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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


I saw the British wing commander, Chris Knapman, again today while standing outside the space symposium in Colorado Springs. First thing he said to me was that I work fast and said he saw his picture on the blog. I must admit I was a bit taken back....As he walked away he turned back with a wry smile and said "And I'm much more relaxed this time" in reference to my remark yesterday on the blog comparing his easy going manner to the more up tight one when I first met him at Fylingdales in the UK.

Later on as Bill Sulzman and I were heading through the parking lot to leave we ran into Chris again by his car. I asked him how he found out about the blog and he said that he routinely checks up on the web sites of those of us working on the space issues to see what we are doing and saying. I asked him if we were making any progress with him and he jokingly replied that we were probably making as much progress with turning him around as the military was with turning us toward their way of viewing the world.

But it really does confirm that in spite of how much people in the peace movement often think that the government is ignoring us, in fact they do watch us like a hawk. They do care what we do and what we say because they ultimately fear that the public might one day begin to respond to our appeals for sanity.

It's like the war in Iraq. In the end the peace movement was correct - there were no WMD in Iraq. Bush and Tony Blair insisted there were....we went to Bush and Blair have been discredited. If we were right about that, might we not be right about not moving the arms race into space?

I liked Chris Knapman. He has a good sense of humor and seems like a nice sort. I like the English anyway, after having lived there as a kid for 3 years when my dad was stationed at an Air Force base in England. I always love to return to the UK, it's a bit like going home for me, a part of me is still there. It's nice to see the humanity of someone like Chris as we sit on opposite sides of this historic debate about moving modern warfare into the heavens. As we parted today I told him that all these meetings just might have been guided by the stars.

See you later Chris........Keep checking in....


Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

If we were right about that, might we not be right about not moving the arms race into space?

A stopped clock is right twice a day as well, just not good for anything productive.

4/8/05, 11:43 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

It's not just that people opposed to the Iraq war were right, it's that those ardently pushing for war were 'dead wrong,' to quote a recent report on pre-invasion intelligence.

Despite Dick Cheney's repeated dark warnings of a 'mushroom cloud,' it's now clear that Saddam was no closer to posing such a nuclear threat than he was to raising the Titanic.

Speaking of clocks, the arms inspectors asked for a bit more time before the invasion to prove war wasn't necessary--but those bent on war rebuffed them, then worked to undermine their credibility in public: they were so sure they were right. Yet they were 'dead wrong.'

What we have with Bush and company is not a 'stopped clock,' but a clock running backwards, back to the 1920s before there were such things as social programs and a United Nations charter.

Even more terrifying, what we have with Rumsfeld and his wish for new kinds of nuclear weapons is a clock ticking ever closer to nuclear midnight.

The Bush and Rumsfeld clocks are the ones that need stopping.

4/9/05, 12:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

I find myself wondering what good space4peace is. The org is against a great deal. I don't see that they are for anything in particular as regards space.

All snark aside, I work for a company that is pushing for cheap access to space. I'd like to think that groups like this would be for companies that want more of a private interest in space and thus allies. It is very hard to tell, however.

4/9/05, 8:20 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

G'day Bruce.
It's nice to see the humanity of someone like Chris as we sit on opposite sides of this historic debate about moving modern warfare into the heavens.
As a RWDB on the other side of the debate from you, may I congratulate you on recognising a thread of common humanity on both sides. And may I also return the compliment, it's all too rare to see your human, and humane, attitude on either side of the debate. I truly mean it when I say "May you Live Long and Prosper."

4/10/05, 8:36 PM  

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