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.

Monday, January 09, 2017

On Way to Okinawa

I am at the airport in Taipei now waiting for my flight to Naha, Okinawa where I will meet a large delegation of monks and nuns (and supporters) from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order.  Together we will do peace walks and vigils at various US military bases in Okinawa during the coming week.

I've had connection with this Buddhist order since 1987 when the monks came to a major protest I organized at Cape Canaveral in Florida.  Over the years I've organized 10 peace walks (five in Florida and five in Maine) and monks and nuns from Nipponzan Myohoji have led all of them.  So it was a real honor to be invited to join them for this Okinawa trip.

The US is expanding several of its present bases on the island including one insane plan to build twin-runways at US Marine base called Camp Schwab out into the ocean which will destroy sea life and obviously contaminate pristine Oura Bay that people have built a sustainable life around.

My mind is also on Europe as the US-NATO are holding war games directly on the Russian border at this moment. The US is deploying huge amounts of military hardware in Poland which is being turned into a central US war operations hub in eastern Europe.  It makes one wonder if the Obama team is trying to start a shooting conflict with Russia before they leave office thus cementing Trump into having to carry on this very aggressive anti-Russian stance.

On one 'No to NATO' international email list serve many peace leaders throughout Europe are urging western activists not to just focus their upcoming inaugural protests on Trump as they clearly see it is the Democrat Barack Obama who is inching the globe closer to a full blown war in Europe.  They are saying the message and focus should be 'NO to US military empire' and 'NO to NATO'.  I agree with their thinking.

Mary Beth takes a plane about 1:00 pm from Taipei heading back home.  We had a great time in Taiwan.  After the wedding Emily's parents took us to a magical hot springs spa in the south along the coast and then on a tour of some of the beautiful beaches in that region.  All along the way they fed us very incredible food and even though everyone was tired after the wedding it was a special experience for us to get a closer look at the people and culture of the country.



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