October 2012
Keep Space for Peace Week Action Reports/Photos

and details from original call for action are here.


 October 2012
Stop Militarisation of Space

South Korea



 


2 October 2012
Major protest at Menwith Hill after Clarion-style bike ride from Fylingdales
Regular Tuesday gathering on the moor near Blubberhouses will mark step-up in the international campaign against the use of drones
The Northerner Blog
The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/oct/02/protest-menwith-hill-fylingdales-lindis-percy


Menwith Hill. The protesters are as familiar a sight as the 'golf ball' radomes.
Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Campaigns such as the Hillsborough relatives' and, going further back, the long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, are a reminder of how faith and perseverance are so often commitments for the long term.

Another example is the stubborn presence of objectors at RAF Menwith Hill, the communications centre used by the United States' National Security Agency for all manner of activities across the world.

The persistence of objectors has been phenomenal, with a demonstration outside the nest of spooky radomes every Tuesday since 2000 except four. It is typical of it that the campaign knows exactly how many – or few – Tuesdays have been missed plus the reason in each case.

Predator drone aircraft A Predator drone. Imagine if we had them over Harrogate. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features.

Next Tuesday sees a particularly big gathering as part of Keep Space for Peace week, which has a particular relevance to Menwith because of the use of satellites in signalling and the control of weaponry. The focus will be on the use of drones and its theme, the Faceless Face of US Military Drones, will be illustrated by faceless face masks on many present; yet another imaginative way of keeping the issue in the news.

Those gathered at Menwith will be joined by a second demonstration which invokes the spirit of the old northern Clarion cycling clubs which united the freedom of spinning across the moors and dales with freethinking politically about a free-er world. One of my favourite snatches of poetry is the dream of the Bolton millworker and Clarion member Allen Clarke who hoped to be buried:

Where I can see the cyclists halt
And hear the yarns they spin
And there I will rest and watch and bless
The sweet and jolly scene
'Til the Master of Cycles bids me rise
And mount my new machine.

In this spirit, Yorkshire CND has organised a 100-mile bike ride called Re-cycle the Bases from RAF Fylingdales on the North York Moors to arrive at Menwith on Tuesday after holding meetings en route. They should roll up well in time for the main demonstration between 6pm and 8pm outside the base's main gate.

Laila Packer, the joint co-ordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, sums up the case against drones, both for the suffering they cause and as an own-goal:

Innocent civilians have been and are being killed, injured and traumatised by these deadly, immoral and illegal weapons. The human suffering has caused and is causing untold suffering and igniting hatred against the US and any other government involved. It is making the world a far more dangerous place.

lindis percy Lindis Percy. Photograph courtesy Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

If you would like more insight into the thinking behind the long campaign, the regular newsletter produced by CAAB is a fascinating treat. Whatever your views on Menwith Hill, you will surely find the gentle persistence of the protesters remarkable; an example is Lindis Percy's account of the day she went to Harrogate to make a quiet protest as the Olympic Torch came through, because the route was lined in part by staff from the base.

She made her point, equipped with her upside-down Stars and Stripes with the legend Independence from America on it, holding a brief debate with an American soldier:

Many of us are very concerned with what you are doing round the world and what you do at Menwith Hill.

"But we are bringing freedom to the world – that's what we do"

Before she was roughly snatched away by four West Yorkshire police officers and held in a side road and then a stifling van. She never protests angrily at such treatment but always uses the complaints system, so the seven officers are subject to an inquiry by an inspector. Then she was released at the town police station, asked a North Yorkshire police sergeant if he could ring for a taxi to get her back to the torch route and he said he was driving into town anyway, and could he give her a lift?

In the same spirit, the September newsletter notes that a new USAF commander has taken over at Menwith Hill and adds:

We have written to him to welcome him and request a meeting. We have always done this when there is a change of US commander but have yet to receive a response. We very much hope that this one is different.


