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 grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MILITARY MADNESS


  • Latest news from Jeju Island is sketchy. The right-wing government still wants to crush the Gangjeong villagers protest camp along the rocky coast. The Jeju provincial council has submitted a request to the national government for a referendum on the construction of a naval base on the island. In a sign of real desperation South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said a majority of the residents of the village of Gangjeong support base construction, and only around 20-30 Gangjeong residents and some 70-80 non-residents are opposed. He added the government is working to win the understanding of those who oppose the building of the base by explaining its necessity. In fact the villagers voted by a margin of 95% to oppose the Navy base.

  • What's next in Libya? Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, is calling on Obama to put "boots on the ground" in Libya to "ensure stability". This is one of those statements by a member of the oligarchy that is intended to break the ice and to create the impression that the "wise counselors" are having to put some heat on Obama to get him to do "the right thing". In fact this whole episode has long ago been scripted.


  • I've wrapped up my part of our Space Alert newsletter and turned it over to our layout designer Nancy Randolph. Most likely will be to the printer by the end of the week.


  • Maine Veterans for Peace will hold a protest this Saturday in nearby Brunswick (at the recently closed naval air station) where the Navy Blue Angels (Hells Angels) will be the highlight of a weekend airshow. The protest will run from 10:00 am til 1:00 pm. Many local activists are leaving town for the weekend as they can't stand the noise. The "Angels" air team of screaming jets will arrive on Thursday, zoom around the region on Friday (with media representatives taking joy rides and promoting the show), then they perform on Saturday and Sunday and zoom out on Monday. So its several days of war zone noise and major league air pollution. The local sponsors of the airshow have to provide 49,000 gallons of jet fuel to secure the Navy air team. It's fundamentally a military recruiting bonanza.


  • I head back to Washington DC this Sunday on the train as my trial (along with about 15 others, including many veterans) for civil disobedience at the White House over the Afghanistan war resumes on Monday. The mid-July trial got postponed due to several legal technicalities. The trial is likely to run two days.

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