Today is my last day, at least for now. I will rejoin the strike on June 22 for the day.
The cartoon above is the work of artist W. B. Park who lives in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Will Park is a friend of many years and his illustrations are throughout my book, Come Together Right Now. For years, while living and working in Orlando, Florida, I would regularly meet Will for lunch at various BBQ restaurants in the area and we’d sit and talk politics and try to make sense of our crazy country. Any leaflet or poster I needed artwork for he eagerly did.
Last night I got this message from Will, “Tomorrow night at midnight I begin a three day fast in solidarity with the courageous people of the Czech Republic. No more BBQ for a while.”
As you can see below, the list of people who have contacted me about joining the June 22 international fast against Star Wars is rapidly growing.
We’ve begun to brainstorm what we will do here in Midcoast Maine on June 22. The idea of an empty plate picnic has come up where we gather in the heart of Brunswick on the town green to share from our hearts with each other. People who are not fasting the whole day could skip the noon meal and join us as well. We could each speak about why we have joined the fast expressing our concern about how a space arms race is “stealing from those who are in need” as former president Eisenhower told the nation in 1961.
I must conclude my two-week hunger strike by thanking Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in the Czech Republic and all those who have supported them during these recent days. The decision to do this strike by Jan and Jan was a beautiful spiritual undertaking. It was also a brilliant political strategy and I very much admire how they expanded the issue to Star Wars in general rather than just keeping it focused on the one radar facility in their country. They effectively opened the door to a larger constituency and have helped raise global consciousness dramatically. I’ve been doing this space weapons work for 25 years and have rarely seen a grassroots campaign bear such fruit. The entire support base behind Jan and Jan must be congratulated for top notch organizing.
To other organizers I hope this Czech campaign is a good lesson. It goes to show that when you take a positive, courageous, non-violent step forward it will be noticed and supported by others. Inspiration always draws energy and light. Build it and they will come.
But this campaign is far from over. There is still much work to be done to promote the June 22 day and to sustain that energy to block the U.S. deployment of “missile defense” interceptors in Poland and the radar in the Czech Republic. Then we, in the U.S., must get our Congress to defund Star Wars research and development. And we must all promote a new international treaty that would ban all weapons in space – from any country.
The aerospace and nuclear industries view space as a new market. They seek to establish mining colonies on the Moon and Mars and develop nuclear rockets to get to these planetary bodies. They intend to use military space systems to control the “pathway” on and off the Earth so that corporate interests will “dominate” space as they now do on our home planet.
Let June 22 be one giant step for humanity here on our beautiful spinning satellite called Madre Tierra.
June 22 Fast Names:
Beth Adams (Greenfield, Massachusetts)
Bob Anderson (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Dennis Apel (Guadalupe, California)
Sally Breen (Windham, Maine)
David W. Chipman (Harpswell, Maine)
Kathe Chipman (Harpswell, Maine)
Sung-Hee Choi (New York, New York)
Michael Connelly (Rochester, New York)
Frank Cordaro (Des Moines, Iowa)
Becky Farley (Damariscotta, Maine)
Sr. Barb Freemyer, RSM (Pueblo, Colorado)
Bruce Gagnon (Bath, Maine)
Sr. Carol Gilbert (Baltimore, Maryland)
Starr Gilmartin (Trenton, Maine)
Matt Gregory (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Regina Hagen (Darmstadt, Germany)
Tom Hastings (Portland, Oregon)
Dud Hendrick (Deer Isle, Maine)
Tensie Hernandez (Guadalupe, California)
Nancy Hill (Stonington, Maine) June 19-24
Ron King (Penobscot, Maine)
Tom Kircher (Biddeford, Maine)
Steve Landon (Waldhof, ON, Canada)
Steve Larrick (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Isolt Lea (Gainesville, Florida)
Bob Lezer (Freeport, Maine)
Mary Leonard, Mercy Associate (Pueblo, Colorado)
Tamara Lorincz (Halifax, NS, Canada)
Laurie McGowan (Mochelle, NS, Canada)
Michael Murphy (Omaha, Nebraska)
Sr. Elaine Lopez Pacheco, RSM (Pueblo, Colorado)
Jeanne Pahls (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Rosalie Tyler Paul (Georgetown, Maine)
Sr. Ardeth Platte (Baltimore, Maryland)
Bonnie Preston (Blue Hill, Maine)
Kim Redigan (Dearborn Heights, Michigan)
John Rensenbrink (Topsham, Maine)
Judy Robbins (Sedgwick, Maine)
Robert Shetterly (Brooksville, Maine)
Gareth Smith (Byron Bay, Australia)
Mary Beth Sullivan (Bath, Maine)
Meredith Tupper (Tampa, Florida)
Carol Urner (Portland, Oregon)
William Watts (San Francisco, California)
Margaret Weitzmann (Potsdam, New York)
Elaine Wells (Omaha, Nebraska)
Molly Willcox (Westport, Maine)
Lynda Williams (Santa Rosa, California)
Mariah Williams (Liberty, Maine)
Loring Wirbel (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Michael Wisniewski (Los Angeles, California)