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, August 07, 2015

Hiroshima to Taiwan

We've arrived in Taiwan to visit my son - just in time for a typhoon which is going to hit the island.  We had a heck of a time getting thru immigration at the airport but eventually made it after some ridiculous delays.  It's great to see Julian in his neighborhood here in Taipei which he now considers his new home.

Yesterday we participated in the closing peace rally in Hiroshima that was attended by 5,500 people.  I was asked to speak along with a representative from the Chinese peace and disarmament organization and a German Minister representing the World Council of Churches (who mentioned Ukraine which was good to hear since many people are ignoring that important hotspot).

Once it turned dark last night we went down to the river in Hiroshima where many people threw themselves to escape the enormous burning pain 70 years ago after the US unleashed the first atomic bomb on that unsuspecting city.  Floating lanterns were placed in the river in memory of those who perished in the US bombing.  The crowd along the river was huge and it was quite moving to see all of those who assembled to say Never Again!

Afterwards Mary Beth and I went to dinner with Global Network board convener Dave Webb (who also chairs the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK).  We had a great time with Dave on our last night in Japan - he went on to Nagasaki this morning for more international meetings and ceremonies.

The entire experience of being in Japan during the past week was really wonderful.  It is heartening to see so many people organizing against war and the possible destruction of all human kind.  I find hope in those wonderful and determined peace workers.  God bless them all.


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