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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Big Crowds in Seoul

This short video shows two of the four events Will Griffin and I attended yesterday.

One was a large peace march in front of the US Yongsan military base in downtown Seoul.  The primary issues addressed in the preceding rally and march were continual Pentagon war exercises in Korea, THAAD deployments by the Pentagon and the recent trip by the Navy Vice-Admiral who commands the 'missile defense' (MD) program.  The Vice-Admiral came to South Korea and said that the THAAD would not be integrated into the US's MD program but instead would be a stand alone system and would only aimed at North Korea - not China.

The US has been telling similar lies about the MD deployments it has made in Turkey, Romania and Poland.  In that case the US claims the MD systems in those countries are aimed at Iran not Russia.  These are of course total fabrications of the truth.

The second thing that the Vice-Admiral said is that the radar's electro-magnetic radiation will not have any health impacts on the local populations.  The Pentagon refuses to do any health studies under public scrutiny.  I'll always remember the case in Cape Cod, Massachusetts where the people demanded that the state force the Pentagon to do a study about the early warning/MD radar there but the military has refused to do so - why does the Pentagon refuse?  Many people on Cape Cod have long maintained that their health has been affected by the radar - particularly they believe an increase in cancers is related to the radar.

Following the march in front of Yongsan we moved to a huge rally at the Seoul City Hall where 10,000 people gathered to protest against THAAD deployments in Seongju.  I was honored to be able to speak to the audience and at the end of my brief talk I presented our next Keep Space for Peace Week poster to a representative from Seongju.  The rally lasted four hours and included many wonderful cultural expressions that the Korean people use to educate and entertain those attending.

Today we are back out on the street for another mass march to celebrate Korea's liberation from fascist Japanese colonization.  One speaker last night said that Korea suffered terribly under Japanese colonization and now suffers under the American version of colonization.  The Korean people don't want to be occupied anymore.  They desperately want to reunify all of Korea in a peaceful and just way.



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