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."