We heard from the Czech Republic today that Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar will end their hunger strike tonight. Others in their country and around the world will then join the strike in their place. In their statement from Prague today they concluded, "We call on all the people who disagree with this plan [U.S. radar deployment] to show their disagreement, not to stay silent, and to start being active. Because 'democracy' is not just a word, putting a vote into a ballot box once every four years, democracy is about the active participation of every individual. "
Recognizing that the U.S. is determined to twist the arm of the Czech government into submission to accept the deployment of the provocative "missile defense" radar, Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar are urging others around the world to help expand this effort.
They say, "Today at midnight we will suspend our hunger strike, however, a chain hunger strike will start in our country at the same time, when various people covering the whole social spectrum will be symbolically fasting for 24 hours. Tomorrow, a dissident, former Charter 77 and Independent Movement Activist, Peter Uhl will strike for us. In the following days the relay will be taken over by, among others, the sociologist Jan Keller, artist Anna Geislerova, Senator Alena Gajduskova, member of the Czech Academy of Science Petr Pokorny, Member of Parliament Olga Zubova, journalist Jakub Patocka, artist Lenka Vlasakova, radio editor Jeronym Janicek, and many others. "
"All of you, who agree with our protest, can help us to spread it further and join the 22nd June one-day worldwide hunger strike against the Star Wars system, part of which is the planned base in the Czech Republic. This protest is the reaction to our hunger strike, and it is its strong follow-up on a world-wide level. It is already clear that people from all continents will participate."
So our Czech friends are challenging all of us to step up. It is obvious that instead of winding down, this effort against the radar is expanding and each of us can now play a role by joining the hunger strike for one day or more and by helping to spread the word to our organizations and personal networks.
Last Sunday here in Bath, Maine the Rev. Bill Bliss spoke about the hunger strike as the theme of his sermon at his United Church of Christ. Others have been urging people to sign the on-line petition at http://www.nonviolence.cz/ Still others are writing letters to the editor of their newspaper and planning to hold public vigils.
In the coming days the U.S. government will once again be debating their annual Pentagon spending appropriations. The military budget will be well over $600 billion in the coming year and the largest single project is for Star Wars "research and development." Now is the time for those who live in the U.S. to be calling on Congress to defund Star Wars.
This campaign is growing daily as people worldwide learn more about U.S. plans to move the arms race into space.
The resistance we are now seeing from the Czech Republic must be matched with similar efforts all over if we hope to have the resources to effectively deal with climate change and maintain social progress in our communities.
We must join the fight now to keep space for peace.