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, September 06, 2011


Imagine your family has been fishing and farming in a village for more than 300 years. Then the government decides they want your land and coastline for a Navy base. They stage a phony vote with less than 10% of the villagers present, bribe a few people, and then take a vote by having people clap to show they are in favor of the base.

When the majority learns what happened they force out the corrupt mayor who helped instigate the first phony meeting and more than 800 people turn out (just over 1,000 live in the village) and hold a real vote where 94% of the people say NO to the Navy base. They elect new leadership that supports the people and stands in strong opposition to the base. That mayor now sits in jail for resisting the destruction of the people's way of life. But the government does not recognize the second vote - the one that happened in a real democratic way with no bribes.

This is the story of Gangjeong on Jeju Island. It's the story of the global military industrial complex in operation. It's the story of a corporate criminal syndicate. This political power structure must be destroyed and put behind bars with walls and fences and barbed wire.

This out-of-control military industrial complex is killing life on this planet. It is the biggest polluter on the planet and they use force of arms to stay in control. They have no problem attracting all the young people they need to serve in these global "armed forces" because jobs are hard to come by these days - whether you are in the U.S., South Korea, or anywhere else.

This global military machine needs to be taken apart one tank, warship, bulldozer, airplane, and military space satellite at a time. We need to shut down the weapons manufacturing process and use our money and the skill of the workers to build things we need to survive on this planet like solar, wind, rail and the like.

We need to acknowledge, and repeatedly say out loud, we have no faith in this war machine. We don't want to pay for it anymore. We don't accept that we have to be controlled by the military mindset and all the politicians that it buys and controls. We reject the idea that war makes us safer. We reject the idea that more militarism is progress. We reject that the military can push the people around like we are slaves. We throw off our chains.

We stand as free human beings with rights to breathe, to walk where we wish, to think and speak as we wish.

We stand in solidarity with the wind, the sun, the fish, the birds, the plants, the rocks, the rain and the dirt that produces our food. Machines don't create life. Bombs don't give life. Guns don't produce life. Power comes from our connection to the Mother Earth.

The militarism is a sickness - a mental disease. We reject this sickness - we cast if off from our bodies and from our minds. We are free like the wind. We shall not be chained in our body or our mind. No more.


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