AABCC Press Release July 15, 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MISSILE TEST CONDEMNED

The National Missile Defence (NMD) test is the most devastating blow to world peace seen in recent years. The tests being held over the Pacific today, with a rocket fired from California and possibly intercepted by a missile from the Marshall Islands. The Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition a coalition of over 100 Australian organisations joins with the many other peace and social justice groups from around the world to express their disgust at these reckless tests.

"The tests held today break the ABM treaty which has been the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament for nearly 30 years. Whether these tests are successful or not, they will usher in the beginning of a new nuclear arms race which will threaten the entire planet." Said Denis Doherty spokesperson for the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC) today.

"There is no excuse for these tests and no reason for the development of this new weapon system. These tests are wrongly labeled defence, there are not about defence they are about the US gaining dominance and projecting its power into space.

"The Australian Government should also be condemned for its groveling approach to the US on this issue. The Australian Government is the only Government in the world to approve of NMD.

"The deployment of NMD will mean that Australia will again become a nuclear target as it did in the 80's. The US base at Alice Springs called Pine Gap will be intimately involved in the research, development and deployment of NMD.

"NMD will cause China to raise its missiles from 20 to 300, while this behavior from China will provoke India and thus Pakistan to build more weapons.

"Strong confidence building and negotiations between all nuclear weapons owning states would mean more security than this crazy offensive weapon's scheme.

"The planned visit of the US Secretary of Defense, Mr. Rumsfeld will be marked by protest and dissent because of these tests. The peace movement is gearing up to launch a major campaign across Australia to take Australia out of the NMD system.

For more information:

Contact Denis Doherty 02) 9660 7562 (h) 0418 290 663 (mobile).