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.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Portland & Wet for 2nd Day


It rained the entire 16 miles into Portland today but our spirits remained high with the addition of new walkers.

The Friends School was luckily available to us for a sheltered lunch stop just half way to Portland and thanks to Sukie Rice and Leslie Manning for providing us with a lovely meal.  We sat at the desks of the 7th grade class to eat and were asked to leave each of the students a note about each of us.  A nice surprise will be waiting for the students when they return to school on Monday.

Grace Braley organized a fine program at the State Street UCC Church in Portland after the evening pot luck supper.  Just before things got started our Korean-American friend Juyeon Rhee from New York City walked into the church.  She'll walk with us on Sunday before heading back to NYC on Monday.  Last summer when our VFP delegation went to South Korea for three weeks in August it was Juyeon and Hyun Lee that were going to be our guides and translators. When they arrived in the Seoul airport they were kicked out of the country.  They recovered quickly and continued to direct our tour long-distance and successfully found others to do the needed translations.

It was obvious that the right-wing South Korean government feared Juyeon and Hyun being inside the country of their birth as they have become major activists for peace and reunification of Korea - something that neither the US nor its puppet regime in Seoul wants to happen.  The US gets alot of mileage out of the continued division of Korea - particularly Washington uses North Korea as an excuse to kept building up its military operations in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam and other places in the Asia-Pacific region.  While this 'pivot' of 60% of US forces into the region is really aimed at China and Russia, North Korea is the perfect foil.

In the morning the sky is supposed to clear up but the temperature will drop to the kind of cold one would normally expect to see in Maine during this time of year.  So we'll all bundle up and keep heading south toward Saco where we'll be hosted by the First Congregational Church.

Bruce

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