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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

GOING TO THE BOTTOM


Five leaders of Gangjeong village including Mayor Kang and the chair of Women's Committee shaved their heads in Jeju City demanding the resignation of island Governor Woo Geun-min on May 24.  He has turned out to be a total dud when it comes to supporting the people's struggle against the Navy base.  
Notice how they wipe their feet on the governor's photo as they board the bus at the end of the video to go back to Gangjeong village.  They have essentially declared war on Gov. Woo.  (It should be noted that a former governor of Jeju Island strongly supports the villagers struggle.  In fact last summer he went on a two week hunger strike in solidarity with Professor Yang during his 75 day fast against the base.)
When the Global Network met on Jeju Island last February we took a letter signed by our leaders to the government building office of Gov. Woo.  He had his police block the entrance and only after a protracted pushing and shoving did they finally agree to let Gangjeong village elders and GN leaders enter the building so we could deliver our humble letter that requested a halt to Navy base construction.  Such is life in South Korea today.
 Sung-Hee Choi writes:
Shaving one’s all hairs during the process of struggle. What is that for?

It might be hard for non-Koreans to understand the meaning of it. It might be hard even for Koreans like me to accept it. Personally I am seldom backer of it. People like me may choose different ways.
Shaving hairs is emotional because according to the Buddhism-kind interpretation, (It seems the ritual of shaving hairs in Korea's social movements has been affected by the tradition of Buddhism in Korea, though I may be wrong) it is a moment that one quietly declares and shares with the world that one is ready to abandon one’s remaining past attachment and to walk a new way- the way of non-compromise to injustice. For that sublime and pure spiritual moment, one cannot but be most humble. Shaving all one’s hair means one is ready to go to the bottom, the ground where one owns nothing but exists wholly with resolution for justice, though it could be temporal and whole circle of anguish may come again and again.

How one cannot be fearful of such moment then? Tear is natural in that moment. Buddhist Monk Bongak says.

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