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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

UAV TESTING COMING TO MAINE?

Yesterday the town of Brunswick held a public hearing of the Local Redevelopment Authority that will be deciding what is to be done with the Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS) when it closes on 2011.

One presentation proposed using the BNAS facility as a research, development and testing center for the Pentagon's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program.

UAV's are remotely piloted aircraft used in reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering roles and are now being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to fly over the battlespace and to send back "real time" pictures via satellite technology to ground operators who then can order the UAV's to fire rockets and machine guns mounted on board.

Many of the recent bombings and killings of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan have been done by UAV's.

In the Brunswick presentation it was suggested that the Pentagon is spending a lot of research and development dollars on UAV's and Maine should try to grab some of those funds. The proposal also made the case that creating such a facility would create spin-off commercial "defense" jobs that would service the UAV operation.

The presentation also said the UAV's would be useful to Homeland Security for "surveillance" of our region.

This is just one more glaring example how the economy of the U.S. is becoming militarized as 50% of every federal tax dollar is now going into weapons technology development.

Former Maine Speaker of the House John Richardson from Brunswick, just appointed by Gov. Baldacci to head the state's Department of Economic and Community Development, has previously advocated in the local newspaper that BNAS be used as a UAV test facility.

It would appear to me that the decision has been made to use BNAS for this purpose and now the public sales job is underway. Now would be the right time for people to speak out against this UAV test facility at BNAS.

Would it not be better that our tax dollars be used at BNAS to build mass transit rail systems, solar systems and windmills rather than more weapons for endless war? (Click the link in the headline above for a glimpse of what positive things could be done with our money.)

Hersch Sternlieb testified before this same public hearing today advocating that a world class garden be established at BNAS.

So just imagine a world class garden full of tourists and tulips with UAV's circling overhead practicing endless war and domestic surveillance.

Welcome to America.

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