|Swedish Peace Council V-P Agneta Norberg and Norwegian journalist Bard Wormdal point out the locations of the satellite downlink stations at the two poles where Norway shares images with the US military|
I am writing this from the Frankfurt, Germany airport where
I have a three-hour layover on the way back to Boston. I flew early this morning from Kiruna to
One of our new Global Network Advisory Board members,
Luis-Gutierrez-Esparza (President of Latin-American Circle of International
Studies) from Mexico was met with a big surprise after he left Kiruna. Early this morning our board convener Dave
Webb from the UK received an email from Luis saying that prior to boarding his
flight in Stockholm he was pulled aside by United Airlines security and
interrogated for 45 minutes about our Global Network conference. He was asked who paid for his trip to
Sweden, who organized the conference, how the conference was funded, and for a
list of all conference participants.
Luis did tell them how his own trip was funded (by sources inside
Mexico) but he refused to give any names of anyone else involved in the event.
This unusual interrogation of Luis indicates just how
closely the military industrial complex is watching the work of the Global
Network. They do fear the spreading of
knowledge and resistance to US-NATO efforts to use the “High North” of Sweden,
Norway, and Finland for space radars, satellite downlink stations, and testing
areas for drones and other high-tech weapons.
This incident should give us all full confidence that we are on the
right track and the determination to continue, and to expand, our efforts.
I want to offer some observations from my conference notes
that I think were particularly interesting and important. They are not in any particular order but all
The event was attended by people from the following
nations: Sweden, Norway, Finland,
Denmark, Germany, England, Russia, US, Mexico and Japan.
conference began with singing by a Sami (indigenous people from the High
North) man. Sami are best known
for their reindeer herding. He
sang prayers to his mother, grandfather, his friend, and the wind.
is a city of about 20,000 people in the High North and while we were there
we never saw the sun set – it is the land of the midnight sun.
is a mining town and has the largest underground iron ore mine in the
world. Because they essentially
mine underneath the city the ground just below is expected to eventually
give way so the city is being moved away from the mine and the process
will take the next 30 years to complete.
The mining company, owned by the state, will pay for the moving of
WW II the Nazi’s never occupied Sweden but instead they took the iron ore
from Kiruna to Germany to build their war machine.
outside of Kiruna is the Esrange Space Center where they download images
from satellites in polar orbits.
The information from the satellites is used for both civilian and military
mining operations and the growing space testing range are having negative
impacts on the Sami people’s culture and ability to herd reindeer.
Sami woman speaker told us that we’ve all had our minds colonized by the
western dominant culture and that we each have a responsibility to
de-colonize our minds.
journalist Bard Wormdal (author of The Satellite War) told us that Norway
practices a “double standard” as they violate the Svalbard and Antarctic
Treaties which strictly forbid military operations of any kind from
happening at these north and south polar locations. In both cases Norway has downlink
satellite stations at these two points and provide the US military with
imagery that is used for war making.
The Norwegian government still denies this even after the
publishing of the book, which provides conclusive evidence of these treaty
the conference participants took a bus trip to the Esrange Space Center we
got a briefing from a public relations team representing the Swedish Space
Corporation. At first they told us
that only civilian use satellite imagery are being downloaded at the
center but after many knowledgeable persons in our group objected and
offered the truth they reluctantly admitted that indeed satellite imagery
is in fact provided for US and NATO military operations.
conference participant Vladimir Kozin told us that when Obama recently
spoke in Berlin about the need for cuts in nuclear weapons the Pentagon at
the very same moment was releasing a new plan to upgrade existing US
nuclear weapons based in Europe.
The US is the only nuclear power that bases its nukes outside of
its own country.
stated that the Russian government feels strongly that the US “missile
defense” program (now being expanded with NATO to surround Russia)
undercuts their strategic defense capability and makes hopes for nuclear
disarmament virtually impossible.
Obama’s Berlin speech he did not mention “one single word” about missile
defense Kozin told the conference.
also reported that in recent times the US Navy has been sending nuclear
submarines toward Russian submarine bases. (Imagine the outrage if the
reverse was being done!)
new European Union “Galileo” military/civilian satellite system (like the
US GPS) will be used to explore for oil and natural gas drilling in the
melting Arctic Ocean.
from Finland showed the conference a map of the large drone testing area
that has been established in their country. The 11,000 square kilometer test area is only 30 kilometers
from the Russian border. In 2005
drones that were used in Afghanistan were tested at the range.
corporate controlled media, like in Sweden and Norway, are doing major
anti-Russian propaganda that is pumping up conflict in the region.
need to draft international anti-drone agreements at the NGO level and it
was decided to begin that process right away.
also decided that the Global Network should pursue the idea of making a
documentary video about the dangers of expanding “missile defense”.
and over during the conference links were made between climate change and
expanding militarism. There was
total agreement that we should all be demanding the conversion of the
military industrial complex so that our resources can be used to deal with
must turn the Arctic region into an International Nature Park in order to
prevent the drilling for oil and natural gas and the militarization of the
development of robotic warfare technology may be the biggest military
advancement since the making of the atomic bomb.
must all talk more about how Techno-Fascism, and the worshipping of
military technology, is a deep spiritual sickness.
military radar for “missile defense” is planned for deployment in the
Kyoto prefecture in Japan.
Resistance plans are now underway.
Waddington in the UK is now piloting drones from that base. Protests were recently held there.
Darmstadt, Germany US military downlink radars were removed some years ago
but it was only recently learned that below the ground at that same
location still exists a military war fighting computer center.
the recent disclosures about the NSA by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, the UK
government told their media that they are not allowed to mention the NSA
surveillance program and the Menwith Hill (US NSA spy base) in Yorkshire
in the same breath.
was a tentative decision made by the Global Network membership to hold our
22nd annual space organizing conference in 2014 near Vandenberg
AFB in California.
It was also resolved to create a Nordic network to work on drone and space issues that would work to organize local actions during Keep Space for Peace Week - October 5-12.
The new documentary called The Ghosts of Jeju was shown to the conference and people loved the film about resistance to a Navy base on Jeju Island, South Korea that will port US warships as Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific further surrounds China. People cried, clapped with the music at the end, and asked for how to get the film. You can order it here
expressed their deep appreciation to all those in the Swedish peace
movement for doing a wonderful job hosting our conference. Particular thanks go to Women for Peace
and especially those in Kiruna who worked so hard to take such good care