Riki Ellison Chairman and Founder of MDAA, (www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org) was in Slupsk, Poland this past week on the forefront of the Polish Prime Minster, Mr. Donald Tusk’s first visit to the Slupsk Region in Northern Poland this Friday, since the signing of the Missile Defense agreement with the United States. His comments and observations of the need for public education is evident in this article written in Poland by Ellison:
Slupsk, Poland. Aug. 27, 2008. Last Friday, the City of Huntsville, Alabama represented by Mayor Loretta Spencer and members of her community opened city to city, business to business, citizen to citizen and university to university partnerships with the city of Slupsk, Poland, led by Mayor Maciej Kobylinski, the President of the City Council, Mr. Zdzislaw Solowin, and community members. Both communities were able to formally initiate their partnerships, mutual interests and engage openly with each other on a video conference hosted by the mayors from their respective town hall offices.
Participating members of the video conference included the President of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. David Williams, the Vice Rector of the Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk, Mr. Anthony Drapella, the President of the City Council of Slupsk, Mr. Zdzislaw Solowin, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Mr. Evans Quinlivan, Mr. Bartosz Gwozdz-Sproketowski, Director of Economic Impact Department of Slupsk, Dr. Ruth Yates, Assistant Superintendent of the Huntsville City Schools and Mr. Vladyslaw Pedziwiatr, Chancellor of Hanzeatic Academy.
"This strategic partnership follows the grander international relationship between Poland and the United States that was formalized in an agreement signed on Wednesday August 20th, 2008 which strengthens both countries national security and protection of their sovereign territory. International partnerships made at the local and highest levels mixed with personal relationships build trust and mutual benefits that make life prosperous for the citizens of both countries,” stated Riki Ellison.
"Slupsk and its nearby region will be host to the US 10 two-stage ground-based defensive interceptors site that was agreed upon between Poland and the United States. Huntsville, Alabama has the most prominent engineering community for missile defense technology in the United States."
The Prime Minster of Poland, Mr. Donald Tusk, is set to meet the Polish public in the Slupsk Region and its nearby communities this Friday. He will present information on what Poland has agreed to with the United States, and how it will affect the community that will be surrounding the US defensive missile site.
The local Slupsk Community lead by Mayor Maciej Kobylinski and Town Mayor Mariusz Chmiel are awaiting Prime Minster Tusk’s comments and his explanation as they have been seeking dialogue with him since the negotiations began between the two countries. The Polish public in the local area wants and needs validation and information from the Polish Government at the highest levels from this agreement. Information about the direct and indirect impacts that the defensive missile site will cause throughout the region, covering a broad range of areas to include safety, US presence and economic impact is paramount to the Polish public’s support for the system being located there.
The Czech Republic, who recently agreed to host the US European Midcourse Radar (EMR) last month, and the United States who both have been forthcoming and open with information to the Czech public about the EMR that will be deployed in the Bryd Region of the Czech Republic. The Czech Government as well as the United States have had many briefings for the communities throughout their negotiation and after their agreement was signed. The Czech government, in addition, provided federal compensation for local infrastructure projects that would be affected throughout those villages and cities near the where the EMR would be located. Most European20countries and the United States do similar types of educational and compensation efforts with their public prior to putting forward a new military installation in a community.
Education about the forthcoming missile defense system for the Polish Public is of equal importance to that of public education on missile defense in the USA. Recent polling data shows strong support for the Missile Defense Site in Poland with 63 percent of the Polish public behind it and 72% of the American Public support the European Missile Defense Site.
Riki Ellison is available for on-the-record interviews about his trip to Poland and the Czech Republic where he met with local officials on the decision to base missiles and build a radar site. Call Mike Terrill at 602 885-1955 to arrange an interview.