June 10 2008
Appeal For A World-Wide Day Of Hunger Strike Against The Space Shield, Sunday June 22, 2008
Global Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The plan to install a U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic as part of the Missile Defense Shield, (a recycled version of President Reagan's "Star Wars"), is a danger to Europe and to all the world. Nuclear weapons are the greatest immediate danger facing humanity, especially now when the situation is so unstable, and a small accident or provocation could set off a catastrophic escalation. This plan heightens international tensions, ushers in a new cold war, and increases the danger of nuclear weapons being used.
Though Missile Defense is presented as a shield against the threat of missile attacks from Iran or North Korea, it is widely understood by tactical analysts (including the major Pentagon-affiliated research agency, the Rand Corporation) as a first strike weapon that would allow the U.S. to start a nuclear attack against any country in the world. It is also the first step towards gaining military control of space.
A large majority of Czech citizens oppose the plan yet the leadership of the Czech government has pursued it; despite protests, petitions with more than 200,000 signatures, and repeated attempts to promote a reasonable dialogue over a period of two years.
On May 13, two courageous Czech humanists, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar, began a hunger strike to ask that the will of two-thirds of the Czech population be respected. Their just and simple demand is that the matter of installing a U.S. military base on Czech territory be submitted to a referendum – an essential instrument of any real democracy. Across Europe and around the world, many others are joining their protest, through fasts, protests and more forceful joint actions.
To strengthen and expand this great and international nonviolent protest, a world-wide day of hunger strike against the Space Shield has been launched for Sunday June 22.
At a time of global crisis, in which millions of human beings lack the means to feed themselves, it is irresponsible to spend hundreds of billions of dollars for war and the production of new weapons. Now more than ever the world needs a firm and urgent commitment to the progressive elimination of global nuclear arsenals, beginning immediately, and led by the world's nuclear states. Instead, this plan is part of an insane expansion of U.S. arms programs including weapons in space and the Complex 2030 project to upgrade the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal.
We propose that everyone who opposes this absurd and immoral escalation join a simple but meaningful act: not to eat for one day, to oppose "Star Wars" and say to the world powers: “Stop feeding the war machine, and start feeding people!”
It is time for all peoples of the world to call loudly for an end to this shameful situation, so that the productivity and creativity of the human species is invested in overcoming human pain and suffering, rather than producing gains for a minority that now seeks to take total control of the planet.
Billions of people long for peace and progress. The descent into violence is not inevitable. We are human beings. We have a choice.