For Immediate Release
Alice Slater, 646-238-9000
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 508-769-2138
New Yorkers Demand United States Join UN Ban Against Space Weapons
Action Outside New York City Headquarters of Military Space Weapons Contractor
WASHINGTON - "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.
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.)
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.
"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 email@example.com.