GN board chair and webmaster Dave Webb (UK) who has put all of this information on the web site.
One our most successful campaigns ever was our opposition to NASA’s launch of the Cassini space mission that carried 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board. We organized for three years prior to the launch and I traveled to Europe and across parts of the US to build opposition. After it was successfully launched in 1997 it later swung back toward Earth for a ‘gravity assist fly-by’ in order to gain speed for its deep space journey. Groups all over the world helped us build a real international campaign of opposition to Cassini . This meeting was held in Bangladesh. In the end global pressure was so great that NASA moved its dangerous Cassini fly-by several hundred miles farther away from Earth in order to make sure it did not get pulled back toward our home planet and burn up on reentry which would have released the toxic plutonium as dust to be spread by the winds around the planet.
In 2004 the GN held its annual space organizing conference in Portland, Maine. On the first day we went to Bath for a rally at the river park and a march to Bath Iron Works (BIW). In those days groups like ours could actually get coverage in newspapers and on TV. Not so much anymore. Just like today, we called for the conversion of BIW to build things that would help us live sustainably on Mother Earth.
We held our annual GN space conference in Washington DC in 2000. This photo is from our short march from the White House to the Treasury Department. We held a rally at Treasury in order to make the point that ‘Star Wars’ will cost the nation an arm-and-a-leg. Years ago the aerospace industry stated that militarizing space would be the ‘most expensive project in human history’. Conference proceedings were held at American University and one of our speakers was then Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
The GN met in New York City in 2005 for our annual meeting. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Michio Kaku who was at the founding meeting of the GN in 1992. He’s remained an advisory board member ever since. Michio was extremely helpful in our campaign opposing the Cassini plutonium probe in 1997. Michio is one of my all-time favorite speakers. In 1986 Michio came to speak in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida at an event I organized. Prior to the eventwe held a news conference and it was magical to watch him handle the media.
Our 2011 GN space confab was held in North Andover, Massachusetts. Things began with a protest at the Raytheon space weapons manufacturing plant where various ‘missile defense’ systems are built and then continued with a weekend conference at nearby Merrimack College. The local peace group that hosted us has held a peace vigil in front of the weapons factory every week for many years.
GN members protested (blind policies, notice the white canes & eye patches) outside the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany in 2007 during our annual space organizing conference. We held GN meetings in Darmstadt three times over the years.
In 2008 the GN annual space events were held in Omaha, Nebraska. We began the weekend with a Friday rally (in the rain and cold) outside of Offutt AFB where the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is located. Prior to going to Omaha we met in Colorado Springs to join the annual protest at the Space Foundation’s annual show. We then drove from Colorado to Nebraska in a raging blizzard but made it safe and sound. Our member from India had never seen such a snow storm before and was marveling about it the entire ride.
The GN was hosted by peace people in Kyoto, Japan for our 2015 annual space conference. Our first day there was spent touring various magical temples and other historical sites. It’s a wonderful city. After these events were over we traveled by train to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the annual remembrance (of US atomic bombings) meetings and ceremonies in those cities.
Our 2015 conference in Kyoto included a day bus trip to see the ‘missile defense’ X-band Radar U.S. Army base at Kyogamisaki, Northern part of Kyoto Prefecture. We also had a lunch and discussion with local citizens from the affected communities. We presented our annual ‘Peace in Space’ award to the local organizing committee resisting the provocative radar base.
Also in 2005, following our GN conference, we joined the international disarmament march through New York City.
Lynda Williams (California) and Lindis Percy (Yorkshire) hold one of the flags that Lindis frequently takes to various US military bases in the United Kingdom. This protest at the US NSA spy base Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire followed our 2001 annual GN conference that was held in Leeds. We’ve gone to Leeds three times over the years for our annual meetings.
In 2013 we were invited to go to Kiruna, Sweden, in the far north of the nation, for our annual space organizing confab. We began by visiting the Esrange space center located near Kiruna which is currently undergoing major expansion as it increasingly is being brought under control of US-NATO as a space weapons testing region and satellite down-link center.
