Keep Space 4 Peace Week goes ahead despite Indian Government says NO to Global Network Space Conference

Between October 2-9 the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space had another week of actions against the militariSation of space, under the slogan: “Keep Space For Peace”. There were number of actions during this week, focusing on the missile defence shield, drones and other forms of militarisation of space. For a full list of actions, go to: http://www.space4peace.org/actions/ksfpw10.htm.

Traditionally during the week of action the Global Network organises an international conference, with a specific country as focus. For this year the focus was India, and the plan was to have a conference in Nagpur, India. For the international conference to happen it needed permission by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, permission that was not granted.

There is likely a connection between Obama's planned trip to India next November and the India governmen turning down the conference. There can be no doubt that the Indian government feared angering the U.S. by allowing such a conference to happen just before Obama's trip. It is no secret that the U.S. has for several years been pushing India to develop a Space Command and to become a junior partner in the Pentagon's growing Star Wars program.

Some months the Global Network published in their Space Alert! an article by Global Network board member Matt Hoey. The article was called "India Developing Space Weapons" and the opening paragraph read:

Indian military officials have set a target date to deploy an ambitious anti-satellite (ASAT) system, according to a report released in May by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The report, titled Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap (TPCR), states that the "development of ASAT for electronic or physical destruction of satellites in both lower earth orbit (LEO) and Geo-synchronous orbits" can be expected by 2015.

In it's 18th year of organizing such international space conferences, the Global Network has never had this experience of one particular country essentially blocking from holding an educational meeting. Alternatively the Indian hosts have decided to go forward and still hold a conference anyway, albeit a national one rather than international. It is good that they plan to keep expanding the consciousness in their nation about the dangerous and provocative plans and consequences of India joining the Star Wars program.

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