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

Monday, September 03, 2007

IN WALES AND WORRYING ABOUT IRAN

I just arrived in Cardiff, Wales on the train from Oxford where I spoke yesterday. I'm sitting at a computer inside the Temple of Peace, where I speak tonight, and have some extra time on my hands. Thought I'd update the blog.

In the picture above I've just planted two baby oak trees along with the Lord Mayor of Oxford, John Tanner. Just behind us, over his right shoulder, you can barely see three round radomes at the U.S. military communications base at Croughton, about 30 miles outside of Oxford.

Following my talk yesterday at Oxford City Hall, we were driven out to the base to plant the tree in preparation for Keep Space for Peace Week. Peace activists from the Oxford region will hold an action at Croughton on October 13 during our annual week of local protests calling for an end to plans to move the arms race into space.

The U.S. military uses the Croughton base to relay military communications, via satellite, throughout all of Europe and parts of western Asia. Thus the Croughton base is involved in helping to direct military efforts in Europe to support the Iraq occupation and any attack of Iran that might soon happen.

On Saturday I participated in the excellent "missile defense" conference put on by CND in London. Two people from the Czech Republic and one activist from Poland were there reporting on their vibrant campaigns to keep U.S. bases out of their countries. One of the Czech speakers was mayor of the village where the Pentagon wants to place a radar facility and he reported that he and other mayors have just created a "league" of mayors from their country who oppose the radar and they have already signed 85 of them up. Everyone at the event agreed that "missile defense" deployments in those two countries has absolutely nothing to do with Iranian missiles and is instead part of the U.S. effort to military surround Russia and give the U.S. first-strike advantage.

It was interesting to hear the folks at the London confab lovingly compete with each other to see which country was the #1 "lap dog" of the U.S. Tony Blair always could claim that distinction but now activists from other countries like Australia, Germany, and even France made claim that their government was in the "favored," and most subservient, position of being the top U.S. poodle. It made for some good laughs but also reminded all of us that corporate globalization also means corporate takeover of democracies everywhere.

The thing most on my mind today is the story that appeared in the Sunday Times about U.S. plans for a three-day bombing campaign of all Iranian military targets - opening the door to hell. I closely read the piece by former CIA agent Ray McGovern urging American activists to step up resistance immediately as we are running out of time. I fully agree.

I do talks for the next three days in Wales before moving toward Scotland and the Faslane Trident base.

You can only imagine that the U.S.'s image is now lower than ever with everyone I've met. And well deservedly so.

More later.