The leadership of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea invited the GN to hold our annual meeting there in 2012. It was a great honor to support the village struggle to oppose the Navy base construction then underway. The base is currently used by the US Navy to port its warships that are increasingly active in the region harassing Chinese and Russian borders. On the last day of the conference 16 of us crawled under the razor wire along the sacred rocky coastline as we entered the construction area and were arrested. See my video report on this amazing experience at https://archive.org/details/JejuIslandsStruggleForPeace
We met in Oxford, England in 2018 for our annual GN conference. We also made a side trip to the US’s Croughton AFB near Oxford which is a major US-NATO intelligence and war-fighting communications center. It handles a huge portion of US military communications in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and is used to route vast amounts of data captured by their network of listening posts in diplomatic premises back to the US for analysis by the CIA and NSA.
|MUOS is a US Navy military communications base in Sicily. Three of us from the GN went there in 2015 to speak and meet with local activists. After our visit the No MUOS resistance movement made this wonderful poster for the GN’s annual Keep Space for Peace Week. This has to be one of my all-time favorite posters.|
There have been multiple space conferences held in various Indian cities over the years. Most of them were organized by GN board member J. Narayana Rao who lives in Nagpur. In 2014 GN board member Tamara Lorincz from Canada (in the pink, front row) represented us as the keynote speaker at the National Youth Conference on “Peace, Disarmament and Development” at Nagpur University.
GN board member Lindis Percy (Yorkshire) speaking at the July 4 protest at the US’s Menwith Hill NSA spy base in North Yorkshire, England. The base intercepts all phone, fax and email communications from across Europe and relays the signals via satellites back to the US for storage and review. In the past the US was caught doing ‘commercial espionage’ from this base on behalf of American corporations who were bidding on various European business contracts.
In 2015 prior to our annual space confab in Kyoto, Japan a delegation from the GN went to Okinawa to learn more about massive US military base expansion and to show our support for the peace movement there. While on the island they toured Oura Bay next to US Marine base called Camp Schwab. The US is currently building twin-runways on top of the pristine bay for Pentagon warplanes. Legions of dump truck loads of landfill are being poured into the bay to build the airfields. Daily protests at the construction site have been going on for years. This misguided undertaking was as a result of the Obama-Hillary Clinton ‘pivot’ of US forces into the Asia-Pacific region in order to encircle China, North Korea and Russia.
Our 2017 GN space conference and protest were held in Huntsville, Alabama where the Nazi rocket scientists/engineers were brought after the end of WW II to create the US space program. On our first day we held this protest outside Redstone Arsenal as workers knocked off for the day. Surprisingly we got a much better reception from the workers than we had expected. Huntsville is called the ‘Pentagon of the South’ and the Army ‘missile defense’ program is headquartered there.
Our 2019 annual meeting was a bit different than normal. This time we organized a Russia Study Tour and visited Moscow, Crimea and St. Petersburg. The two-week trip was intended to break down some walls between our nations. We are tired of the constant demonization of Russia by the west and felt that more people need to visit and see for themselves what Russia is really like. We had a great experience, learned so much, and made many new friends. Russia is not our enemy.
In 2020 we could not hold an annual gathering due to the virus pandemic. Thus we held a couple of Webinars & membership meetings. This is the video for one such meeting and includes GN members from UK, South Korea, US, Australia and Canada.
