25 September 2004: for immediate release
Hundreds of peoples took part in a demonstration outside the Fylingdales US base in Yorkshire today. The protest, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, is one of hundreds taking place across the world, saying no to George Bush’s Star Wars system. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, addressed the demonstration. He condemned the British government for “pushing the Star Wars system on to us without any consultation”. Kate Hudson, Chair of CND told the demonstrators “the Star Wars system will give the US the ability to launch pre-emptive attacks without fear of retaliation”. A message of greeting was also read out from US activists in Alaska, who are also protesting today to oppose Star Wars.
The demonstration has been organised to mark George Bush’s planned announcement – expected this autumn – that phase one of his Missile Defence System is up and running. Fylingdales is an essential part of the US Star
Wars system and is the one official Star Wars base in the UK so far. It is currently being upgraded to play a part in the system and will become Star Wars operational in a year or so’s time.
Kate Hudson, Chair of British CND, said in her speech to demonstrators:
“The Star Wars system is part of US military strategy for global domination through the policy of ‘full spectrum dominance’. The Star Wars system will give the US the ability to launch pre-emptive attacks without fear of
retaliation. We have seen in Iraq the reality of pre-emptive war and we must work to change government policy away from this criminal and destructive approach. Star Wars, together with policies of new nuclear weapons, nuclear first strike and pre-emptive war are all part of the new US/UK approach to foreign and military policy. They must be seriously opposed.”
Thom Yorke gave a moving speech expressing his incredulity:
“that our government claims to uphold democracy world wide yet pushes the
Star Wars system on to us without any consultation.”
Notes to Editor
1. For information, interviews and comment contact Neil Kingsnorth of Yorkshire CND on 07818 411823
2. The demonstration web site is www.cndyorks.gn.apc.org/switchoffstarwars
3. The Demonstration started at noon at Eller Beck, which is close to the main gate of Fylingdales on the A169 between Pickering and Whitby.
4. The Fylingdales upgrade is ongoing and Yorkshire CND was recently told by the Fylingdales base commander that it is due for completion by Spring 2006. It will then play a role in Star Wars.
5. Thom Yorke has written a message on the Radiohead website urging people to join the protest by saying simply “Anyone want to come?” adding, with reference to the fact that’ll he making a speech at the demo “what should i say. i dont want to be rude. but they are about to announce star wars..”
6. As well as Thom Yorke there were speeches from the Chair of CND, Kate Hudson, and from Dave Knight – of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which co-ordinates Keep Space for Peace Week.
7. Other events during Keep Space for Peace Week include a demonstration at Menwith Hill on October 2nd (2004: A Space Oddity) organised by CAAB, a Rally at RAF Croughton on Oct 2nd and the playing of Schubert’s Quartet “Death and the Maiden” Concert at base main gate of US base Molesworth. There will be around 45 events taking place around the world during the week in countries including the USA, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Sweden and Canada. CND also plans to read out a statement from a group in Alaska called No Nukes North who will be demonstrating at Fort Greely on the same day.