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

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LEARNING MORE ABOUT MILITARIZATION OF HAWAII

Global Network leader Dave Webb from the UK yesterday at Naval Communications Center in the middle of Oahu during our de-tour of military sites. You can see three white satellite communications devices in the background.


We had a great meeting today at the Quaker Meeting House in Honolulu. We heard from activists from Oahu, Kauai, and the big island who are working against the expanding military bases on each of their islands. Alot of the expansion is gobbling up large areas for military training. On the big island the military wants seven times what they now have for war training. The Army has ignored a county council resolution that called for a halt at the Pohakuloa bombing range.

One of the activists from Kauai told a story about his recent leafletting about our talk that is scheduled there for tomorrow. He handed a flyer to a woman who said to him, "My husband works at the base [Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility where Aegis destroyers test their interceptor missiles]. He has cancer. Everybody in his shop has cancer."

On Oahu the military machine is paying a native Hawaiian Democrat $750,000 to counter organize against local peace group opposition to Army expansion. On Oahu 17% of the total population is military connected while 20% of island residents are native Hawaiian.

We concluded the meeting by going around and asking each person to share three strategy ideas. Amongst the top choices of the group were:

  • Keep building the Occupy movement across the country and inside Washington DC
  • Work more with young people and develop peace education curriculum for schools
  • Keep connecting the dots between key military installations and issues
  • Use the UMASS-Amherst Economics Department jobs study to drive home the fact that military spending is the least effective way to create jobs
  • Expand our use of culture and alternative media to reach out to the public
  • Take on the China threat myth
  • A day or weekend of coordinated actions across the Pacific should be organized
  • Keep a public presence at the military bases/training areas/production sites
  • Come to the protest of the NATO/G8 summit in Chicago next May
  • Organize a local action during Keep Space for Peace Week during October 6-13

We are getting up at 5:00 am for an early flight to Kauai. We will visit the Pacific Missile Range Facility, have a swim, and do a live radio interview before our talk at the library.

On Wednesday Dave and I head to Jeju Island. Lynda will head back to California.


1 Comments:

Blogger erich said...

Bruce- you write:

"On Oahu the military machine is paying a native Hawaiian Democrat $750,000 to counter organize against local peace group opposition to Army expansion"

Could you talk about that in more detail

Good luck on your trip.

You, more than anyone I know, seems to be connecting the dots re US military expansion worldwide.

It is getting more and more difficult to attribute this massive military expansion worldwide (including internally within the USA) by training to fight an enemy that is so tiny, and possesses an air force of zero planes and a navy of zero ships.

It seems to me that Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria are being used to disguise the fact that the real military target is China, and this is becoming more than preparation for a defensive possibility.

In retrospect it looks imprudent that Germany turned on the USSR in 1941, but at the time it was a rational decision with positive expected outcome.

It seems to me we are seeing a very similar, desperate move, to a address a collapsing economy.

Thank you for your reporting and acting.

PAS
Now I see you have an update from David Swanson, who also understands the larger picture

2/21/12, 8:31 AM  

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