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

Thursday, September 20, 2012

BIG DIFFERENCES?



The Daily Show reveals the real differences between the Republican and Democratic parties......

BAD GMO BAD



The world's best-selling weedkiller, and a genetically modified maize resistant to it, can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death, a new study has revealed. Its results are published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal in New York. Here, experts discuss the significance of the findings.

You know that agri-business corporations like Monsanto know that their GMO corn is bad for us but they produce and distribute it anyway.  Isn't that a criminal act?

Will this be enough to make the FDA start conducting independent testing of GMO’s - before allowing these products into our food supply? Or will the FDA continue to pander to Monsanto and tell us that GMO products are ‘not substantially different' than non-GMO products?

To take action visit Organic Consumers Association here 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MAKE THOSE LINKS


  • Peace activist Jane Sanford (Belfast, Maine) protested a couple days ago in her community and shows how to connect the dots.  (The right-wing Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity bus tour came to her town.)  Her arms might have gotten a bit tired but she did a great job of becoming a human billboard.
  • I've spent most of the day house cleaning and walking the dog (Homer).  It rained all night last night but today is sunny and breezy and supposed to get cold this evening.  Feels like fall here right now.  One of my favorite times of year.
  • This weekend (Friday through Sunday) I will be heading to Unity, Maine to help staff the combined tables of Veterans for Peace and Bring Our War $$ Home campaign at the annual Common Ground County Fair.  It's a great event put on by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association and draws a massive amount of folks.  Great food, fun, friends, and lots of good politics.  I'll bring along my tent and camp there.  Weather should be decent.
  • I've been reluctant to write about my baseball team for fear of jinxing them.  But after their game last night I have to share.  My Baltimore Orioles came in last place in 2011.  In fact they had 14 seasons in a row of losing baseball.  But this year, incredibly, they are currently tied for first place with the New Jork Jankees (the evil baseball empire) with only 13 games to go.  Last night, in Seattle, they tied the game in the 9th inning and then went into extra innings (18 of them) before winning 4-2.  The Orioles are 14-2 in extra innings this season, with 14 straight victories. They're 20 games above .500. What a turn-a-round this year.  Can we hear a loud cheer for the O's?!!  Miracles can happen.
  • I've been real impressed watching the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union.  Looks like they have forced the city of Chicago to back down on some issues.  Goes to show what happens when you build support across the community before going out on strike.  They had support from parents, students, and teachers which is why the city had to back off some of their trash talk about the union.  Proof that hard organizing work often pays off.  We can't rely on Internet organizing to always do the job for us - relationships with people still matter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WATCH THIS FILM AS WE PREPARE FOR SPACE WEEK



With Keep Space for Peace Week (Oct 6-13) coming soon, it is an important time for folks around the world to see this award-winning documentary film.

It is imperative that the public develop a greater understanding about the dangerous, expensive, and destabilizing research and development going on in space.  This film does an excellent job of bringing most of the key current issues into full view.

Please watch it and get others to do the same.  This is one tangible thing you can do to help us grow the peace in space movement.


PIVOT INTO NEW CONFLICT


I did a TV interview via Skype yesterday with RT.  They didn't put it on YouTube but if you click on the TV image below you can watch it.  They wanted my thoughts on the announcement that the US-Japanese governments have agreed to place another "missile defense" (MD) radar in Japan.

Secretary of War Panetta is now in China so the Pentagon timed the announcement of this radar just as he arrived in Beijing.  Typical of the U.S. to stick the knife into the host's gut.....of course the Pentagon swore that the radar was only to be used to track North Korean missiles.....  And the Chinese really believe that one.

During the interview I mentioned that with Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, more bases will be needed.  Thus the pressure on South Korea to build the Navy base on Jeju Island where U.S. ships can port.  I also mentioned the expansion of U.S. war bases in Guam and Okinawa and negotiations with the Philippines and Vietnam to allow U.S. warships to return to their ports after many years absence.

The graphic above shows the three versions of  MD - Boost, Midcourse and Terminal phases.  Each program uses different technology and has different challenges.  You can imagine it would be easier to hit a missile launched by someone else if you got it early on in the Boost phase when it was slow, with flames shooting out, and easier to reach.  Once in the Midcourse the missile is flying very fast and could then release decoys which make it harder for the MD system to distinguish real from fake.  Each of these three programs have had different success rates in the testing program.

There is growing talk in Congress about expanding the current Midcourse deployments (now only in Alaska and California) to an east coast location.  Maine and New York have been mentioned as possible basing sites.  I'll be watching that one closely.

Monday, September 17, 2012

OCCUPY - ONE YEAR AND STILL KICKING!



In recognition of the one year anniversary of the Occupy movement I post this song.  Let's stand and cheer that the people are rising up.....like bread in the oven.....keep rising.

Yesterday I heard an interview on National Public Radio (National Petroleum Radio) where a reporter was interviewing an "expert" about the Occupy movement.  What has it accomplished?  What has it done?  What good has it achieved?  The reporter kept pressing these questions not wanting to acknowledge anything of substance that has been done in the past year.

Can there be any doubt that Occupy has changed the discussion across the nation?  Can there be any doubt that more connections between issues are being made now than before?  Can there be a doubt that Occupy means many things - like the teachers strike in Chicago?  Occupy means fight back where you live.  Stand up, speak out, connect the dots, don't give in to corporate domination.

Occupy Wall Street in NYC plans to celebrate its one-year anniversary today with a “roving carnival of resistance.” The schedule includes nonviolent civil disobedience beginning near the New York Stock Exchange, a rally at Bowling Green and marches around the city’s downtown as night falls.  Local events are planned all over the nation as well.

Peter Woodruff and I will be doing an Occupy anniversary show tonight from 6:00-8:00 pm (EST) on our weekly radio program (this is a new time slot for us).  You can listen to WBOR at Bowdoin College live streaming on the Internet.  Just click here and hit the yellow Listen Now button at the top of the page.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BEST JEJU PHOTO CONTEST

#1 From the World Conservation Congress when Mayor Kang was speaking and huge banner was spread across state

#2 Graffiti on Navy base destruction fence
#3 Famous sea diving women from Gangjeong village

#4 Two days ago when word came that the No Navy base resolution was blocked at the WCC the people danced.....it's all about the future generations

#5 These totems once stood on Gureombi rock before Navy began their destruction

#6 From totems to barbed wire on Gureombi rock

#7 One of the early protest symbols on Gureombi rock - No Aegis destroyers


Pick your favorite Gangjeong village photo from Jeju Island.  Use the comment section to vote or send me an email at globalnet@mindspring.com

Don't forget to boycott the hell out of Samsung.

SUNDAY SONG


VIDEO FROM IUCN VOTING ON GANGJEONG MOTION



Gangjeong villagers Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun (in yellow shirt), Sung-Hee Choi, Seoul activist Baek Gayoon, U.S. international attorneys Katy Kintzele and Shauna Lange, and Ron Engel from Center for Humans and Nature (Indiana, U.S.), on the Assembly floor just before voting on Motion 181 to save Gangjeong Village from construction of a navy base.

It's fascinating to listen to the South Korean government environmental ministry representative lie through his teeth as he says that the Gangjeong villager supports the Navy base.  They voted 94% to oppose the base!  They've been protesting and going to jail for years.  IUCN delegates in the hundreds went and met with the villagers.  To continue those lies is a slap in the face of truth.

In the end the NGO's saw through the smokescreen and voted yes for the resolution.  The governments (with 30 South Korean votes) essentially blocked passage.