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'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

US BASE EXPANSION IN SOUTH KOREA

Vigil at the gate of US's Osan AFB in Pyeongtaek
This photo, from our visit to the DMZ, was published on the top of the front page in a national newspaper the other day. That's North Korea behind us.

The conference went extremely well all day on Friday, we had just about 100 people from more than 20 countries represented. The presentations were all tremendous and our hosts have organized by far the most professional event we've ever had in all of our 17 years of Global Network conferences.

Yesterday we had our annual business meeting where we had a vigorous strategy discussion and then decided to accept the invitation from our friends in India who have offered to host our 18th annual conference next year in their country. More work will need to be done to settle on the right date. Following that event we loaded up the bus to travel to the city of Pyeongtaek where the US has the Osan Air Force Base. The base is now doubling in size by swallowing up small farm villages around it. The citizens have held huge protests during recent years and have been beaten and arrested but they continue to resist in spite of all odds. The base is a clear indication that US military expansion in the Asian-Pacific is intended to further surround China and Russia.

I saw an article yesterday about recent comments by Mikhail Gorbachev where he said that Obama's talk about nuclear disarmament would be "just rhetorical" if other nations were asked to give up their nukes while the US maintains an overwhelming conventional military force. "Military superiority would be an insurmountable obstacle to ridding the world of nuclear weapons," the ex-Soviet president said. "Unless we discuss demilitarization of international politics, the reduction of military budgets, preventing militarization of outer space, talking about a nuclear-free world will be just rhetorical."

The US base expansion in Pyeongtaek is a perfect illustration of Gorbachev's point. More than 60% of the people of South Korea want the US bases to close. When will the American people begin to listen to the cries of the people of the world who want the US military empire to end?

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