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

Friday, October 17, 2008

SPACE WEEK PROTEST PHOTOS

Protesting "Christening" of Navy Aegis destroyer at Bath Iron Works in Maine

Vigil at Northrop Grumman in Maryland

Fylingdales missile defence radar, North Yorkshire in UK

Vigil at Lockheed Martin in Pennsylvannia
Seoul, South Korea screening of Arsenal of Hypocrisy which was translated into Korean by GN member Sung-Hee Choi
In the Czech Republic protestors visit the U.S., Russian, and Chinese embassies
L-3 Communications, New York - prime contractor in space Command, Control and Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ROCKET FUEL OR SAFE MILK?

Perchlorate is a chemical used in rocket fuel. Because the aerospace industry is increasingly expanding their operations the use of perchlorate is growing and contamination from the chemical has now been found in milk and lettuce throughout the nation.

Perchlorate, most of it leaking from military bases or defense plants, contaminates well more than 500 drinking water supplies in 35 states, serving millions of people. Among major perchlorate-polluted sources is the Colorado River, which is used to irrigate 1.4 million acres of cropland in California and Arizona.

According to Physicians for Social Responsibility, "Perchlorate has been linked to thyroid problems in pregnant women, newborns and young children. Not regulating this harmful chemical in our drinking water is unacceptable."

" The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused to set a drinking-water standard for perchlorate. The EPA is now asking for public comment on the issue."

" As the Washington Post pointed out last month, this rule has been meddled with extensively by the White House in order to remove some of the data highlighting the risks associated with the chemical."

Your comments are urgently needed to apply pressure on the EPA to do the job they were created to do. In this case we are asking them to protect and enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act from the military industrial complex.

Please take a moment and follow these easy steps to send your own simple comments to the EPA telling them to protect our water from perchlorate contamination.

Tell the EPA to regulate perchlorate in drinking water:

1. Follow this link: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=0900006480743ac9

2. Click on the yellow icon next to “Add Comments”

3. Tell the EPA that you think this decision is harmful to public health!

Protect the future generations.

Note: If you think you are safe because you are using organic milk or lettuce then you are wrong. These products still become contaminated as perchlorate is often in the water that is used to grow the organic lettuce or water the fields where cows graze. We are all at risk from rocket fuel pollution.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GRANNY D TO SPEAK AT BIW PROTEST

Doris Haddock, Granny D, walked across America in support of campaign finance reform (1999-2000). Her trip, begun shortly before her 89th birthday, lasted 14 months and covered 3,200 miles.

Granny D, who lives in New Hampshire, is coming to Bath on Saturday, October 18 to speak at the Maine Veterans for Peace (VfP) protest against another Navy Aegis ship "Christening". Instead of celebrating another "destroyer" VfP plans to christen a peace ship that day called the "USS Granny D."

Another speaker on October 18 will be the first BIW worker ever to address a peace rally at the production facility. The BIW worker will call for the conversion of the shipyard to peaceful production - building windmills and rail systems instead of weapons for endless war.

Anne Gibbons, a leader of CodePink New York City, will also be a speaker at the event.

The BIW ship to be "Christened" will be called the Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) in honor of the "Father of Aegis". Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer oversaw the development of the Aegis system that is the core of the weapons system that can track, target and destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles thus allowing the U.S. "to completely dominate a theater of operations." The Aegis phased array radar forms the core of the U.S. "Missile Defense" first-strike arsenal now forward deployed worldwide and being used by the Navy to surround China's coastal region.

Granny D has been honored by Maine artist Robert Shetterly in his series of portraits called "Americans Who Tell the Truth".

Shetterly quotes Granny D, "We live in a land where each person’s voice matters. We can all do something.... If we lose control of our government, then we lose our ability to dispense justice and human kindness. Our first priority today, then, is to defeat utterly those forces of greed and corruption that have come between us and our self-governance."

VfP will organize a peace walk from Waterfront Park in Bath at 9:30 am on October 18. The walkers will carry the "USS Granny D" peace ship to the Washington Street gate where those attending the BIW "Christening" must enter. The rally with speakers and music will be held at this spot (corner of Washington and Spring Streets).

It is there that we will hear from the 98 year old Granny D.

Come meet this American legend.

Monday, October 13, 2008

MOOSEHEAD LAKE


Three of our Addams-Melman Housemates went north this weekend for a camping retreat at Lily Bay State Park which sits on Moosehead Lake. It was a quiet time and the weather for the most part was just wonderful for Mary Beth, Maureen and me.

We were not sure that the trip was going to work out because I had gotten ill just two days before we were supposed to leave. I had a bad cold, no energy, and a horrible sore throat. But I willed myself to push through it and glad it was possible to go.

We camped right on the water for two nights and had a three-mile hike through the woods and along the shore line yesterday. Our two dogs came along and loved it as well.

I particularly love walking through the woods gathering firewood and then sitting by the fire for hours just loosing my mind in the embers. I think about how for thousands of years our relations who came before us sat at their fires under the night sky. It is in our DNA to do this ritual.

The big development corporation, Plum Creek, proposes to undertake a massive development along Moosehead which happens to be Maine's largest lake. The proposal includes more than 2,000 housing units, two large resorts, a golf course, marina and additional commercial developments.

The state set up a public hearing process on the development plan and the public overwhelmingly spoke out against the Plum Creek proposal but it appears that the development will go forward with only minor changes.

We saw few signs of wildlife during the weekend. We heard loons on the lake but never saw one. We saw few birds. I only saw two squirrels. Wildlife is already in grave danger. Allowing huge developments on this last remaining wilderness would be a travesty.