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, May 03, 2014

ORDINARY VOICES



This is a very interesting video of various Ukrainian citizens across the east of the country who are non-violently resisting the thugs, fascists, and mercenaries being set upon them by the US-EU sponsored Kiev 'government'.  They speak clearly and passionately about the repression they are facing as they organize in opposition to the nationalist forces being armed and controlled by the US installed regime in Kiev.

While Crimea has already had a referendum, the situation in other Ukrainian regions is still unstable. People want their voices to be heard and are demanding a vote. Many of the videos and interviews you will see in this film have never been shown on television.

NON-VIOLENTLY CONFRONTING U.S.-EU RULE



Amateur footage shows an angry mob in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine yelling at Kiev forces as a new 'anti-terror operation' is underway. Locals are calling soldiers "fascists" and telling them go back to Kiev because they don't need them in Kramatorsk.

Notice that the local people are not armed.  They confront 'their government forces' who have come to enforce US-EU corporate rule.

I'd like to see this footage with honest reporting in US mainstream media.

Obama and Kerry keep complaining about Russia Today (RT) media.  The reason why is because RT is telling us what is really happening in Ukraine and all along the Russian border.  When Obama and Kerry instruct me about what I should watch on TV then I know I must be heading in the correct direction.

MAINE ARTISTS HELP CREATE THE MOVEMENT

This is ARRT! from Geoffrey Leighton on Vimeo.

ARRT! – The Artists Rapid Response Team -- creates banners and props to promote the work of progressive non-profits across Maine. All members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists are invited to join.

WHO WILL PROTECT INTERNET FREEDOM?



Running for president in 2007, Barack Obama pledged to keep the Internet open to all, upholding the principle of Net neutrality. Now his FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, has introduced new rules that have caused an uproar among public interest groups and media reform advocates. They believe Wheeler’s proposed changes break Obama’s campaign promise and will allow providers like Verizon and Comcast to sell faster access to the Web to the highest bidder.

The problem, Bill Moyers says, is that “business and government are now so intertwined that public officials and corporate retainers are interchangeable parts of what Chief Justice John Roberts might call ‘the gratitude machine.’” FCC officials, including Wheeler, transit back and forth through the revolving door between public service and lucrative private commerce, losing sight of the greater good. But there’s still time to speak up and make your voices heard.

BAITING THE BEAR



Union hall in Odessa burns after fascist Right Sector forces, working on behalf of the Kiev government put in power by the US-EU, set fire to it.  Some 46 died in the flames or from jumping out of the burning building.

Unrest erupted on Friday, May 2, with a mass fight started by football fans from Kharkiv, Right Sector radicals and members of the so-called “Maidan self-defense” force from Kiev, who had decided to march along the streets of Odessa, thus provoking clashes with the supporters of Ukraine’s federalisation.

Obama and the EU leaders blame Russia and Putin for this.  The truth is that the Kiev military mobilization against eastern Ukraine began after US CIA director Brennan and V-P Biden made recent trips to Kiev likely instructing them to advance onto protesters in the east.

No doubt in my mind that the US-EU are baiting the bear, trying to get Russia to respond to protect the people in the east which would then give NATO "the pretext" to make an attack on Russia.

Watch in this video above how EU politicians try to make it seem like it was pro-Russian forces who set fire to the union hall.  The height of arrogance and hypocrisy.  Who could ever believe a word these bastards say again!



You can see the Right Sector nationalists enjoying themselves as they set fire to the union building in Odessa and take shots at those who refuse to turn Ukraine over to MR. Big and his fascist agents.

What struck me the most is that the police appear to sit back until the damage is done before they  'gently' move in near the end of this video.  In the whole video you never hear or see a fire truck.... strange in a big city like Odessa.  The US-EU controlled 'government' in Kiev must have blocked the fire trucks - all part of the script that was written for this day.

Watching it I said to myself..... this is the beginning of WW III.

Friday, May 02, 2014

BEALE AFB DRONE PROTEST



Direct action at Beale AFB in California by Veterans for Peace and others on April 29 following the reading of an indictment for war crimes.

I lived on this base from 1969-1971 and graduated from nearby Wheatland High School.  I hope to get to one of these protests at Beale at some point.

