Monday, 15 October 2007

"Star Wars": The Green MEP Strikes Back

She might be London's Green MEP, but we're happy to share her with other parts of the UK now and again. Jean took part in a demo at Menwith Hill, a United States spy base in Yorkshire, this weekend to protest against its involvement in the "Star Wars" missile system.

The demo, organised by the Campaign for Accountability of American Bases (CAAB), took place at the Menwith Hill communications centre outside Harrogate: where military, economic and political information is gathered and fed back to the US Government.

On 25th July the UK Government announced that it had given permission for Menwith Hill, the largest electronic monitoring station in the world outside America, to be used in the American Missile Defence System.

The site is run by the US National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors the world's communication for US intelligence, and employs around 1,800 US civilians and servicemen to analyse communications, mainly from Europe, Russia and the Middle East. All telecommunications traffic to and from Europe and passing through Britain is intercepted at the base: including private telephone calls, faxes, emails and other communications. Much of this information is collected from spy satellites, which is captured at the site by dishes contained in large white 'golf-balls' or radomes. The data is then processed and relayed back to the United States automatically.

Jean says:
"The Government approved the Menwith Hill site for missile defence without any parliamentary debate; undermining the democratic process in this country and revealing that they are not prepared to discuss the implications of this decision."

"In allowing the US to use the base, our Government is making our country more vulnerable to attack. Any US adversary could now target Britain in order to destroy the effectiveness of the missile defence system."

"Our long-term security requires international conflict resolution and a commitment to averting potentially disastrous environmental problems like climate change. On the contrary, this missile defence system simply intensifies divisions between nations."

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