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....
- Name: Bruce K. Gagnon
- Location: Bath, Maine, United States
Get the revised version of my book "Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire" - updated thru the end of 2008
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Makiko Sato writes from Japan:
I hear that in 1960, nearly 30 million petitions were sent and 100,000 citizens surrounded the Diet [parliament] building, trying to stop the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. But last night [June 29], the record of the latter was broken. According to the organizer, ultimately more than 150,000, turned up and surrounded the official residence of Prime Minister in Tokyo, in order to appeal against the restart of any of the currently operationable 50 Nuclear Power Plants, which are in temporary halts for regular inspections, out of order or probably broken.
Some children in Fukushima have been already developing abnormalities in their thyroid glands, and perhaps those in Kanto area, especially in Chiba, as well, have been similarly suffering from the continued burning of contaminated rubbles from the north. Why such municipalities accept such incineration is for money paid with our tax money. So, we are sickening or killing children by accumulating our national debts. (I feel sick.)
And Fukushima Daiich has been and definitely other Nuclear Power Plants here in near future will be, controlled in terms of security by Magna BSP, an Israeli military firm. Soon, this firm may take over all security sections in Japan, including those of banking, military and space control systems here.
Friday, June 29, 2012
WAS IT WORTH IT?
Voice of Art is releasing Part 1 of its new episode entitled “Iraq Veterans Against the War” on Friday, June 29. The episode features the historic march and returning of Global War on Terrorism service medals by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in Chicago during the May 2012 NATO summit.
The Voice of Art team spent the month of May following members of the Chicago IVAW chapter as they planned and carried out their action, which echoed the throwing back of medals by anti-war Vietnam veterans in Washington DC in 1971. The four featured veterans - Aaron Hughes, Iris Feliciano, Greg Broseus and Alejandro Villatoro - in addition to being peace activists, are also artists who use their creativity to process their wartime experiences.
Every day 18 veterans commit suicide. One third of female active duty service members are sexually assaulted by their male peers. Millions of service members and veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. While these warriors struggle to heal, the same military that welcomed them with open arms now neglects them as veterans.
After discharge from service, integrating back into civilian society often comes with crisis. In Chicago, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War are using art to process their experiences and to educate the public about the traumas of war.
MAKING COLLEGE JUST FOR THE RICH
On July 1, student loan interest rates are set to double, but it seems that Congress will step in just in time to prevent this from happening. Although doubling interest rates was eluded, other parts of the deal will have students paying interest on loans while they are in school and immediately after they graduate. Maxwell John Love, a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison, joins RT with more.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I HATE CARS
- I walked for 45 minutes today back and forth to the place where I could buy two bus tickets to Portland for a meeting on Saturday and then again on Sunday to catch the train to Philadelphia. We've been doing lots of walking at our house these days as we move to have just one car between three of us. On my way home I was crossing a quiet side street when a young guy zoomed his car around the corner and just missed running me over by inches. A man passing the other direction in his truck saw the whole thing and yelled "Wow" out his window. Luckily I am still spry enough and jumped out of the way just in time. I hate cars.
- Some don't yet quite get that we can't keep relying on the car culture and hope to survive. Take for example the Sierra Club. This U.S.-based national environmental group reportedly has recently accepted $26 million in donations from Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas fracker. What do they have to do in return? They are promoting support for electric cars as an environmental alternative. Forget that building roads requires massive fossil fuels. Forget about all the resources used up making cars themselves. Forget that when you plug in and recharge your "all electric car" it means you are linked like a parasite to a coal or nuclear power plant. Ignore those facts please.
- Sadly the Sierra Club could be working on promoting public mass transit but instead they took a dive and grabbed the $26 million from an energy corporation. You should be careful which "environmental" groups you send your money to.
UNEQUAL WEALTH DISTRIBUTION KILLS DEMOCRACY
In this 25 minute speech, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took to the Senate floor and challenged Congress to break free of its billionaire masters and work for the American people.
The Vermont senator discussed income inequality, “Today,” he said, “the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America – 150 million people. Today, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune own more wealth than the bottom 30 percent. Today, the top one percent own 40 percent of all wealth, while the bottom sixty percent owns less than 2 percent. Incredibly, the bottom 40 percent of all Americans own just 0.3 percent of the wealth of the country.”
ENDLESS WAR CRITIQUE
Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)
American-led imperialism has evolved from bloody bouts of episodic militarism over several decades to the present day state of permanent belligerence, with wars or war-making stretching from North and East Africa into the Middle East and Central Asia and beyond to Eurasia, the Far East and the Arctic. Of most immediate concern are the ongoing American-led war plans within the broader Middle East/Central Asian region involving coordinated actions against Iran, Syria and Pakistan.
WHY THE NAVY BASE?
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
ONE BIG UNION
Documentary movie about the "Industrial Workers of the World" (IWW, also referred to as The Wobblies), the largest union in the history of the labor movement in the United States.
IT'S NOT A JOKE
AT WAR WITH THE LAND - WHY?
Watch the full film at: http://youtu.be/uZgrOFjhzdg
Running time 43 minutes
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A surprise Arab drive for freedom, the West's structural crisis and new hope coming from Latin America. That's the modern world in the eyes of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali, two prominent thinkers and this week's guests on Julian Assange's show on RT.
Monday, June 25, 2012
House Republican leaders are pushing legislation to waive up to 36 key environmental, public land management, and other laws. Setting up military style border control surveillance, detention, patrol and searches -- potentially including the use of unmanned flying drones -- 100 miles from the northern and southern border of the United States.
Almost all of Maine would be in the "drone zone".
See more details here
- A Norwegian corporation that builds off-shore wind turbines is holding three public meeting across Maine this week. The Gulf of Maine has huge wind potential and so far it appears that U.S. industry is slow, like they are in most alternative energy development, and will get beat to the finish line by overseas developers. That makes it more likely that the construction of the wind turbines would be done offshore as well. Let's hope I am wrong. A couple of friends went to the meeting today and I'll be anxious to hear what they say about it.
- I had my doctor appointment today to review my heart stress test and he said they found no plaque blockages in my veins though he said my heart had an irregular beat. But he said that was just me. Sounds normal for me - always have to do things a bit off beat. He urged me to continue good diet and exercise habits.
- My work on our Space Alert! newsletter is done and is now in the hands of our graphic designer Nancy Randolph. She does the layout and does about as good a job as anyone I've ever seen. Hopefully will be at the printer by the end of the week. Think it will be a good edition.
- I tape my next public access TV show on Wednesday. Going to interview a couple of folks about the East-West Highway the corporations want to build through Maine.
- I head to Philadelphia on the train July 1 and will be there til the 5th. The Occupy movement is holding a national gathering there and I will be joining with the Veterans Peace Team which is a new project of Veterans for Peace. We will be involved in many public events to stand in solidarity with various protesting groups. Should be an exciting time.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
SELLING A NATION DOWN THE TUBES - TWO FILMS
For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. "Debtocracy" seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media. Excellent film that reviews historical and current reasons for international fiscal crisis with particular emphasis on Greece and the European Union.
As the Native Americans said, "Put your ears on the railroad tracks and hear the train coming."
The solution? Nationalize the banks. Stop paying the national debts to these corrupt banksters.
And a second great film:
"Catastroika - Privatisation Goes Public"
Documentary - privatization goes public. First step is to destroy democracy. Step two the banking interests take over - the bankers junta. Step three public assets are sold off and the people get thrown to the wolves. Step four - militarize the culture and repress the inevitable people's resistance.
Our hope - connect the dots to corporate domination and push them back.