THOM YORKE LEADS ‘STAR WARS’ PROTEST

It's nothing to do with Jar Jar Binks - the star takes another opportunity to lay into Bush and Blair...

RADIOHEAD star THOM YORKE led the protests at the CND rally in YORKSHIRE this weekend (September 25), claiming that TONY BLAIR’s support for GEORGE W BUSH had been giving him “sleepless nights”.

Yorke was billed as the one of the key speakers at the ‘No to Star Wars’ CND rally which took place outside the RAF Fylingdales Warning Base in Yorkshire, near Whitby. 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 turn out, with travellers both young and old coming from as far as Japan and America for the protest. Yorke 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 asleep 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 the ‘Star Wars’ 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 missile defence is an offensive rather than defensive system and will only serve to heighten global insecurity.

The ‘Star Wars’ protest marks Thom Yorke’s second public appearance in as many weeks. The week prior he had joined REM on stage at a secret fanclub show at London St James Church (September 15).

For the full story, see next week’s NME, issue dated October 2.