Alain Ah-Vee represented LALIT at the Conference organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Arms in Space held in Oxford at the Friends’ House. He also participated in the demonstration against the Croughton United States Air Force communications station, the infamous “spy base” in Northamptonshire, near Milton Keynes in the UK, from which weapons in space are to be controlled by the US. The conference and demonstration were timely, coinciding as they did, with US President Donald Trump announcing the setting up of a “Space Force”.
There were 40-50 participants at the Conference coming from Mauritius, Japan, South Korea, France, India, the US, UK, Sweden and Germany.
Alain says he was impressed by the knowledge and wisdom that experience has given members of the Global Network, many of whom are also in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other anti-war, anti-nuclear, and anti-bases movements. He said that “space” is being used more and more for weaponry for a number of reasons, including that it is cheaper to launch weapons, in the long run, from space to targets on earth, than from earth to targets on earth. The Croughton base, where the demonstration was, is important because all the information from satellites from over 50 countries goes through it, and then into, increasingly, fibre-optic cables. Fibre optics are more efficient, it is argued by the military, than satellite connections. Speed is of the essence in operations like bombing from big drones: the situation “on the ground” for example, can change, and new orders need to be OK’s from Washington via Nevada.
Alain said that all participants with less experience are still trying, since the conference, to assimilate both the amount of information on this new development of weaponization of space, and the tragic consequences for the future of humankind of this kind of concentration of destructive military might in the hands of so few men. Alain has given a Report-back to the LALIT central committee, and will give another more “technical” report soon.
At the Conference, Alain gave a 10-minute talk on Diego Garcia, including on the military base, the ICJ case on sovereignty, and the displacement of Chagossians. Other delegates took note on whether their country had voted for the African union resolution at the UN General Assembly or abstained, and said they would protest in either of these two cases. British participants checked if their own MPs had signed up to the Early Day Motion that Jeremy Corbyn is piloting for, inter alia, the UK to accept the advisory opinion of the ICJ.
The demonstration at Croughton involved hanging posters denouncing the spy base on its perimeter fencing, and holding a meeting about the base on the perimeter.