7- 10 October 2012
Recycle the Bases Cycle Trip
from Fylingdales to Menwith Hill
to highlight their connections with US missile defense and the use of space technology

  

 
Recycle the Bases: Sunny Whitby - our first night

 
At the start of the cycle ride

 
On the road

 
Left: First sight of the Fylingdales radar base across the moor
Right:the Satcom radome

   
Vigil at the back of the Fylingdales radar base


On to Pickering for first night

 
Left: Preparing to leave the Pickering Friends Meeting House, on the road again

 
Left: More joining us at Malton rail station;
Right: lunch at Kirkham Abbey

 
On the road again

 
There were plenty of lovely spots on he 100 mile journey - e.g.lunch by the river in Wetherby

 
Protest, banners and interviews outside York Minster

 
Left: Outside York Friends Meeting House, ready to depart for Harrogate
Right: Chris and the vital backup van.

 
Left: The famous "Scones not Drones" campaign outside Bettys Tea Rooms in Harrogate;
Right: Vigil at the War Memorial in Harrogate


Arriving at Menwith Hill

 
Joining the CAAB demonstration


6 October 2012
Keep Space for Peace Action
Boston, Mass, USA

 

On October 6, 2012, ten members of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Boston Branch, participated in a drone death walk to call attention to the illegal, counterproductive and deadly use of drones for "targeted" killings by remote control.  All dressed in black, wore white masks and were silent but for two drums. 

The walk crossed through a busy section of the Back Bay in Boston, the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common on a warm October day where many residents and international tourists were out and about.  Signs and leaflets called for Grounding the Drones and Keeping Space for Peace.

A copy of the flyer we distributed to some passers-by can be found here.

We adapted the flyer from a Philadelphia group and copied the title of GN's top of the fold article from the current issue.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery!

Best wishes

Claire Gosselin,
WILPF Boston USA


6 October 2012
Myrtle Beach Protest
South Carolina, USA

A dedicated group of South Carolinians, young and old, commemorating international Keep Space For Peace Week Saturday afternoon in Chapin Park at Businesss 17, Myrtle Beach.

From: outdoorsbrian@hotmail.com


6 October 2012
Bath Iron Works

Maine, USA

From: globalnet@mindspring.com
 


9 October 2012
Drone Die in
Portland, Maine, USA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Gxox3MjP-U4

The Drone Die-in Protest was directed by Phui Yii Kong, a second-year Bowdoin student from Malaysia. A group of two dozen local activists played the parts of killer drones with warmongering names and innocent civilians going about their daily lives. Others carried signs and handed out literature.

The protest was organized by Lisa Savage, director of Code Pink State of Maine to protest the use of unmanned drones killing innocent civilians around the world, and President Obama's use of drones to assassinate "terrorists" on his kill list.

Performances were held at One Canal Plaza in front of the offices of Senators Snowe and Collins, in Congress Square, and finally in front of President Obama's campaign headquarters on Forest Avenue.

The protest was coordinated with anti-drone protests in the U.S. and Pakistan as well as with Keep Space for Peace Week sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.


9 October 2012
Nagpur, (Maharashtra state) India
Space issues education and awareness program at Women’s College

 

 

Coordinator: Mrunalini Fadnavis mrunalinifadnavis@gmail.com


9 October 2012
Protest at Tucson's Raytheon Missile Systems


Across the street from Raytheon, on busy road - photo by Jack Cohen-Joppa


Oct. 9 at Raytheon, Tucson, photo by Felice Cohen-Joppa


9 October 2012
Protesters bring peace mission to York Minster
York Press

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/9975528.Protesters_bring_peace_mission_to_York_Minster/

The chairman of CND, Professor Dave Webb, centre, with members Yorkshire CND call at York Minster on their three-day 100-mile bike ride from Whitby to Menwith Hill, Harrogate. They were greeted by members of York Green Party and York Quakers

ACTIVISTS protesting against the “militarisation of space” stopped off in York during a 100-mile bike ride as part of their campaign.

The journey between Whitby and Harrogate, which was due to finish yesterday, was organised by Yorkshire CND and designed to raise awareness of the role two North Yorkshire bases, Fylingdales and Menwith Hill, play in the US defence programme.

The group fears the expansion of this system increases the risk of “a new Cold War” with Russia and China and has called for the bases to be “recycled for peaceful means”.

The group held public meetings in Pickering and York during the three-day ride, which joined up with a demonstration against US drone strikes at Menwith Hill organised by the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, as part of Keep Space for Peace Week.

