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, August 16, 2007

BREAD, PUPPETS, FAMILY AND KIDNEYS

Mary Beth (MB) and I won't be having a long vacation together this summer. We just returned from a two-day visit with an old Florida friend whose family has had a cabin for several generations on a beautiful lake south of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Our friend Smitty Hooper, who lives most of the year in Cocoa Beach near Cape Canaveral, was one of the few locals in that "space community" who helped us organize the many protests at the space center over many years. Smitty comes to the Vermont lake cabin each summer and invited us to make the four-hour drive over for a visit. Due to our extremely busy schedules we could only go for the past two days.

The lake is quite beautiful and we went canoeing to the far end of the lake after we arrived. We heard loons making their wondrous calls.

Yesterday we went for a long walk around part of the lake and then in the afternoon the three of us drove an hour north to Glover, Vermont and went to the Bread & Puppet Theatre museum. I'd been there once before, about 10 years ago, and wanted MB to see it. The museum, in an old worn out barn, is just striking in the beauty and creativity of the puppets that have been used by the troupe to do their political street theatre over many years time. We picked up a couple very nice posters they had made and left a good donation on the way out. There is no admission charge at the museum.

This morning MB and I had to get up at 6:00 am so we could get on the road early to get back home. The road was covered in fog and the sun was barely visible as the fog surrounded the rising orb.

MB's brother from Boston, and his partner, were coming up to visit today and on Friday they will drive us back to Boston for a wedding of one of their favorite cousins. MB has been asked to do the wedding ceremony and the family had to get special permission from the state to allow her to legally do the officiating of the wedding.

On Sunday MB will head out to Tucson, Arizona to visit her other brother and sister-in-law who live in the southern border town of Bisbee. Her "sister" Ana has been struggling with cancer for several years and is very close to MB. I will take the train back to Maine and return to work.

MB will stay in Arizona for a week and miraculously then fly to Florida where she will take a full-blown battery of medical tests to see if she can donate her kidney to my sister Laura. I had tried to see if I could donate a kidney but was the wrong blood type. As it turned out MB is the compatible blood type. So if not completely worn out by all that travel MB will hopefully be able to save Laura from the whole kidney dialysis treatment scene.

It looks like I won't then see MB until after Sept 10 because I leave for the UK on August 28 for a speaking tour and the September 1 space conference in London. So we just had our mini-summer vacation together!

Monday, August 13, 2007

CALL FOR SPACE WEEK ACTIONS

Each year in October the Global Network (with co-sponsorship from Women's International League for Peace & Freedom) organizes Keep Space for Peace Week.

In 2007 the week of worldwide local events will be held during the period of October 4-13.

During this time we are encouraging local groups to hold protests, educational events, teach-ins, video showings, religious services, Congressional office visits, and the like in order to expand the level of debate and consciousness world wide about U.S. plans for "control and domination" of space.

The current effort by the U.S. to deploy "missile defense" systems in Poland and the Czech Republic and recent announcements about upgrade of U.S. space technology bases in the UK have only added more importance to the actions this year.

Please let us know as soon as possible what local actions you are planning. Give us the date of your action, the location of the event, and contact information that we can include in the list we will develop and share worldwide.

Let us know if you need space week posters, other literature, or copies of our space videos.

Please check our web site for an on-line source of our space videos as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

SETTING UP ATTACK ON IRAN

Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention these days knows that Bush is setting things up for the attack on Iran. He, and his minions, are daily putting out that Iran is providing weapons to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. The media, slavishly once again, are printing every lie and distortion coming out of his pirate mouth. And the opposition party in Washington? Not hardly a mumbling word from any Democrat.

Every time I hear or read something about Bush's accusations about Iran my mind immediately flashes to Afghanistan during the Carter and Reagan administrations when the U.S. was providing weapons to the Taliban who were trying to drive the former Soviet Union out of their country. My blood starts to boil when I think about how the U.S. arms insurgent groups around the world all the time - spreading more chaos and mayhem.

Maybe Iran is providing some weapons to insurgents in Iraq. After all it is a neighboring country and they do have some real stake in that neck of the woods. Iran also clearly understands that the more the U.S. is bogged down in Iraq the harder it is for Bush to launch an attack on them.

Imagine if some country invaded Canada or Mexico. Then imagine the native population in either of those countries rising up to resist the occupying force. Would the U.S. idly sit by and not provide assistance to the Canadian or Mexican insurgents?

Bush is determined to create massive chaos in the Middle East before he leaves office. He is determined to spread the war in the region in order to ensure that U.S. permanent bases in Iraq will have ample "justification" to remain in place. And he wants to do what he can to destabilize, and if possible, to topple the Iranian government before he is gone. Then when Hillary becomes president she will have no other "choice" but to continue on with the status quo in the region. Remember what Hillary said on "Faze the Nation" awhile back - "The American people need to relax. We've been in Korea for 50 years. We're going to be in Iraq a long time."

Watch this Fox News bit showing how they are pushing the attack on Iran.