Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Can You Imagine?

First we bomb them, then we blame them.

A short film about the humanitarian consequences of the political crisis.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's all about the $$$$$$$$

Of course the Democratic Party will blame the Russians - it's all their fault!

Any doubt who really runs America? It's the corporate oligarchy and their big bucks. It does not matter whether the prez is Hillary or Trump - the country is run by the bankster pirates, fossil fuel companies, the drug corporations, the military industrial complex, the corporate controlled media and the like. This election is a scripted three-ring circus sideshow.

We need to send the nation a message by voting outside the box this time around. Anything else is just complicity with the corrupt sideshow.


Funeral for the Devil & His Weapon

Seongju, South Korea residents’ funeral ceremony for the conservative Saenuri Party.

Seongju has historically voted for the Saenuri Party in their elections.  But since the ruling Saenuri Party's slavish decision to accept the US demand to deploy the THAAD 'missile defense' system in their community they have buried that relationship.

A recent national poll reveals that:

  • 53.1%: support reconsidering or rescinding the decision of deployment of US THAAD in South Korea.
  • 60.2%: believes that the United States forced the decision of deployment of US THAAD on Korea. Korea surrendered to the US pressure.
  • President Park Geun-hye's (daughter of former South Korean US puppet) approval rate sank to the lowest: below 30% and some voters calling for an impeachment.
1000 Korean scholars, experts, researchers, lawmakers, diplomats and distinguished citizen held a press conference against the US THAAD in front of Korean National Assembly.

Not Forgetting Japan's Treatment of Korean Sexual Slaves

Yesterday the three of us in our VFP (Veterans For Peace) delegation to Korea attended the weekly protest of the 'comfort women' across the street from the Japanese embassy in Seoul.  There was a large crowd of mostly high school and college students who were protesting the Japanese abduction of 200,000 Korean women during WW II when the young girls were used as sexual slaves for their troops across the Asia-Pacific.

Today only 40 of these women are still alive but they continue to demand a public apology from the Japanese government, appropriate compensation and an end to Tokyo's campaign to rewrite their sordid history in the textbooks of Japanese students.

In the video I describe the US's attempts to get Japan and South Korea to sweep this issue under the rug in order to facilitate the 'Tri-lateral military alliance' between the three countries that would be aimed at China.  Some time ago a 'deal' was struck by Japan and South Korea on this but the women rejected it, demanding that they be directly involved in any negotiations to resolve this sad story

So far the US strategy ain't working as you can see by the size of the crowd.

We also visited a museum on this subject that was full of Korean students.  The organizations supporting the 'grandmas' are doing a great job keeping this issue alive.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Arrived in South Korea - Two Delegation Members Denied Entry

VFP members Will Griffin (left) and Ken Jones (right) and I celebrate our successful entry into South Korea late last night

It was a time of conflicted feelings last night when Ken Jones (North Carolina) and I made it into South Korea and were met by Will Griffin (San Diego) who had arrived here in May.  Sadly our two Korean-American friends Hyun Lee and Juyeon Rhee were denied entry into South Korea.  They were put on a plane and sent back to the US.  Hyun and Juyeon, both who live in the New York City area, were to be our guides and translators during our three-week trip to Korea.  They help coordinate the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea in the US.

We believe the reason they were denied entry into the nation of their birth is because they are very active critics of the South Korean government's corporate policies that slavishly follow directions from Washington.  In particular they have helped create the organizational effort in the US to have Korean-Americans support progressive people here who have long been organizing to take their country back from the right-wing forces that now control South Korea.  Hyun and Juyeon have also helped launch Zoom Korea, an Independent news blog that provides critical and undistorted news and analysis of the fight for democracy, peace, and reunification on the Korean peninsula.  You can see the blog here

In particular Hyun and Juyeon have been supporting the growing movement in South Korea to oppose the recently announced US plan to deploy the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) 'missile defense' (MD) system in the center of the country.  If anyone had any doubt this issue is huge here just take a look at the headline in the Korea Times newspaper that we were handed on our airplane ride last night from Tokyo to Seoul.  

