New Yorkers Demand United States Join UN Ban Against Space Weapons

For Immediate Release

CODEPINK
Contact: 

Alice Slater, NYC action coordinator, 646-238-9000
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 508-769-2138

New Yorkers Demand United States Join UN Ban Against Space Weapons

Protest outside New York City headquarters of military space weapons contractor

NEW YORK - "Star Wars" may soon be more than a blockbuster movie franchise.
    

For the past three years, the United States has been the only
United Nations member to refuse to negotiate a ban against weapons in
space (Israel has abstained). Two years ago, President Bush signed a
new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements
that might limit U.S. flexibility in space; it also asserts a right to
deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests," according
to the Washington Post (Oct. 18, 2006).  The document, the first full
revision of overall space policy in 10 years, emphasizes security
issues, encourages private enterprise in space, and characterizes the
role of U.S. space diplomacy largely in terms of persuading other
nations to support U.S.policy.  
  

To protest weapons in space, New Yorkers will rally at 12 p.m. Oct.
6 outside the New York City headquarters of military space weapons
contractor, L-3 Communications, which produces specialized electronic
systems for satellites, air, ground and marine-based weapons, and earns
80 percent of its business from the U.S. government. They will call for
a stop to this "Star Wars" research and development, demand the U.S.
join a ban against space weapons, and demand a redirection of
government funds toward education, health care and infrastructure.

WHAT: New Yorkers say "NO" to space weapons
WHEN: 12 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6

WHERE: Outside L-3 Communications headquarters, at 600 3rd Ave. (at E. 39th St.)

"We're in an arms race with ourself," said Alice Slater of CODEPINK
Women for Peace NYC, a main organizing group. "It's driven by corporate
lobbyists, huge campaign contributions and a corrupt Congress, spending
billions of our national treasure on a needless weaponization of the
heavens."                                                                       

The protest, co-organized by No War Westchester, Westchester Coalition
for Peace and Justice and others, is one of hundreds being held
worldwide, part of the "Keep Space for Peace" week organized by the
nonprofit group Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in
Space. It is meant  to alert the public to the space arms race.
  

The demonstrators will call on L-3 Communications to cut its ties
to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The company, the largest weapons
maker in New York State, also creates laptops used by U.S. troops for
air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is developing multi-sensor
fusion and tracking systems for cruise and ballistic missiles for the
Missile Defense Agency and the Department of Defense. owns MPRI, a
global military security company with at least 500 employees working in
Iraq on 12 different contracts, including training civilian workers at
the Iraqi Defense Ministry.
 

For more information, call Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media
coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or e-mail at jean@codepinkalert.org.

###

CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities. We reject the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead call for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence. Codepinkalert.org.

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