11 June 2002: for immediate use
Six months ago, on 13 December 2002, President Bush announced his country’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, to take effect on 13th June 2002.
The following day, work will begin on the construction of underground silos in Alaska for missile inceptors and associated communications systems, thus heralding the start of the US’s highly controversial National Missile Defence (NMD) programme.
Withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will give the military the freedom to explore the use of advanced radar technologies which will be required for very early warning of any missile launch, anywhere in the world. These technologies will also give the US the capability to launch a pre-emptive ‘first strike’ as outlined in the US’s new strategic doctrine this week.
Fylingdales early warning radar station on the north Yorkshire Moor is likely to be drawn into a deployed missile defence system and will need major upgrading work. The UK Government has persistently refused any comment on Fylingdales’ potential role in NMD or space-based weapons.
British CND, in co-operation with Yorkshire CND and the Fylingdales Action Network (FAN), believe this issue is of major public concern and one which the government can no longer pretend that it has nothing to do with them. Missile Defence is planned with global military reach in mind, which is why US Space Command calls it ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’.
CND Chair Carol Naughton, CND Vice-President Bruce Kent and Yorkshire CND Dave Webb will address a public meeting in Whitby on Friday evening 14th June. Chris Dove will speak for FAN and local activist Keith Mollison will chair the meeting.
At 09.00 hrs the following morning, they will lead protesters on a 10 mile walk from Whitby to a Party on the Moor at 13.00 hrs at Eller Beck near the Flyingdales radar station.
Afterwards, at 14.00 hrs, there will be a short march up to the front gate of the US-run base for a demonstration and the handing-in of a letter of protest against missile defence and the militarisation of space.
Further details from:
British CND Nigel Chamberlain 020 7700 2350 or 07968 420859
Yorkshire CND Neil Kingsnorth 01274 730795
Fylingdales Action Network Jackie Fearnley 01947 896481