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, April 02, 2015

Planting the Seeds of Life

This image is haunting.  It comes from Jeju Island, South Korea where the Navy base fight continues after eight long years of daily struggle. One Jeju activist writes, "Yeongdeun grandmother memorial ritual was held in several seashore villages in a rotating way, and Gangjeong village as one of the seashore village in Jeju also held it this year. The ritual now has the meaning to plant the seeds of life in the land and sea. Do you know what seeds the Gangjeong villagers planted? They planted the seeds of Red-feet crab who used to live in the Gangjeong Gureombi coast."

The endangered red-feet crabs habitat along the rocky Gangjeong coastline has been blasted and cemented to build the docks for the Navy base that will port US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and Aegis destroyers outfitted with so-called 'missile defense' systems.  All of this US military mobilization will be pointed at China and Russia.

I am deeply touched by a culture that prays and holds sacred even the simplest plants and creatures that surround us.  This spiritual connection to all life indicates a depth of character of the Jeju people not often seen among Americans - except for the native people.  Our capitalist ideology, and lifetime of mindwashing about the joys of the rat race system, teaches us that these 'non-human' parts of nature are just incidental to 'profit, progress and security'.

Today in our Maine state legislature there is an effort underway to regulate open pit mining.  The corporate extraction companies want to loosen regulations that restrict their ability to damage the environment.  The mining companies want to increase profits and care little for the nature that gets destroyed during their operations.  The Democrats that lead the Maine House of Representatives have been silent on this issue - I believe largely because the corporations have brought both mainstream political parties under the cover of the corporate tent.  Over and over we hear the Democrats reading from the script about clean environment and/or peace but then when it gets down to the bottom line they often abandon the public in favor of the corporate agenda.

Money or political power can't buy survival on our Mother Earth.  We must protect the future generations and the only way to do that is by being connected to our relatives in the plant and animal world.  The wind, the sun, the air, the water, and the earth are all our relations.  We thank the people on Jeju Island for reminding us of these connections.

In the whirling world of high finance and endless war for corporate interests one can easily forget what life is really all about.


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