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 13, 2013

THE ALOHA SPIRIT IS STRONG


I spoke last night at the library here on Kauai, Hawaii which is home to the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF).  It is the world's largest instrumented multi-environmental range capable of supported surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously. There are over 1,100 square miles of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace.

From this location dummy missiles are launched as targets that are then intercepted by Navy Aegis destroyers located offshore.  I told the audience last evening that since the Aegis warships, with their interceptor missiles, are built in my hometown of Bath I feel a special connection to the activists here on Kauai.  Then after the Aegis practice their "missile defense" (MD) interceptions here they will move on to ports near China like the one being built on Jeju Island, South Korea.

Just yesterday I read that the Obama team will be paying Spain $260 million to allow these same Aegis warships to port there as the US also expands operations to surround Russia.

I'm on a mission to follow these Aegis interceptors where ever they go so that local activists, and the broader public, can begin to see and understand just how aggressive this Pentagon program of encirclement really is.  It's a dangerous and provocative program that gets virtually no coverage in the mainstream media.

People have been really good to me since I arrived here the other day.  They got me on the local radio station to talk about what is really going on at PMRF so that we can deflate the myth that these MD testing programs are defensive.

They've also taken me swimming twice and I got a really bad sunburn my first day so I've been lathering up with aloe gell ever since.

Today, my last day here, I will be taken snorkeling by Katherine Muzik who is a scientist who specializes in coral reefs.  She just returned last night from 10 days in Okinawa where she was giving help to activists there who are trying to block the construction of a US Marine base runway out into the ocean that would destroy the last remaining living coral reef in that beleaguered place.  (Okinawa is loaded with US military bases and the people are fed up with it and demanding they be removed.)  Katherine has also been very helpful spreading word about the soft coral reefs just off Gangjeong village on Jeju Island that will be destroyed by the dredging now happening there as they build the Navy base.

The US military has a voracious appetite for the most beautiful and pristine spots in the world.  The Pentagon has an addiction for destruction and we all must do what we can to help defend these sacred places.

Today is my last day here on Kauai.  The local peace folks are holding a picnic on the beach this afternoon in my honor so after my snorkeling I'll go there and try to stay out of the sun.

The spirit of aloha - love and connection to mind and heart - is very strong here.  I will carry it with me as my trip continues.

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