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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Good Coverage in Visak


The largest English language national newspaper in India is The Hindu.  During the weekend conference at Gitam University several of us were interviewed by the paper and this article was published as a result.  The journalist did a good job of writing about the dangers from the Pentagon's 'missile defense' system that is now being used to encircle China and Russia.

This morning on our way to our first speaking event at a private school, where we spoke to 150 middle school students, Global Network board member J. Narayana Rao showed us one of the local papers that also ran a story on the conference.  He said that a couple other local papers had also covered the event quite well.

After our talk at the private school (Mary Beth and I had also spoken there on our first trip to India in 2011) we were taken to a government run technical school where we spoke to another group of about 150 students who were high school age.

In both places we got a good reception with students wanting to get selfies taken with us afterward.

After the tech school talk we had a fantastic lunch at the home of JV Prabakar (a retired engineering school administrator and leader of the Visakhapatnam chapter of the Global Network).  Prabakar works closely with J. Narayana Rao and has traveled to several of our past GN conferences in other countries.  It is obvious to us that Prabakar is widely respected in this community as at each of the five school talks we have done here in this city so far (which he appears to have set up) he has usually been the one to speak first setting the stage for Dave Webb, Will Griffin and myself.

This afternoon at 6:00 pm we went back to the Andhra University where we spoke with about 50 students in the foreign language department. It was quite amazing how on top of various issues these students were commenting on US military operations, our banking system, Trump and more.

Because Global Network advisory board member Koohan Paik (from Hawaii) got sick and could not make the trip, I've been including some of her research about US-India military agreements into my talks.

Koohan learned that US-India had signed the Defense Technology & Trade Initiative (DTTI) which will pump large sums of American $$$$ into India's largest industrial corporations for the development and manufacturing of weapons of war.  DTTI will effectively shift India's power from the people to a domestic elite who will be complicit with US corporate interests.  Koohan wrote that this will be India's 'Colonization 2.0' and their participation in expanding US militarism will be part of the US 'pivot' to control China.

India will lose its independence and sovereignty and the elite in India from Tata, Reliance Industries, Mahindra and other corporations will join with global war industrialists like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing to bring down India's democracy and help make the world a more dangerous place.

This is largely new to most Indian students (and faculty) and they seem to be quite appreciative to get this information and feel glad knowing that there is a growing international movement standing up against the globalization of corporate power.

In the morning we will be out early to drive about 30 miles from the city to speak to another group of college students - we are told there will be about 200 of them. 

Bruce

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