Farmers seize US base

Issue 

Farmers seize US base

By Mark Delmege

PERTH — One hundred angry wheat farmers from northern wheat belt towns attacked a NASA facility at Yarragadee, about 100 km South of Geraldton, on April 7.

Protesting against US wheat subsidies, the farmers dumped wheat, forced entry into the NASA compound, painted slogans, chained equipment and used a fax machine to contact the prime minister. They have since threatened further actions to highlight just how much they are hurting from the effect of US wheat subsidies.

While the functions of the base have changed over the years, the primary stated role today is to assist in NASA's crust dynamics program. This, it is claimed, enables accurate measurements of movements in the earth's crust and variations in gravity fields.

The program is presented as purely scientific. However, it does not take a great deal of imagination to see that this sort of data could be used to assist in missile guidance systems.