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....

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Friday, February 08, 2008

SILVER CITY

I am sitting in an internet cafe in Silver City, New Mexico. It's a mining town and in the hills surrounding the area you can see the results of years of devastation to the environment. Mountains of tailings from the mine are washed away by the rain and pollute the local water and blow through the air. The state is trying to force the mining corporations to cover the stripped off land but as usual the corporations resist doing the right thing in order to save their investors some money.

I spoke here last night and this morning did a 40 minute live community access cable TV interview on The Morning Show hosted by two local women activists. It was fun and I was able to really get into the whole corporate domination plans for space and the planet below.

Later today I will be taken to Las Cruces where I speak this evening. Las Cruces is near the White Sands Missile Testing Range where the military is doing space laser weapons testing.

The weather here is sunny and about 60 degrees. Driving through the mountain pass on the way here yesterday there was some snow on the ground but not much of it. People say it has been real cold lately but just as I arrive it warms up.

Like every place else folks are talking about Obama - is he or isn't he for real? I refer people to a recent interview by Amy Goodman with Allan Nairn about Obama's foreign and military policy advisers. One name mentioned by Nairn is Gen. Merrill McPeak who was the former commander of the U.S. Space Command.

It is clear to me that Obama would never have been allowed to ascend as far as he has if he was a serious "change" agent.

Monday, February 04, 2008

PREPARING FOR NEW MEXICO TRIP

I leave Wednesday morning for a 10-day speaking tour in New Mexico that will include our annual protest at the Space Technology & Applications International Forum.

Bob Anderson in Albuquerque has organized the most extensive New Mexico speaking trip for me yet. The schedule this year will include:

  • Feb 6 Fly to Albuquerque
  • Feb 7 Speak in Silver City
  • Feb 8 Speak in Las Cruces
  • Feb 9 Speak in Santa Fe
  • Feb 10 Speak in Albuquerque
  • Feb 11 Protest at Space Technology Forum in Albuquerque
  • Feb 12 Speak in Las Vegas, NM
  • Feb 13 Speak in Taos
  • Feb 14 More talks in Taos
  • Feb 15 Speak in Alamosa, Colorado
  • Feb 16 Return home to Maine

It's going to be a busy trip as I go from one end of New Mexico to the other and then head north into southern Colorado for the Alamosa talk. Hopefully I will get some chances to post on the blog while gone.

You can be sure that I will be eating alot of good Mexican food, including my favorite Huevos Rancheros.

I've been making this annual trip to New Mexico for the past dozen years or so and Bob has reached out farther and farther afield each time to have communities host me. I think we've only missed one space forum in all these years.

It's important that we hold a protest outside the annual Space Technology Forum. Inside you will find NASA, Air Force, aerospace industry, and Department of Energy personnel planning the complete nuclearization and weaponization of space. They have huge elaborate displays of nuclear powered mining colonies on the Moon and Mars. They have mock-ups of the nuclear rocket with reactors powering the engines on space ships heading to Mars. These are the same people that have been working for years to create nuclear reactors for space-based weapons.

Our goal is to shine a very public light on this space nukes folks. We want to keep reminding the public and the policy makers that our opposition to the nuclearization and weaponization of space is as strong as ever and growing worldwide.

We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who think our tax dollars should be spent on health care, education, and sustainable environmental technologies rather than preparing for control and domination of the heavens.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

HIKING THE WILD AND TAMED COAST

Mary Beth and I just returned from a weekend visiting friends in Deer Isle, about three hours north. They have a nice cottage next to their home and we arrived on Friday evening just in time for a dinner party they were hosting. The weather turned fierce just 10 minutes from their home as the wind dramatically picked up and a freezing rain turned the roads into a sheet of ice. All night long the wind and cold rain continued to lash the windows with their angry howls.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day and we went for an hour long walk along the woody and rocky coastline of Deer Isle. Many very wealthy people have summer homes on Deer Isle and come to Maine for one or two months in the summer. The rest of the year people who live there year-round go for walks along their well manicured hiking trails on the large land holdings. The spot our hosts, Dud and Jean Hendrick, picked for us was one remarkable place. The owners, wealthy people from the west coast, have literally paid to have their woods cleaned out to the point that acres and acres look like a city park. Long stone walls have been built, a huge swimming pond created, large tracts of trees cut down and pastures for sheep created. It was staggering to contemplate the sheer cost of doing this cosmetic turning of the wild coast of Maine into such a tamed place. It made me think hard about the fact that some people have way too much money on their hands.

Following the walk MB and I took took a very hot sauna at the cottage where we were staying. I can't remember being so relaxed after the warm shower taken in the cold air outside of the sauna. It was easy to fall asleep once dried off and laying down.

On Saturday evening we all went to the the film Kite Runner at a historic theatre in nearby Stonington. The film, which I was told closely follows the book, was very heart wrenching for me as I witnessed the total destruction of the Afghanistan nation and culture. The "oil" word was never mentioned in the film but anyone who closely follows the issues in the region knows that the invasion by the former Soviet Union and the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is all about securing the country so that pipelines can move Caspian Sea oil south to ships in the Arabian Sea.

Just days ago we were all made aware of the latest death toll figures for Iraq since 2003, over one million now dead, and last night the emotion of this genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan so oil can be controlled and shipped washed over me with the intensity of the howling freezing wind and rain the night before.

Following the film we all stopped by the local American Legion hall for a fundraising dance that was to benefit a local fishing conservation organization but the crowd was sparse and we left after a couple spins on the dance floor. I was in no mood to dance. A beer? Yes, I could handle that. It helped loosen the knot in my throat.

This morning, after breakfast, Jean and Dud told wonderful stories about their days as Bed and Breakfast Inn operators on Deer Isle. Jean also played music by Dan Fogelberg who was a longtime customer at their Inn and who had a summer house on Deer Isle. Fogelberg recently died at home from prostate cancer and Jean helped his wife in the moments immediately after his death.

We took one last long walk this morning, along the coastline of another wealthy summer residents hiking trail, and then headed back home to Bath.