Campaign of the Month: Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space


The new arms race in space is shaping up to be the largest industrial project in Earth's history. To pay for this project, the aerospace industry has been lobbying Washington for a dedicated funding source. Budget allocations for missile defense — Star Wars — are only part of the huge sums of money redirected toward preparations for war in space.

Today, the United States and its allies Japan and South Korea are deploying Aegis destroyers to encircle China's coastline and put its small nuclear deterrent capability at risk. China also knows that the U.S. Space Command has been annually war-gaming a first-strike attack on its nation. In a computer war game set in the year 2016, the United States launches the attack, using a system now under development called the military space plane. This weapon would have the capability to take off like an airplane, fly through space to the other side of the world in one hour, drop a devastating attack on China, and then return to home base. The Pentagon is selling this space plane to the Congress and the public as the successor to the outdated, and increasingly expensive, space shuttle.

To work against this world treat the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) was founded in 1992 by the joint efforts of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice (FCPJ); Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs); and New York-based Journalism professor Karl Grossman. The inaugural meeting of the Global Network (GN) was held in Washington D.C. City Council Chambers.

Between 1992-1997 the GN was housed in the offices, and subsidized by, the FCPJ. Bruce Gagnon, at that time the Coordinator of the FCPJ, served as Co- Coordinator of the GN with Bill Sulzman from Colorado.

In 1998 Gagnon left the FCPJ wanting to work full time on space issues and began serving as volunteer Coordinator of the GN as it has begun to make the effort to become a self sustaining membership organization. The GN is governed by a Board of Directors which is elected at its general membership meetings.

Since its 1992 founding the GN has met each year in order to bring together key activists who are working on, or are interested in, space issues. It was the intention of the founders to create an organization that would serve as a clearinghouse for space issues and act as a spark to ignite education and organizing in order to build an international citizens movement. The 1997 Cancel Cassini Campaign (that launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space and was featured by the TV program 60 Minutes) was a visible and successful effort.

GN organises two main events each year. The first is an international conference of the network. The conference mostly has taken place in the US but also in other countries. In 2009 the conference is taking place in South Korea. The other events is the Keep Space for Peace Week., a week of actions every year in the month of October, focusing against the development of weapons of space. Each year actions take place in numerous countries in all continents. With both events there is the chance to come together as network, first in a face to face event like the conference and then to act locally as part of the network with the international week of action.

Objectives and demands for space by the network

* Apply space technology to social and environmental needs here on Earth
* Explore alternative technology paths for space power and propulsion
* Solve problems on planet Earth instead of creating new imbalances and conflicts in space
* Prevent confrontation, enhance international cooperation in space
* Ban space weapons and space military installations by national and international laws
* Avoid oversized, costly and risky space projects
* Ban the use of nuclear power in space
* Encourage and foster global democratic debate about space exploration and colonization
* Strengthen existing international space laws that call for collective use of celestial bodies

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Programmes & Projects

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