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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Last Night in Gangjeong Village


We gathered last night at the peace center in Gangjeong village for my talk and then a party.  It was a lovely night with some great songs by three different activists and then some good food.

I reminded those assembled that the Global Network would remain active in our solidarity work opposing the Navy base in their village. 

I've just packed my bags and need to head to Jeju City for a radio interview on station there this afternoon.  Also the largest online Jeju Island news outlet ran a story about my talk last night.  I'll post the link once I get it.

This morning I was in a meeting with Yang Yoon-Mo, Brother Song, Sung-Hee and Brando.  It was my first real chance to talk with Yang who I supported by joining his hunger strike for a time when he was in prison.  He has spent a total of 18 months in jail for his non-violent protest of the Navy base construction - and the destruction of the sacred Guremobi rock.  I'll write more about this wonderful meeting when I get more time. 

In the morning I get on a plane at 7:00 am and make the long journey back to Maine.  I'll take four different airplanes then a bus and finally a car back to my house.  It will take more than one full day....hopefully all those flights will be on time.

Needless to say it is very hard to say good-bye to the people of Gangjeong village.  As I write this the sun is shining, a strong sea-breeze is blowing, and in the distance I can see the ocean and the ugly Navy base construction going on.

It is hard to stop the evil of militarism and the preparation for war.  Even many people who oppose these forces give up in what seems to be an insurmountable momentum of the war machine.  But now and then in life you meet people with beautiful and fierce clarity and determination who push on with a better vision of the future.  I have met such people here in Gangjeong village.

Today during the closing human chain at the Navy base gate I was asked to sing a song.  I chose the old Civil Rights struggle song "Ain't Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around".  That is the message I leave Gangjeong village with in my heart. 

I'm gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marchin' to the freedom land. Yeah, that's right!

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