The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space has announced a demonstration at Vandenberg AFB, California on Saturday, September 25 to oppose the first-ever test of the National Missile Defense (NMD) system. The non-violent demonstration will begin at 1:00 PM and be held at the Vandenberg main gate (Route 1).

The missile test is now scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg on October 2 and is supposed to be impacted by a second missile launched from a Kwajalein island in the Pacific Ocean. Data during the test will be gathered by orbiting Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and fed to the Battle Management Center, which will send steering commands via satellite.

Congress has voted to allow the NMD system to move forward as "soon as technically feasible". The Clinton administration is now beginning to consider circumventing the 1972 ABM Treaty that outlaws the development of weapons systems like the NMD. Clinton is scheduled to make a final deployment decision on the NMD system in June, 2000. Over $120 billion has been spent to date on Star Wars planning by the Pentagon.

Coming from Florida for the protest will be Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon who said, "We are holding this important action at Vandenberg because Star Wars must be stopped. People all over the planet are now organizing against this launch. We cannot allow the U.S. to unilaterally decide to move the arms race into space. U.S. Space Command documents say they intend to 'control and dominate space'. We intend to organize to keep space for peace."

Among the California groups endorsing and participating in the September 25 protest are:

  • California Peace Action;
  • Southern California Federation of Scientists;
  • Grandmothers for Peace International;
  • American Friends Service Committee (Pacific S.W. Office);
  • Ventura County Green Party;
  • San Jose Peace Center;
  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation;
  • Santa Barbara Religious Society of Friends;
  • WILPF (Santa Barbara);
  • Santa Barbara Green Party;
  • and Abolition 2000.

Bruce Gagnon (352) 337-9274 (Global Network)
Carah Ong (805) 965-3443 (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
Danielle Babineau (310) 652-6572 (Southern Ca. Peace Action)

(GN Report on Demonstration
Press Report on Vandenberg Demonstration)

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