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

Friday, August 21, 2015

More Than Meets the Eye in Korea

There are lots of people coming and going each day in Gangjeong village.  The numbers change quickly.  Not only are there people blocking the Navy base construction gate but there is always a Catholic mass being held just across the street in the make shift church.  Yesterday a big bus pulled up soon after we arrived and two-thirds of the passengers stepped across the street to join the mass and the rest came to help block the gate. (The Catholic Church here is unlike any I've seen before.  Many give Fr. Mun and Jeju Bishop Kang most of the credit for the daily presence of priests and nuns in the village.)

While we sit in front of the gate the Navy has 2-3 of their agents filming everything we do.  Not to be out done the activists have five regular camera people filming every thing the police do during the 90 minutes we are blocking the gate.

After the gate blocking and Catholic mass are over we head down to the 'restaurant' where activists are fed by one of the village men who folks call 'Uncle'.  He is a dog lover and is always seen with a cute little fuzzy haired friend in tow.  During these hot days he's been serving cool watermelon, which is much appreciated.

During lunch yesterday I sat across from a professor from Seoul who teaches criminal law to police.  He had come to Jeju to testify in a court case - must have been one of the many that are now underway in Jeju courts against activists for their 'disruption of business and/or government affairs'.  The professor was lamenting South Korea's lack of democracy and said he tries to teach his students that the job of police is to be fair and to defend the rights of the public.  He fears the current right-wing Park administration (President Park is the daughter of former brutal dictator who collaborated with the imperial Japanese occupation of Korea) and worries that war could break out at any time with North Korea.

I heard that North and South Korea were exchanging shells in recent days but the western media is not likely reporting that the Pentagon and their puppet Park regime are currently running war games bumping up against the border with North Korea.  North Korea must always wonder - is this one for real?  Are they going to invade us now?

There can be no doubt that the US wants regime change in Pyongyang.  It would be a real prize for Washington's endless war plan.  North Korea borders China and Russia and if toppled would give the US an even more strategic base in its current encirclement of those two nations.

During the Korean War Gen. Douglas MacArthur had the Air Force cross the border into the former Soviet Union and bomb nearby Vladivostok trying to draw Moscow into the war.  The Russians didn't take the bait.  It reminds me of the current US-NATO war plan to pull Russia directly into the civil war being waged in Ukraine.  Despite all the western media claims that Russia has invaded Ukraine they actually have been quite restrained considering that the Kiev puppet regime has not only shelled the Russian speaking citizens in eastern Ukraine but has also occasionally shelled across the border into Russia trying to draw a response.

The people in Korea have been living with war, or the daily threat of war, for a very long time.  Sadly the American people know virtually nothing about Korea or don't really much care.  Even the peace movement knows little about Korea (historically or the present).  My hope is that the current focus on Jeju Island will help draw some peaceniks interest and maybe, just maybe, even the American people might eventually open their eyes and see what our war mongering nation has wrought here. 


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