Thom Yorke leads CND protest in a bid to save the world from George Bush’s Star Wars missile defence system.
Thom Yorke led the protests at the CND rally in Yorkshire last week (September 25), claiming that Tony Blair’s support for President George Bush had been giving him "sleepless nights".
The Radiohead star was billed as the one of the key speakers at the No To Star Wars CND rally which took place outside the RAF Fylingdales base near Whitby, North Yorkshire. Fylingdales is an essential part of the new US ‘Star Wars’ missile defence system, and is the sole official Star Wars base in the UK so far.
The rare public appearance from Yorke guaranteed a larger-than-usual turnout, with travellers coming from as far as Japan and America for the event. Dressed in a long winter coat and drinking cups of tea, he chatted candidly to Radiohead fans before stepping up to the podium to deliver a brief speech.
He told the crowd of nearly 400: "Neil (Kingsworth of Yorkshire CND) has given me stuff to read about this that’s kept me awake at night. How dare Tony Blair sign us up to Star Wars without even giving it a really serious thought…without even consulting us? It’s sickening. It’s important that people like us can get off our backsides and come to these events. We need to make it clear that we will not let America govern the world we live in. Let’s make this a good, positive day."
The Star Wars protest centres around Tony Blair’s support for a missile-defence system which George Bush is set to launch this autumn. The planned multi-billion-dollar system is intended to shoot ballistic missiles out of the air before they reach their target, therefore protecting the West from potential attack. CND and its supporters claim that this is an offensive rather than defensive system and will only serve to heighten global insecurity – potentially making Britain and the Fylingdales base a target for rogue military attacks.
However, Tony Blair has insisted that Britain has everything to gain from its involvement in the missile defence system.
This is a matter which clearly riled Yorke when he spoke out. He slammed: “What does Blair think he’s doing? If what we achieve today can get stuck in Tony Blair’s throat just that little bit, that will make me a very happy man.”
Kingsworth praised Yorke’s contribution and the good spirit of the protest, despite original fears that violence may erupt.
He said: “A lot of people attended because of the Thom Yorke connection and it’s wonderful that someone like him will take on such a complex issue. A lot of people in the public spotlight might shy away from something like this, so we’re delighted Thom has lent his support.”