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, July 28, 2012

SMART METERS AIN'T SO 'SMART'



Maine's Public Utilities Commission held its July deliberations and will investigate the health and safety of wireless "smart meters". Many Mainers attended and expressed their thoughts "on camera" after the commissioners spoke.

More than 8,000 customers of Maine's CMP have refused to accept "smart meters" - including our Addams-Melman House in Bath.  Our house has also been refusing to pay the $12 monthly "opt out" fee.  The Bath Town Council has twice voted in favor of a moratorium against the new controversial meters in our community.

REMEMBERING JULY 27

Prof. Yang Yoon-Mo (who nearly died during two hunger strikes in the past year) was a featured speaker at a Save Jeju rally in downtown Seoul on July 27. He arrived in Seoul after a month long candlelight vigil relay to major cities across South Korea.
July 27 is an important date in Korean history.  It was the day 59 years ago that the Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed between the U.S. and North Korea which ended the fighting in 1953.  It was not a peace treaty but essentially a cease-fire and has yet to be replaced by a permanent settlement.
The lack of a permanent peace treaty is a fundamental source of conflict (the unresolved state of war) for both North and South Korea.  The controversial construction of a naval base on Jeju Island and the increasing U.S. military buildup in the region only intensifies the state of heightened insecurity for the people of Gangjeong village, the people of the island of Jeju and the whole country.
The environmental consequences of the Navy base are unfortunately lost on, or conveniently ignored, by the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) whose conference this year (September 6-15) will be ironically held only 7 km's away from the base destruction site! One of the main sponsors of the conference is Samsung which happens to be the lead construction company doing the 'destruction'.
Beginning on Monday, July 30 there will be a 'grand march for peace' on Jeju where up to 10,000 people will walk in solidarity with the villagers and peace activists who have struggled against the Navy's plans to build this base during the last five years.
Please keep the participants of the 'grand march for peace' in your thoughts and prayers next week! After all the real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.

Friday, July 27, 2012

MILITARIZATION OF OUR SOCIETIES



As the divide between people and power in the US widens, protest movements are getting more exposure than ever before. RT talks to Bill Ayers - radical activist, author and former Professor at the University of Illinois.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

ENJOYING TIME OFF


Yesterday we took a one-hour boat trip out to Monhegan Island where we spent the day walking the trails around this beautiful place.  The weather was hot but inside the woods that cover much of the island the cool sea breeze and the shade felt quite nice.

We've been having a nice time doing lots of walking, cooking, and reading.  I've already finished two good books and am onto my third.  Today we are visiting nearby Damariscotta where I am able to get an Internet connection at a local cafe.

Tomorrow is my birthday - my 60th - and we plan to attend a talk at the local library on the creation of Social Security by the first woman cabinet member Frances Perkins who was from Maine.  She was FDR's Secretary of Labor. 

We go home on Saturday and on Sunday will be my birthday party at our house at 1:00 pm.  It will be a potluck Italian Fiesta - all are invited.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LIBERTY NEWS



Here's an in depth look at why the U.S. military needs a massive overhaul. Aside from the way it's misused and abused by political leaders, it's causing tremendous environmental harm every year. Based in part on the book "The Green Zone," by Barry Sanders.

Monday, July 23, 2012

SOLIDARITY FROM COLORADO SPRINGS



Loring Wirbel of Citizens for Peace in Space sends a message of solidarity from the CPIS organization in Colorado Springs, US, to activists on Jeju Island, Korea. 

Loring is a board member of the Global Network.

MOYERS & HEDGES



There are forgotten corners of this country where Americans are trapped in endless cycles of poverty, powerlessness, and despair as a direct result of capitalistic greed. Journalist Chris Hedges calls these places "sacrifice zones," and joins Bill this week on Moyers & Company to explore how areas like Camden, New Jersey; Immokalee, Florida; and parts of West Virginia suffer while the corporations that plundered them thrive.

"These are areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. We're talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed," Hedges tells Bill. "It's the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings... And because the mechanisms of governance can no longer control them, there is nothing now within the formal mechanisms of power to stop them from creating essentially a corporate oligarchic state."

The broadcast includes images from Hedges' collaboration with comics artist and journalist Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which is an illustrated account of their travels through America's sacrifice zones. Kirkus Reviews calls it an "unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed."

A columnist for Truthdig, Hedges also describes the difference between truth and news. "The really great reporters -- and I've seen them in all sorts of news organizations -- are management headaches because they care about truth at the expense of their own career," Hedges says.

SOLIDARITY FROM OCCUPIED HAWAII



Kyle Kajihiro, a leading peace activist from Hawaii, sends solidarity greetings to Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island.  Kyle knows what damage the Navy can do to a pristine island environment.

Before going to Jeju last February for the 20th annual meeting of the Global Network, three of us (Dave Webb, Lynda Williams, and I) went to Hawaii and were taken on a tour of Oahu by Kyle who shared with us the toxic consequences of the military occupation of his island.