Among those taking part were CND chair Professor Dave Webb, who also chairs Yorkshire CND, while Coun Andy D’Agorne, who leads City of York Council’s Green group, joined the cyclists to pedal between Malton and York.

More information is available at yorkshirecnd.org.uk or by e-mailing info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk


10 October 2012
The Faceless Face of US Drones
CAAB Protest at Menwith Hill and Welcome to Cyclists

On the evening of Tuesday 9 October 2012, the main gate at NSA Menwith Hill was the scene of a protest against the use of drones by the American military. The demonstration which was organised by CAAB was in response to the call for a week of international protest by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN) – ‘KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE’ week.  It was a quiet, warm night and the rain that had been forecast held off so the need to erect shelters disappeared.

 

A CAAB table of information leaflets, newsletters and mugs (‘Blow the Whistle on Menwith’) was staffed by Christine Dean (Hon Treasurer of CAAB) throughout the evening with a lot of interest being shown in the available material.  We were very pleased to be joined by the cyclists and members of Yorkshire CND who had ridden 100 miles from Fylingdales to NSA Menwith Hill.

Laila (Joint Coordinator of CAAB) and Rob Packer welcomed everyone with hot soup, cake and tea.

 

Christine Dean talked about the experience of living in war time England when the doodle bugs flew across the channel to deliver death and destruction. The audience heard her personal and moving account of her life being saved by a milk man from one of these flying bombs which went on to kill people very close to where she had been. The obvious parallel with drones was clear to all her listeners.


The bike riders arrive

David Webb (Chair of CND, YCND and Convenor of GN) went on to speak about the drones programme and the links to NSA Menwith Hill which helps to identify suitable targets. The legality and the ethics of using drones against remotely identified targets are highly questionable.  We had hoped to hand in a letter to Patrick Currie (RAF Liaison officer) to give to Christopher Gilmore (Colonel – US Commander NSA Menwith Hill).  However on the day Patrick Currie was not able to be present due to a prior engagement.

Instead the letter was given to David Ranson (Inspector Ministry of Defence Police).  The letter asked about the role of NSA Menwith Hill in the operation of drones and related surveillance. So far we have received no acknowledgment or reply.

The demonstration was peaceful and conducted in a positive way that made the message – DRONES ARE SIMPLY WRONG – clear to all present.  Growing numbers of people in many countries are deeply upset by the use of these deadly faceless weapons which are unaccountable, illegal and immoral.  Many civilians have been killed and injured in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. This message was for all who work at NSA Menwith Hill.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped to organise the demonstration and particularly to Steve Schofield (CAAB official photographer) who took photos of the demonstration.


13 October 2012
Inspiration - the World
by Gun-Britt Mäkitalo and Agneta Norberg
Stockholm, Sweden

Gun-Britt Mäkitalo (above) and Agneta Norberg (below) held a workshop about the resistance against a US military base on Jeju-Island on October 13th. It was  part of a one day event called Inspiration the World at Workers Studiehouse (ABF) Stockholm.

The whole house was filled with workshops of different kind- and the themes  were: Peoples movements, for Earth, Water, Global Justice and Peace. See www.Inspirationvarlden.org

Agneta Norberg gave an historic overview of Jeju-Islands resistance  and Gun-Britt Mäkitalo gave a vivid picture  about the event when we both were  arrested. We handed out leaflets  and showed a film  about Jeju Peace Movement  by Patrick Cunningham. We had a table of books were you could find brochures from Jejeu Island and the books The Satellite War and Star Wars-US tools of Space Supremacy. On the wall we had a banner in Korean and Swedish language. The Swedish text was:

NO US BASE ON JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA.

We also handed out the adress to  Korean Ambassador in Stockholm  and urged people to call.The event was very much appreciated by those who attended the workshop. I informed about  different websites like:www.space4peace.org  and Bruce Gagnon's ORGANIZING NOTES.
 


12 October 2012
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Outside the SAIC facility,
adjacent to Peterson AFB (HQ of Air Force Space Command)
Northgate


 


October 2012
Montrose, California


Global Network