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

Saturday, January 07, 2012

WALK FOR PEACE - REUNIFICATION


Writers, poets, and artists are walking from near the border of North and South Korea all the way to Jeju Island.

The walk is 527 km and began on December 26. Led by the Writers Association of Korea under the banner of "Peace Relay, Writers walking Line one national road." Line one is originally the 1068 km long national road to SinEuiju in North Korea, but now stops in Imjinkak. . . it is the symbol of division and trauma of the Korean war, and also a symbol of wishes for peace and reunification.

Once they arrive in Mokpo, final station on the southern end of the peninsula, they'll move by ferry to Jeju Island and then walk to Gangjeong village.

January 27 will be the 7th anniversary of Jeju Island having been designated as the ‘World Peace Island.’ It would be nice if Jeju Gov. Woo Keun-Min and South Korea's right-wing President Lee would note the irony.

Obama's new Department of War "Defense Guidance" which calls for a U.S. military "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific is causing a stir on Jeju Island. People see even more clearly that the Navy base now under construction will be a key outpost for U.S. forces and will play a direct role in the escalation of tensions in the region.

Hello, fellow U.S. citizens, are we hearing the cries of the people in the Asia-Pacific against this madness?

More photos from the peace walk are available here

Friday, January 06, 2012

STILL AT IT

ASIA-PACIFIC CONFLICT ZONE



To bolster the Philippine claim over its territories in the West Philippine Sea, Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao led the first-ever civilian mission to Pag-asa Island, Municipality of Kalayaan in the Spratly Archipelago. Joining the team were Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, Kalayaan Mayor Jun Bito-onon, Palawan Governor Baham Mitra, AFP Western Command Commander Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, and a group of journalists. The mission followed reports of China's aggression against Filipino fishermen in the region, and reports of their attempt to construct infrastructure that would establish their dominance over Philippine territories.

Translation: China and the U.S. are going to be playing a hard game of chess over every disputed piece of land or sea-bed that might have any resources on or under it.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

NEWS FROM THE OTHER FASCIST STATE


  • It's sad that people have to make a living selling their soul to the devil. The latest news from Israel is that students are being recruited to become sales persons for the Israeli fascist state. In a declining economy people are pushed to do things they might not normally wish to do. It's becoming more important than ever to be very discerning about what you read and hear.

The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) has become a full-time partner in the Israeli government’s efforts to spread its propaganda online and on college campuses around the world.

NUIS has launched a program to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-Israel propaganda online for 5 hours per week from the “comfort of home.”

The union is also partnering with Israel’s Jewish Agency to send Israeli students as missionaries to spread propaganda in other countries, for which they will also receive a stipend.

This active recruitment of Israeli students is part of Israel’s orchestrated effort to suppress the Palestinian solidarity movement under the guise of combating “delegitimization” of Israel and anti-Semitism.

The involvement of the official Israeli student union as well as Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College in these state propaganda programs will likely bolster Palestinian calls for the international boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

  • The Obama team has decided to send a couple thousand U.S. troops to Israel in the next few months. The Jerusalem Post quotes U.S. Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, Commander of the Third Air Force based in Germany, saying it will not be just an "exercise" but a full "deployment". The U.S. is reportedly bringing its THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and ship-based Aegis ballistic "missile defense" systems to Israel. The U.S. forces will integrate with Israeli missile defense systems like the Patriot and Arrow. What is most important about these "exercises" is that these systems are the "shield" that can be used to pick-off Iranian retaliatory missile strikes after a U.S.-Israel first strike attack. I find it highly unlikely that Iran will launch an attack on Israel unless first provoked. But if the U.S. and Israel, who are already running covert sabotage operations inside Iran, do launch a first-strike attack on Iranian nuclear facilities then Iran will have to respond. At that point these so-called "missile defense" systems would be used as the shield.
  • I have long believed that the U.S. and Israel will some day attack Iran. It's insane but since when has that stopped the oligarchy from starting trouble? The U.S. now has Iran surrounded. U.S., British and French oil companies want control of Iran's resources. They are poking a sharp stick at Tehran and are trying to draw a reaction. At some point they are likely to get one and Holy Hell will break loose. Russia and China don't want to see Iran taken down so they could get dragged into all this. The U.S. and Israel are playing with fire.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

CAPITALISM HAS REPLACED GOVERNMENT



It's always wise to remember your history. Sadly in this world of corporate dominated mind-washing TV the public is losing its ability to know, or even care about, its history. Into that void steps the corporate controlled political hacks who run our Congress and do the bidding of the Wall Street oligarchs.

NO SNOW

This is what our house usually looks like this time of year. But today, as I look out the window, there is not a drop of snow anywhere. It's cold out and the wood stove is humming downstairs in the kitchen but it looks like the next couple days will return to the recent pattern of warming up again. Freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw.

Last night on the news there were reports that ice fishing in Maine, usually just beginning to get under way, is delayed because lakes and ponds are not yet sufficiently frozen. The snowmobiling industry in northern Maine is silent now as there is virtually no snow in that part of the state either.

In none of the news reports did anyone mention those two controversial words - climate change. In fact its interesting, if I can generalize for a moment, that the preponderance of climate change deniers are those more rural and conservative Tea Party types who live up north and are avid ice fishermen and snowmobilers. You'd think they must be wondering just a bit. Hello!!!!

I finished up my work on the Global Network newsletter last night after two solid days of virtually non-stop research, writing, editing, and selecting photos. (I had done some of it over the past week or so but had to wait to do much of the final editing until folks sent me their articles for the newsletter.) Our layout person has the whole thing now and we hope to have it to the printer by this time next week.

My next project is to close out the GN accounts for 2011 and send the financial report to our boards. All very boring but necessary work.

The action across Maine starts to pick up this month with a union rally today at the state capital in Augusta and a couple weekend meetings of the Bring Our War $$ Home and Occupy movements later this month. I had to pass on the union rally today because I have so much administrative work to get done.

I don't often write about the administrative tasks that I have to do but they are key elements in holding the Global Network together. Without the fundraising, bookkeeping, maintaining and communicating with our various mailing lists none of what I do would be possible. So I am careful not to neglect that part of the work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

HEDGES ON C-SPAN



You can thank the Occupy movement for Chris Hedges getting a three-hour slot on C-SPAN. No doubt about it. Occupy has busted open some doors. Enjoy his great interview.

I worked 10 hours straight yesterday on the Global Network newsletter. Almost ready to be sent to layout person. It's always a tough bit of work but fun. This will be the 20th anniversary edition and I am collecting many old photos from past GN events.

I also sent an email out to my west coast contacts yesterday asking about interest in me doing a 30-day speaking tour from Los Angeles to Seattle next April. Within a couple hours I heard from folks in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Portland, and Seattle. Off to a nice start. MacGregor Eddy (Salinas) called and said she will give me free Amtrak train tickets to go the whole distance from L.A. to Seattle. Wonderful news!

Monday, January 02, 2012

OBAMA & CIVIL LIBERTIES




I'm tied up with our newsletter today.....got alot done already but need to move this thing toward layout, printing, and mailing as quickly as I can.

If you are not on our mailing list let me know and I will send you a copy. Give me your email and street mailing address. Send to globalnet@mindspring.com

This detention story is one thing I'll be sure to put into the newsletter. It's a huge, and sadly, highly under reported story that will change our lives dramatically.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

SUNDAY SONG