NEWS ROUND-UP

People in the Philippines staged major protests during Obama's visit to sign new agreements to allow US military bases to return to their country.  The US was kicked out of the Philippines in 1992 and had to close its Navy and Air Force bases.


  • At Beale AFB in California on Tuesday, the two main gates into the base for the first time during rush hour commute were successfully shut down, simultaneously.  Thirteen people were arrested, six were veterans and three others had never done civil resistance before.  Beale AFB hosts the Global Hawk (Surveillance drone), the U2 spy plane and the MC12 Liberty aircraft, all participants in the so-called  "war on terror." The base also has a PAVE PAWS radar which plays a key role in space directed warfare.
  • Obama's visit to the Philippines this week was met with major opposition protests.  Long-time activist Walden Bello who represents Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the House of Representatives of the Philippines writes:
    As U.S. President Barack Obama descends on the Philippines, Manila and Washington are rushing to complete negotiations on an Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC) between the two countries.

    What the agreement boils down to is that the Philippines will give the United States the right to operate bases in the country—for no rent—without the guarantee of U.S. protection of the country’s island territories.

    With the impending basing agreement with the United States, the Philippines is right back to its position during the Cold War, when it played the role of handmaiden to the U.S. containment strategy by hosting two huge military bases. The small window of opportunity to forge an independent foreign policy that the Philippines gained with the expulsion of the U.S. bases in 1992 will disappear with the impending signing of this latest pact with Washington.
  • Russia is calling an extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the punitive operation staged by the Kiev authorities in Ukraine’s southeastern regions, a spokesman for Russia’s permanent mission at the United Nations told ITAR-TASS on Friday. Ukrainian special forces have started a punitive operation in the city of Sloviansk early on Friday morning. “A full sweep operation was launched” with armoured vehicles and warplanes involved in it, a representative of the city militia told ITAR-TASS. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry stated that two Ukrainian Air Force’s helicopter gunships Mil Mi-24 had been downed and a military transport helicopter Mi-8 had been damaged in clashes.
  • Boris Yulyevich Kagarlitsky is a Russian sociologist who has been a political dissident in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia. He is coordinator of the Transnational Institute Global Crisis project and Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSO) in Moscow. He writes:
    The arguments of the Kremlin in this dispute have not worked, and cannot work, for the simple reason that Western politicians for the present are not especially interested in what official Russia is thinking or doing. These politicians know perfectly well that there is no Russian invasion, and this, precisely, is the main international problem for them. To admit as much means admitting that the government in Kiev has gone to war on its own people.

    To speak of the Donetsk Peoples Republic as an independent political phenomenon in impossible, since this would require posing the question of the reasons for the popular protest, and listing its demands. The talk of Kremlin agents and of the ubiquitous Russian troops—who are impossible to discover, but who have occupied close to half of Ukraine without firing a shot or even showing themselves on Ukrainian territory—is playing the same propaganda role against the Donetsk republic as was played in the anti-Bolshevik propaganda of 1917 by stories of German spies and of money from the German General Staff.
  • Amid rising tensions with Russia, the U.S. defense chief Chuck Hagel said Washington and its allies may "adjust" the timing for fielding "missile defense" (MD) systems in Europe. For now, "we are continuing with our schedule with the enhanced adaptive approach to fulfill the commitments that we've made in the interests of Poland, Romania and our NATO partners," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon in mid-April. The adjustment appears to mean opening the door to additional deployments of MD in other nations that border Russia.
  • Georgia’s Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, said in Washington on April 30 that in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, NATO allies should deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia. Air defense and anti-armor capabilities – “this is something we need to put in Georgia and Russians will understand that you are serious,” Alasania told the Washington-based think-tank Atlantic Council’s “Toward a Europe Whole and Free” conference.  They are talking about MD deployments and putting them in Georgia would be one more provocative step toward encircling Russia with these systems that are intended to serve as the "shield" after a US-NATO first-strike attack is launched. 
  • It is obvious that the US is really stepping up the anti-Russian rhetoric and military "containment".  Things do not bode well for stability and peace in the region as US-NATO are forcing Russia to submit to corporate domination or face the possibility of major war.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

