The Guardian June 13, 2001


Say NO to Star Wars

As The Guardian went to press Perth citizens opposed to US 
President Bush's plans for a National Missile Defence (NMD) system (Son of 
Star Wars), and Australia's involvement in it, were making their feelings 
known at a protest outside the US Consulate in St Georges Terrace, 
Perth.

A copy of a letter signed by more than 600 organisations from around the 
world was presented to the US Consulate. At the same time in Sydney this 
monster letter was launched by Friends of the Earth and other disarmament 
campaigners. June 12 is the day before a NATO meeting at which President 
Bush will be present and at which missile defence will be discussed.

The British-American Security Information Council will launch the letter in 
London with friendly MPs and peace organisations. Physicians for Social 
Responsibility, the Council for a Livable World and 200 other groups will 
descend on Washington for the same purpose.

"Ballistic Missile Defence is probably the most threatening military move 
ever made by the US Government", said veteran disarmament campaigner, Jo 
Vallentine.

"It is part of the Bush plan to conquer and control space. It undermines 
all disarmament treaties carefully crafted since the 1972 Anti-Ballistic 
Missile Treaty, upsetting delicate international relations and threatening 
to spark a new round of the arms race."

Ms Vallentine pointed out that Australia is the only country in the world 
to support the outrageously expensive, unworkable and dangerous plan. "If 
Australia would clearly state that Pine Gap [US spy base in South 
Australia] could not be used for MND, it's possible that the whole plan 
would be nullified."

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