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, May 20, 2016

Heading to NYC

  • MB and I are on the train heading for New York City.  We'll be attending the annual Left Forum where I will speak in two different workshops - on the Situation in Ukraine (organized by UNAC) and the other called 'Just Transition' about the need to convert the war machine to peaceful and sustainable production.  Also while there I will be interviewed by John Pilger for his new film and possibly another interview with Russian TV.  During the past week I've done one Russian TV interview via Skype and a radio interview from Riga, Latvia.  Russian TV-5 wanted to get me in the studio while in NYC so that might just work out.  They are much more interested in discussing the US-NATO war exercises on the Russian border than media in this country. 
  • This morning we learned of another Okinawan woman having been killed by an American man working for the US military.  People in Okinawa have been dealing with rapes and killing by soldiers and civilians working for the Pentagon since US bases were established on the island following the end of WW II.  The people of Okinawa want US bases closed and their lands returned to the people.  The tide is turning against the US military empire. The world has had enough of US bases and all the hypocrisy, environmental degradation, violence and sadness that comes with these outposts for corporate domination and endless war. Unfortunately the US media (for obvious reasons) doesn't give much coverage to these cases because of the negative impact on Americans 'exceptional' identify.
  • I submitted yesterday an Op-Ed to our local newspaper in Brunswick, Maine about Washington's attempts to get the Japanese government to kill Article 9 of their constitution that says they must not have an offensive military and that the Japanese people must 'forever renounce war'.  Every year our local peace groups (PeaceWorks & VFP) march in the Memorial Day parade - the theme this year is 'Remember Pearl Harbor'.  So it seemed like a good opportunity to bring the issue of the US trying to remobilize Japan to be a full partner in US 'containment' of China which was brutally occupied by imperial Japan during WW II.  The current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the grandson of a 'Class A' war criminal who served on Japan's imperial war cabinet.  We made a special banner that we will carry and flyers to hand out to the crowd along the parade route.  This is another subject that most Americans know nothing about.  
  •  Obama's announced visit to Hiroshima is connected to all this.  The Japanese are having another election in July and Obama wants to put his arm around Shinzo Abe and give his right-wing government a boost in the polls.  Obama will talk about the need to get rid of nuclear weapons at the same time the US is planning to spend one trillion dollars on Pentagon nuclear modernization.  Obama will likely point the accusing finger at China, North Korea and Russia and blame them for the breakdown in nuclear arms reduction talks.  But the truth is that US deployments of so-called 'missile defense' encircling Russia and China (and NATO expansion) are the real reasons that nuclear disarmament negotiations have come to a stand still.  Obama's 'legacy visit' is just all about 'perception management'.


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