Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

US MILITARY ANGERS SICILIAN PEOPLE

 

Idyllic Italian town protests US high-tech base
 

Palermo, Italy - Hundreds of letters have been sent to US President Barack Obama from a tiny school in the Sicilian town of Niscemi, asking him to halt the construction of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), a next generation military satellite communication facility. 

"I couldn’t  believe that the US has installed all these antennas," said Giuseppe Maida, a teacher at the local institute. And now the US is at war, and the war was declared by a group of mothers, who today are marching in the streets of Palermo. 

The MUOS is to be built on the Niscemi US Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) base, where 44 antennas have been operating since 1991, 21 of which, according to US military documents, are still active today. 

Dressed in white, "Mothers against MUOS", as they call themselves, held the banner, "Our children are not your guinea pigs." 

Over the past several months, protesters have held rallies and blocked trucks carrying construction materials into the base.  

"Our children are worried, they ask me what are those antennas," said Concetta Gualato, 45, who is their unofficial spokesperson. "I live 800 metres away from the facility, and I don’t want them to get sick."
Stephen Anderson, a spokesperson for the US embassy, said those concerns are unfounded. "In the US we have similar systems that are located, in fact, closer to population centres and have had no reported negative health or environmental impacts on the communities," he said.  

But Niscemi’s citizens are not satisfied with their explanations and are worried of the consequences of extended exposure to electromagnetic fields for the human body. 

About 2,000 protestors gathered recently in Palermo, accusing Rosario Crocetta, President of Sicily,  of betraying his own people by revoking the ban on the construction. 

See the rest of the story here

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