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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I was recently asked to send a message to people on Okinawa who are resisting the expansion of US military bases there which are part of Obama's 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific.

I am told that my message was printed yesterday in the newspaper.  Here is what I wrote:

It was very encouraging to hear that Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago City was reelected despite misguided efforts of [Japanese Prime Minister] Abe and the US to influence the election with promises of money.  The US military is desperate to expand its military operations in the Asia-Pacific region in order to control and dominate China.  Okinawa is just a useful tool, like other expanding Pentagon operations on Jeju Island, South Korea, Guam, the Philippines, Australia and beyond.  This cancerous military expansion by the Pentagon is destabilizing and expensive.  There are also severe environmental consequences with this US military expansion program as we witness on Okinawa and places like Jeju Island.  Human rights abuses are rampant as well as the US and Abe attempt to crush public will.

But the story about the people's movement on Okinawa and Jeju Island are spreading like wildfire across the globe.  More and more of the world's citizens see this military expansion plan as dangerous to world peace.  It must be stopped.  The people on Okinawa are on the front lines but will not be forgotten nor abandoned.

Our organization, like many others, is now expanding our education and organizing around Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific.  It is a program to make the weapons industry even wealthier and to give the corporations that now control the US government full domination of the planet.

 In the US we also oppose Obama's "pivot" because the cost of expanding militarism is destroying our society as well.  There is no money for health care, transportation, education, and infrastructure repair.  We also oppose this US military expansion because it is morally wrong.  It is wrong to steal land from people on Okinawa and it is wrong to prepare for war.

We thank the people of Okinawa for standing strong.  This madness must end some time and we are honored to join you in this fight.  Let us use our resources to deal with climate change, environmental pollution from Fukushima, growing hunger and other pressing social problems.

- Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space


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