Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peace Day Event Calls for Ending Missile Testing in the Pacific

September 17, 2011 by from

Hawai’i Peace and Justice (formerly the American Friends Service Committee Hawai’i Program) will sponsor a talk by a renowned peace activist to commemorate International Peace Day.

MacGregor Eddy will speak about “Peace In the Pacific: Stop Missile Testing!” Ms. Eddy sits on the board of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power Space <>, is a member of the International Committee to Save Jeju Island (Korea) <>, and coordinates peace protests at the Vandenberg Space Command <>.

The event takes place on International Peace Day, September 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm, at the Honolulu Friends Meeting House, 2426 Oahu Avenue, Honolulu. The presentation is free and open to the public.

On what has been declared an International Day of Peace by the United Nations, the United States had scheduled to launch a nuclear-capable Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. After an outpouring of international criticism, the launch has been postponed to a later date.

There was much controversy with the selection of this particular date, which was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 2001 to be reserved as “a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day…commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “Missile testing is a provocative act, not a peaceful one, and is particularly inappropriate on the International Day of Peace. Rather than testing one of its nuclear-capable missiles, the US should be taking steps to further the goals of peace and nuclear disarmament on this important day. To build a more peaceful world, US leadership is critical.”

Vandenberg Air Force Base in California routinely tests hydrogen bomb delivery systems, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMS), over the Pacific to Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands in violation of the U.S. commitment to disarmament under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The US and its allies use the few, short range launches by North Korea as a pretext for military buildup on Guam, Okinawa, and Jeju Island South Korea. The Pacific Missile Range Facility in Nohili, Kaua’i is key to the testing and tracking of missile launches.

Kyle Kajihiro, coordinator for Hawai‘i Peace and Justice said “On Peace Day we should reflect on the high cost of war and militarism and commit ourselves to ending the disorder of global militarization. Will Hawai‘i truly be a gathering place for peace, or a weapon of global domination? ”


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