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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Native News Online reports:

One hundred and twenty-three winters ago, on December 29, 1890, some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some estimate the actual number closer to 300.

Snowfall was heavy that December week. The Lakota ancestors killed that day were left in brutal frigid wintry plains of the reservation before a burial party came to bury them in one mass grave. The photograph of Big Foot’s frozen and contorted body is a symbol for all American Indians of what happened to our ancestors.

Today we see similar photos from Yemen or Pakistan where groups of innocent civilians have been massacred by the US military.  Kill and grab is the ideology of the nation that has 5% of the world's population but uses over 25%  of global resources.  War is about extraction and the US is good at it.  You can say that by now "it's nearly in the blood of any good American".  If not the desire to actually do the killing - then say most 'good Americans' have learned to look the other way while they hop into their wheels and go shopping for just the right stuff.
There is one story I most remember from the period (late 1800's) of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in South Dakota.  They were the last two bands of resistance to the US control of the Black Hills so that gold mining could begin in earnest.  Finally they both gave up (largely because of starvation) and were sitting in tepees on their reservations.  No horses, no guns - waiting on the rancid meat and bug filled flour and thin blankets from the corporations that supplied the reservation.  It was a policy of genocide in order to clear the land of any obstacles to rip and snort extraction. Capitalism had to dominate and control this outlandish nature-based way of life that stood in the way of "progress".

But the corporations were not satisfied.  They were still greedy and saw the opportunity for more.  The end of the war on the indigenous people of the west had come.  (Similar to the situation today in Afghanistan.)  The weapons companies that made considerable profit from the civil war and Indians wars faced a massive downturn in contracts from the government.  So what the military industrial complex did in the late 1800's was to hire artists to create fake drawings of Crazy Horse back on the warpath.  Raping women, killing children - so-called terrorists. Then writers created false stories to go along with the renderings.  These phony stories were placed in major newspapers across the US and an "outraged public" called for Congress to do something about those 'wild injuns'.  So immediately Congress swung into action and appropriated more money for war. 

When we step back we can see these same historic "methods of operation" take place in our militarized culture today.  We can begin to see how the media many of us watch and read are playing our minds like a master fiddler. 


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