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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

U.S. & NATO Trying to Use Finland as War Base Against Russia

By Kerstin Tuomala, Finland

Thank you for this very moving video [BIW protest] and for that you care! Greetings to all the protesters.

The USA has this year for the first time since World War II exercised on Finnish territory. We have a right-wing government who says “yes” when USA invites itself. They maybe believe USA is interested in Finland because we are so “good”, but the real reason is that we have a 1,300 km long border with Russia – the longest that a single country in whole Europe has. Until now we have followed a paraxis we had during the Cold War through the pact of friendship, support and cooperation we had with the USSR. The most important idea was that Finland committed not to threaten, nor let any third party threaten nor attack, the Soviet Union through our territory.

Since the end of the Soviet Union our politicians supported, by a very strong opinion of the people, has continued the interaction in a peaceful way with Russia. Now they try to turn the opinion in all ways.

Still we are many who understand to appreciate a good life in peace. It is still very frightening that not our foreign minister nor our defence minister nor the government as such, seems to care about this, but want us to go closer to the bilateral war exercises with the USA and also with NATO.

Part of the very big Baltops NATO exercise this year in the Baltic Sea was taking place on the Finnish coast exercising invasion - although the main exercise was in other part of the Baltics in June. In May the USA soldiers exercised together with Finnish soldiers a land war in southwest of Finland. There were more than 100 USA soldiers and USA tanks for two weeks and the same amount of time 6 – 8 F15 planes exercising together with the Finnish Air Force near the border of Russia and in fact all over Finland, also here in the North.

We protested in Kemi, and other groups protested near the main bases for these exercises and some of these protests were also seen in the news on television. We are trying to build a stronger opinion against these “war games” which are too dangerous.

I believe the strongest fight is the fight of the minds and this has also the pro-NATO side realised. They have the main media – we have each other.

Still there are also small flashes of hope – at times persons with a good competence and a genuine will for peace  get their voices heard in the TV media and the newspapers still print also the writings of us who stand for peace.


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