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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stop the Lies, Close U.S. Bases Around the Globe

  • Our 'Situation in Ukraine' workshop went well yesterday at the Left Forum in New York City and we had good attendance - especially considering there were a slew of them to choose from at the same time.  We had a woman from Odessa, Ukraine with us in the workshop who did an excellent job of sharing the reality of living in the post-coup country that is being dismantled by the US-EU in their project to destabilize things along the Russian border.  One Russian TV channel covered the event and interviewed me after things were over.  The second workshop I participated in (Just Transition) was where I presented my PowerPoint full of photos from our efforts in Bath, Maine to bring the conversion of the Navy shipyard to public consciousness.  

  • Later in the day yesterday I had the honor to meet award winning journalist John Pilger who is in NYC doing interviews for his upcoming documentary film 'The Next War'.  He interviewed me for about an hour and we had a very interesting back-and-forth discussion of everything from US domestic politics, Obama's 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific, space technology, hope, and spirituality.  I liked him alot, a very grounded and gentle man.

  • Also yesterday about the same time I was doing the Pilger interview a protest in support of the Okinawan people was held at Grand Central Station in NYC.  One of the organizers was Rachel Clark (a Japanese-American woman who was the interpreter during our VFP trip to Okinawa last December).  She wrote this morning:

We explained about the recent rape murder case which is one out of more than 9 thousand recorded cases in the last 71 years. US bases do not protect their host countries. Instead they bring crimes. As our responsibility, we have to close our overseas bases, 800 of more of them. We also need to re-examine and reallocate our tax money so that peace making effort gets more budget than military-industrial complex.

  • I also noticed today that a protest was held in Okinawa at the Camp Schwab US Marine base where more than 1,500 people were led by women as they silently marched to express their growing outrage against US bases and the continued rapes and killings by US military personnel there.  What will it take for the American people to see that our string of 1,000 military outposts around the world are fueling hatred against us?  Shut them down and bring the troops home.  Put them to work building rail systems, solar power, wind turbines, tidal power systems, and retrofitting homes across the nation for energy conservation.  


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