I recently attended the 25th Annual Space For Peace Conference organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space during April 7-9 at the Flying Monkey Arts Theatre in Huntsville, Alabama. The conference was a learning experience. Space wars and weapons are a serious issue and very little known to the public. It amazes me year by year as an antiwar activist how much I don’t know. I can only imagine that people who aren’t antiwar activists know even less.
The conference had speakers from countries like India, Nepal, South Korea, Japan, U.K., and Sweden as well as speakers from several states around the country. All speaking about issues from missile defense, intelligence surveillance systems, military spending, and of course SPACE WEAPONS. A real star wars conflict is not too far away if the world stays course with its current behavior and actions.
The conference began on April 7, Friday, with a peace vigil outside of Gate 9 of the Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Huntsville. We received many honks for peace but of course a few middle fingers and one redneck truck spinning its wheels and driving off really fast to show his disapproval. I guess he doesn’t like the idea of peace. But at least a local news organization came by and took some amazing photos. You can check them out here.
On Sunday, we all drove around Research Park, an area with which dozens of defense contractors operate. From Raytheon to Lockheed Martin to Northrop Grumman, they’re all there in Huntsville making weapons of destruction. Missiles, drones, cybernetics, satellites… Its all there in one place. It was such an eerie feeling driving around Research Park because we all understood the real connection these corporations have to the rest of the world: death. As I was driving and looking at these very dull but expensive looking corporate style buildings, I wondered how many people these places have killed. Seriously, so many missile and drones have killed people around the world. Much of it came from Research Park. The sad truth is that these corporations and people full of knowledge could be building the future. A garden of eden could literally be build around the world with all the knowledge and resources these people have. That’s why Huntsville was chosen as 2017’s annual conference. We wanted to highlight what could be done and what is currently being done. Prior to the event I made a promotional video for the event, you can watch that here.
The bulk of the conference was on Saturday, an all day event, where activists from all over the world listened each others stories. It was a great crowd full of passion. I truly hope to attend another conference with so many great people. Here are the talks that I was able to film:
Here is a recap of the event:
Bruce Gagnon: A New Space Arms Race
Mary Beth Sullivan: From a War Economy to a Peace Economy
David Swanson: What Can The Antiwar Movement Do?
Lindis Pearcy: American Bases in the U.K
Agneta Norberg: U.S.-NATO Military Space Operations in the High North
Reece Chenault: U.S. Labor Against the War
Ann Wright: Keynote Speaker of the Event
Lynda Williams: Gold Rush in Space
Lynda Williams: “War in Heaven” Performance
Hyun Lee: U.S. Policy in East Asia
Rev. Seong-Hye Kim: Peace to All from South Korea