It is obvious to me that Hyun and Juyeon were not allowed into South Korea because they are in the middle of this fight.  Frankly I was surprised that I got into the country but I suppose I am not nearly as visible to the Korean government as the two Korean-American women are.  They speak the language and have the organizational capability to reach out to millions of Korean-Americans on this THAAD issue.

We were met at the airport last night by a South Korean activist who got us on a bus and into the heart of Seoul to our hotel.  The folks here are now working hard to fill the holes that were created when our two guides/translators were blocked entry into the country.

Will Griffin (an Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran), Ken Jones (VFP member in Asheville) and I make up this Veterans For Peace delegation that will be touring the country during these coming weeks.  We'll also go to Jeju Island during this trip to stand with the people of Gangjeong village who remain in opposition to the Navy base that has torn apart their small fishing and farming village.

American Navy personnel were recently spotted at the new Navy base in the village and it is just a matter of time before the first US warships enter Gangjeong waters as part of the 'pivot' of 60% of US military forces into the region.  Hillary Clinton, during her time as Secretary of State, was the author of the 'pivot' strategy which requires more ports of call for warships, more airfields for Pentagon war planes, and more barracks for US troops in places like Hawaii, Guam, Australia, Okinawa, Japan, Philippines, and South Korea.

In the Korea Times article shown above Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi renewed Beijing's strong opposition toward the US setting up the THAAD battery.  He said the US deployment in South Korea, "has undermined the foundations of trust between the two countries."

Just like the US deployments of 'missile defense' along the Russian borders, the ever increasingly deployments of MD now encircling China are major provocations by the US against peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.  During this visit our delegation will be standing with the growing numbers of people in South Korea who oppose these dangerous US policies.  I hope to be able to share their voices with those who read this blog.


Monday, July 25, 2016

VFP in Philly Outside DNC

Destabilizing Nature of 'Missile Defense'

The story is true - soon after he stole the 2002 election George W. Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia.

The treaty made sure that neither side would build 'missile defense' (MD) systems which are destabilizing and provocative and give one side a first-strike advantage over the other.

These days the Pentagon is encircling Russia and China with MD - escalating an already out of control arms race.  Add to that NATO expansion right up to Russia's borders and the US-NATO are playing with fire.

The constant demonization of Putin and Russia by the west make our people unable to hear the rational warnings coming from Putin.  Sadly the minds of most people in the US have been colonized by this demonization process - even many peaceniks have had their heads filled with mush making them afraid to be labeled 'Putinized' if they pay any attention to the words from Moscow.  Very sad indeed.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Counter-Dialogue Needed Now More Than Ever

Dr. Cornel West discusses Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump during the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

There is an attempt to get Cornel West to sign on as Jill Stein's vice-president pick in the Green Party.  You can sign a petition urging him to do so here.

Be Bold

Aid to the People of Eastern Ukraine

The US-NATO puppet regime in Kiev has resumed its blitzkrieg of the people in eastern Ukraine (Donbass).

The plan is still to attempt to draw Russia into overt defense of the people in Donbass.  At this point Russia is giving diplomatic, military aid, and humanitarian aid to the suffering people in Donbass.  But the US-NATO war project will not rest until they can force Russia into crossing their border to defend the Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.

The US-NATO must justify their current steroidal expansion of the 'military alliance' up to the Russian border.  So far Moscow has been smart and not given Washington-Brussels what they want.  But as the US-NATO funded and trained Nazi forces increase their daily attacks on the people in Donbass at some point Russia just might determine that they have no other choice than to intervene to stop the blood bath.  The US-NATO will howl like a wounded animal.

The timing of these attacks on Donbass is interesting to me - right at the time that America is spending much energy focused on the corporate run Republican and Democrat conventions.  People here are distracted and the oligarchy picks that as the moment to resume to attacks on Donbass.


Teacher Struggle in Mexico

Sunday Song