Comments from some of our board members on 30 years of the Global Network
| Who would think that 30 years of Keeping Space for Peace would go so fast? In that time I feel that the GN has created an international community of amazing people who have recognised the importance of the militarisation of space and the threats that it poses to us on Earth. Together, under the dedicated stewardship of Bruce Gagnon, we continue to educate, share information on the issues and speak truth to power. It is wonderful to work with so many people from around the world who share a vision of a space environment free from exploitation, corruption and war. ~ Dr. Dave Webb, Leeds, England |
Global Network has been an educational network about how space is used for the US´ military all around the world. It has also encouraged me to start to pay notice to how Sweden is deeply involved in the use of space.The satellite station -Esrange – in the North of Sweden is the world´s biggest downloading station from satellites. ~ Agneta Norberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Congratulations on 30 years of work, and the struggle very much continues. Both the turning of space into a war zone in violation of the intent of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and the push to, overhead, use nuclear power in space remain being pushed aggressively. The Global Network has been the leading organization internationally challenging these twin horrors. La Lucha Continua. ~ Karl Grossman, New York
It’s hard to believe our Global Network is now 30 years old, and we are still confronting the need to keep space for peace and keep it nuke-free. Only this week, one of our founding Board Members, Karl Grossman wrote of a terrifying conference he attended where mad scientists and their corporate enablers are plotting and planning an accelerated drive to pollute our heavens with toxic nuclear radiation that lasts for eons. Our Global Network has heroically been the first and most reliable source of information about how space is being used for war, and future plans for even greater savagery as well. Everything I know about the relationship between between the ground based missiles desecrating our planet to war plans from space, and why space weapons and land missiles are so interrelated, I learned from the Global Network. Congratulations for spreading the word and warning the world over this past third of a century! Hope in the next third of a century the good work of our Network can bring some peace to our planet. ~ Alice Slater, New York
I learnt about the role of war fighting in Space- namely the illegal conflict in Iraq. I attended quite a few GN conferences in America and also round the world – all so informative and fun. We discovered the link with Menwith Hill and that this US base was connected to the launch of the Space Base Infra Red System. The three important radomes making Menwith Hill a very significant US base. And all the time Bruce Gagnon and Dave Webb were working away to build up GN day this impressive and unique campaign which I am so pleased to be connected to go I have learnt a lot, increasingly overwhelmed by the waste of resources, noise issues and encourgement of conflicts between nations. Thank you GN but particularly to Bruce and Dave for the tireless work you do to keep us all up to date and then we spread the word. GN is needed more than ever. ~ Lindis Percy, England, Co-Founder of the Campaign of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases
When ex-President George Bush Jr. announced about the missile defense project as well as the Nuclear Posture Review which targeted seven countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea, Russia, China, in early 2000s, GN was one of a few organizations I could rely on spiritually, and mentally. I learned a lot from GN! I also found how GN peace activists are genuinely committed to peace and humanity. Jeju is one example. I can’t imagine how the struggle against the Jeju navy base could be so international without the friendship and solidarity by GN! I am really happy and grateful to to know about the GN and GN friends! The dedication by Bruce Gagnon and Dave Webb and all the GN friends to save the Earth and Space is really inspiring and touching! GN should be forever until the the day when the peace for space finally and truly comes! ~ Choi Sung-hee, Savejejunow.org, South Korea
Three decades of standing for the Global Network in the era of militarization and commercialization of space is an achievement in itself. Though I am a recent addition to it, I could appreciate the noble cause of Global Network under the patronage of some highly motivated people. Much has been done over the years, but much more needs to be done, and the Global Network needs support of every right-minded person in this direction. Let this 75th year of Indian independence carry the message of freedom to all from the scourge of weapons and destruction. ~ Prof. (Dr.) Sandeepa Bhat B., West Bengal, India
I’m quite new to the GN community, but feel blessed to be connected with, and working alongside of a team of such caring and dedicated people, helping to steer civilization toward a saner and more viable future. ~ Kate Kheel, Maryland
