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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

TOAST TO A NEW ARMS RACE

Condi Rice clinks glasses with Czech Foreign Affairs Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, in Prague yesterday as they signed the agreement to deploy the U.S. Star Wars radar in the Czech Republic.

Five thousand people were on the streets yesterday in Prague protesting the plan that will certainly be the match to light a new arms race between Russia and the U.S. in Europe. The Russians were not at all happy with the announcement which they know is a key component of the U.S. first-strike system now being put in place near their borders. (Imagine how the U.S. would be reacting if Russian "missile defense" systems were now being deployed in Canada and Mexico.)

The radar agreement must next be ratified by the Czech Parliament which is evenly divided on the issue. The Green Party, with four seats in the ruling conservative government alliance, will essentially have the deciding vote. Last we heard the Greens were split 2-2 on the question which could very well ensure passage.

With that in mind I am sitting in the Boston Amtrak station waiting for my train to Chicago. I will be doing two workshops on space issues at the Green Party convention which begins on Thursday and runs through the weekend. I will be sure to mention the sad reality of the Czech Greens complicity in the radar controversy.

Activists in the Czech Republic, who have organized an impressive campaign of opposition to the radar deployment, vow to continue on and are now organizing a Europe-wide conference in Prague later this month to further their resistance.

Mary Beth was planning to attend the Chicago convention as well but has to remain in Boston as one of her relatives is near death and the family is now standing vigil by her side.

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