MAY DAY: LET THE WORKERS BUILD RAIL


Let the Workers Build Rail

Let the workers build rail
and let their children have life

We need to transform
diversify
convert
swords into plowshares
it says so in a holy book

some call it the word of god
others say it just makes
good sense
better use of our resources
sitting on the train
gazing out the window
as the world passes by

I want to go back
to the way the good lord
made us
wise advice
swords into plowshares

In the present
the swords rule
the land is paved over
car parks
the earth cries out
for breath

we don't hear
our minds occupied 
$$$ and success
our hearts hardened
we can't breathe

I want to go back 
to the way the good lord
made us
spirit
and love

the children should come first
let them have life

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RESISTING THE NSA




THE LATEST FROM CHIEF BLOVIATOR



Washington is spinning the wheel of blame in regard to the Ukrainian stand-off. This time it is pointing at the EU. The criticism came in comments made by US Secretary of State, John Kerry. For more on this RT is joined by Gayane Chichakyan.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LOOKING FOR TROUBLE



The US airborne division, which is to take part in NATO exercise 'Spring Storm' in May arrived in Estonia. Around 150 personnel arrived in the military transport aircraft to the Amari airbase, according to the country's defense ministry.

Estonia is on Russia's border.

These working class kids, with little other job prospects, sent into another potential meat grinder...when will we ever learn.  We don't seem to care unless it is our kid.  They are all our children - on all sides.  Enough of this war mongering!

TRIM THEIR SAILS/SALES

The Navy's new Zumwalt stealth destroyer being built at Bath Iron Works in Maine

Trim Their Sails/Sales

Word is getting around
Zumwalt running over
cost projections
was supposed to be $4 billion
some say will run up to
5-6-7 bill each
going to build three of them

The Navy didn't want
Zumwalt
Obama forced it down
their throat
his benefactors,
Crown family in Chicago,
largest stockholders
in General Dynamics

GD owns
Bath Iron Works

Obama owes Crown family
they helped make him prez
the palms are greased
just like on
The House of Cards

The Pentagon worried now
about sequestration
budget cuts
they are ramping up fear
and military confrontation
they own the media
that pushes the story line

Many in public
are resigned
job scared
afraid to speak out

it's smooth sailing
for the war machine

Time to trim their sails
and sales
time to defend
social progress
that is being starved
to pay for endless war

Monday, April 28, 2014

FAST LANE - SLOW LANE ON INTERNET



Digital rights groups are mobilizing over rumors the Federal Communications Commission may be about to abandon the principle of net neutrality. Organizations are concerned the agency may release new rules allowing companies to pay internet service providers to deliver their content faster than the content of competitors. The agency attempted to implement regulations ensuring net neutrality in the past, but a federal court struck down the move. Executive vice president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition Jessica Gonzalez speaks with RT's Ameera David to break down net neutrality and what it means for the public.

HEDGES ON THE MEDIA WAR



The crisis in Ukraine and the steadily dropping temperature in relations between Moscow and Washington made many talk about a new Cold War; and many others are worried it may turn 'hot'. But there's another war going on right now: the information war.

US Secretary of State Kerry has already attacked RT, calling it "Putin's propaganda machine." But Washington itself uses dubious evidence and fake facts. What is the information war? What methods is America using?

Sophie talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and veteran correspondent Chris Hedges.

RECKLESS AND DANGEROUS


I see a plan underway
aggressive, arrogant,
costly
the march of Mr. Big
out to round up
the stray cats
who won't submit

authority must be
'maintained'

Weaken Ukraine
divide and conquer
create civil war
on the bear's border

Encircle
Russia & China
Red menaces
no longer
but still the
competition
for control
remains

The pirate class
pushes onward
the strategy clear
weaken at the edges
and destabilize
internally

means hunker down time
and more $$$
for the MIC

The river boat gamblers
are rolling the dice again
hang on to your hat
and your children

WHERE ARE THE U.S. WMD'S?


60 Minutes has become another version of Hollywood news.... but this episode is helpful to the public in that we are reminded that the US still has many nuclear weapons. Why? Who is the enemy? Are they defensive systems or are they part of a larger forward deployed US military machine?

EXCELLENT DISCUSSION ON UKRAINE



What does Washington's "containment" policy mean? What threats does it pose? Will it work against today's Russia? And does this mean Washington has declared a new Cold War?

