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Star Wars Protest on Wall Street

Advocates For Peace In Space Protest Pentagon Profiteers On Wall Street

CONTACT:
Chris Ney, 212-228-0450
Alice Slater, 212-726-9161

"Putting weapons into space is no way to promote disarmament and peace on earth," said Chris Ney of the War Resisters League, an organizer of a march and rally on Wall Street planned for Friday October 6 at noon.

The demonstration, sponsored by a coalition of anti-nuclear, environmental, and peace activists, draws attention to the role that lobbying by weapons manufacturers has played in the revival of the failed "Star Wars" missile defense system—and to the massive profits they are likely to gain through Pentagon contracts.

"Weapons makers like Lockheed-Martin, TRW, and Boeing are motivated by greed and crass opportunism. They have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to support missile defense schemes that are technologically unfeasible and politically irresponsible," said Frida Berrigan of the World Policy Institute.

Protesters cite several problems with National or Theater Missile Defense schemes:

• Development and deployment of Star Wars is opposed by U.S. allies and adversaries alike;
• U.S. plans will spark new arms races and increased international tension;
• Nearly three decades of arms control work will be destabilized if the U.S. violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty of 1972; and
They won't work, according to independent experts who cite massive technical problems

Mega-corporations are promoting Star Wars to gain new Pentagon contract, a form of corporate welfare that has become the bread and butter for Lockheed-Martin and others. The Pentagon is promoting missile defense for reasons that relate to corporate greed.

"Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investments," is the stated goal of the U.S. Space Command as described in its document, Vision for 2020. In this document and in the debate on missile defense organizers see ominous signs that the military-industrial complex is preparing to move into space.

Speakers at the protest rally in front of Federal Hall will include William Hartung of the World Policy Institute; journalist Karl Grossman, an expert on U.S. space policy; and Alice Slater, a leader of Abolition 2000—the international movement to abolish nuclear weapons.

The Wall Street protest is part of the International Day of Protest Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and A Day Without the Pentagon, an anti-militarist campaign.

Protesters will gather at Trinity Church (Broadway and Wall Street) at Noon and march one block to Federal Hall.
**********
War Resisters League
339 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10012
212-228-0450
212-228-6193 (fax)
1-800-975-9688 (YouthPeace and A Day Without the Pentagon)
wrl@igc.org
web address: http://www.nonviolence.org/wrl

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