Everything I learned about the weaponization of space I learned from the GN. I remember first meeting Bruce when someone invited him to speak here in Albuquerque as we were protesting a war profiteers meeting that involved space weapons. At the time the U.S. had gotten one of the Soviet space capsules and it was being used to promote future U.S. space activity. We suspected for war. Bruce put it all together for us and especially how our city was so important to the militarization of space. Thanks to the small GN we were able to see the larger picture of what was really going on. Thanks Bruce and all the folks who make up the GN today. Our work now has many opportunities to reach out and rally more and more people. It is so hearting to see members in way off places like South Korea and India. What a movement the GN has established. We will push on. ~ Bob Anderson, Albuquerque, NM
If Homo sapiens makes it another 100 years, a lot of credit will be due to groups like GN and people like Bruce Gagnon. They work tirelessly to keep the public informed. They keep cooperation and human decency alive while the military-industrial complex foments civil strife and animosity. ~ Christian Sorenson, Massachusetts
In 2002, Canadians learned that our national government was considering a request from the U.S. to partner on ballistic missile defence (BMD). Canadian peace activists were very wary of this request because we knew that the U.S. had recklessly withdrawn the year earlier from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In early 2003, we began the Canadian Campaign to Oppose Missile Defence. I found the web site of the Global Network and sent an email. Bruce replied right away and said he would help. Bruce also offered to come to Canada to speak about the dangers of missile defence. Over the next two years, he spoke many times to audiences across the country. During our three-year national campaign, we held actions for Keep Space for Peace week and had many screenings of the film Arsenal of Hypocrisy: the Space Program & the Military Industrial Complex. In December 2004, President Bush came to Halifax, Nova Scotia and made a public appeal to Prime Minister Martin to join missile defence. Outside of the Bush event, we organized a massive protest against BMD and the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the Global Network’s help, we succeeded in preventing Canada from formally joining BMD. Nevertheless, Canadian peace activists recognize that though the Liberal government formally declared that Canada would not join BMD in 2005, our country continues to partner with the U.S. on space military operations through NORAD and NATO. Last month, the Department of National Defence announced a new Space Division under the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace continues to be a member of the Global Network and I remain on the board. I greatly value the friendships that I have made over the past two decades – it is like a family to me! ~Tamara Lorincz, Canada
In the 1990s, the Global Network introduced me to the US Space Command and the document explaining its Vision for 2020. The Space Command would militarize space to “protect US interests and investment” through “full spectrum dominance.” I remember carrying that document to talk everywhere we could and discussing its horrifying implications. These were conversations few others were having. Thirty years later, as we have stood beside each other in protest at space military installations in so many diverse parts of the world, I sit in awe and deep gratitude for the Global Network community. May the education, the inspiration, the community, and the resistance to the space military machine continue for years to come. May we continue to support each other. May the light the GN community carries forward in the world overwhelm the darkness of full spectrum dominance — if I look hard enough, I can see its foundation crumbling…! ~ Mary Beth Sullivan, Maine
The Global Network is a classic prophetic voice in resistance to the madness of the militarization and colonization of space, the moon and other planets in our solar system. It is one of those kinds of voices that work tirelessly to be heard and understood while the powers of greed and dominance, the idolatrous worshipers of Mammon, turn a blind eye to our very survival as a species and that of our beloved planet. As a board member I have been accepted into and mentored by a sisterhood/brotherhood of dedicated, intelligent, hard-working and eloquent defenders of humanity and the planet, voices of sanity in an insane age. From Jeju Island to Guantanamo Bay, some of my proudest moments as an activist have been associated with the Global Network. Happy 30th anniversary to my most revered prophets. ~ Dennis Apel, California
As a relative latecomer to the work of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, I continue to be impressed with the forward vision of this organization. Some claims about the militarization of space might have seemed farfetched in the past but are spot on in 2022. And other serious concerns such as space pollution and the contribution of space travel to climate change here on Earth have long been noted by members of GN. I’m grateful to be part of the organization and welcome the opportunities it offers to be in community with like-minded people around the planet. Thank you for your work and best wishes for the next 30 years! ~ Lisa Savage, Maine
It has been an honor to work with our boards and membership in the GN for these past 30 years. Our goal has always been to build an international constituency around space issues that could over time help the world grapple with the multi-dimensional realities of the ‘space age’. We warmly thank all our members and leaders (living and passed on) for all they have done to build the GN. ~ Bruce Gagnon, Maine
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