CrossTalking with US scholars Stephen Cohen and John Mearsheimer.

TOURING THE JEJU STORY


Sunday, April 27, 2014

REMEMBERING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR


I returned home to Maine this morning on the train from New York City.  Fellow Maine Veterans for Peace (VFP) member Doug Rawlings and I were up early at our respective home stays to get to Penn Station for the 7:00 am train to Boston.  We had loads of time on the four-hour ride back to Boston and then another two-hour bus ride to Portland to review the remarkable trip. 

We got to the Judson Memorial Church yesterday at 1:00 pm to help set things up for the national VFP event called Full Disclosure: An Honest Commemoration of the American War in Vietnam that would run from 5:00-9:00 pm and drew over 200 people.  We helped hang banners in the huge church hall, put chairs out, and set up literature and food tables.  National VFP board member Tarak Kauff and his partner Ellen Davidson were the lead organizers and it was a pleasure to support their good work.

The photo above (taken by Ellen Davidson) is of a New York City artist who did a remarkable art performance piece for three full hours during the program.  Just as the event was to begin he slowly walked down the center isle toward the stage where something was hanging from a microphone stand and covered in a black shroud.  Dressed in a baggy uniform, and wearing oversized black boots, he carried a wooden military style rifle with a bayonet attached to the end.  Slowly he climbed the stage and dropped his rifle onto the floor and then removed the bayonet.  He carefully pulled the shroud away and a dummy was revealed that had a big red target on its chest. 

One thought that maybe he would stick his knife into the dummy's chest but instead he carefully took the knife and cut the target away from the dummy.  Then he removed the rope that was looped around the dummy's neck and gently lowered the dummy into his lap as he sat down on the edge of the stage.  Then the soldier reached over and opened a Red Cross marked first-aid kit and took out a large sewing needle and string.  He very carefully threaded the needle and began to sew the dummy up where it had been previously cut open.  

By now the speakers on the program had begun to address the assembled but the soldier continued to apply medical attention to the dummy.  He rested the dummy's head on a pillow made from a military blanket and applied white medical tape over the areas he had stitched up.  

I was deeply moved by this performance art and found myself moving from the rear of the hall to near the front so that I could better see the 'operation' that was underway.  Most other people had similar responses and it was just beyond imagination to see how the artist/soldier kept this whole process going for the next three hours.  For a long time he just held and caressed the dummy in a most loving way.  It was all so real.

Around 8:00 pm the Vietnamese ambassador to the UN spoke and thanked VFP for its long and dedicated efforts to bring peace and healing to their war ravaged nation.  The ambassador warned us to remain vigilant as 'some countries' were still pushing wars in order to control other nations (and their resources) under the guise of 'responsibility to protect'.  At the end of the ambassador's presentation the artist/soldier left the stage with him.

I later learned that the artist had turned down an honorarium for his remarkable presentation, only asking for $10 to reimburse him for taxi fare.  I was told that his father was a war veteran who had taken his own life some time in the past.

Obama has announced a plan, starting in 2012, for a 13-year commemoration of the Vietnam War costing more than $65 million. Rather than conducting an honest national discussion to learn from the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, the Pentagon is promoting a whitewashing of the war without acknowledging the terrible damage done to the Vietnamese people and land. Neither will the military propaganda campaign confront the lasting impact of this conflict on US soldiers and their families—from loss of life and physical disabilities and illnesses to the transmission of birth defects to their children caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The government will not mention the millions of Vietnamese, including women and children, who were captured, tortured, displaced, and killed. 

Nor will there be any representation of the heroic U.S. soldiers who resisted the war, or any real acknowledgment of massive domestic protest. And the Pentagon project will not pay tribute to the voices and postwar reconciliation activities of many antiwar veterans.

VFP is undertaking a national counter-effort to the Pentagon's attempt to rewrite the history of the Vietnam War.  The government intends to make the war appear to have been a noble struggle in order to more effectively sell future wars to unsuspecting citizens.  A people without a true understanding of their own history are blind and easily manipulated.

It was an honor to be at this first event by VFP to fully disclose the truth about the Vietnam War to the public.  It was an even greater honor to witness the heart stirring performance piece done by the artist who clearly understands the tragedy of war. 

SUNDAY SONG