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.

Friday, June 16, 2017

UNAC Confab in Virginia - Right Where it is Needed

The UNAC conference began with a strong series of wonderful speakers this evening in Richmond, Virginia.  Ajamu Baraka (Green Party Vice-President candidate in the last election) pictured above announced the recent formation of a new organization called Blacks for Peace.  He made the case that US endless wars and the harsh domestic austerity cuts impacting poor and working people must be addressed at the same time.

Several speakers mentioned the fact that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and in many respects things have not changed so much.  Virginia is also the largest recipient (per capita) of military spending in the nation.  I congratulate UNAC for holding this conference in the south - where it is truly needed.

I am rooming with Will Griffin (VFP and new Global Network board member) and we've spent the last 24 hours transferring much of my years of experience in the peace movement from my brain to his.

Things get going again at 9:00 am in the morning with more plenary speakers and workshops.  I will speak about the Pentagon's recent THAAD 'missile defense' deployment in South Korea in the morning during a plenary panel and then will speak in two different workshops - one on the Asia-Pacific 'pivot' and the other on NATO expansion into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border.

One of the activists I met in Odessa, Ukraine when I went there on a peace delegation in 2016 is here and before things began at the conference she shared with me that the climate for peace people there is quite bad as the Poroshenko puppet government continues to round up those opposing the reactionary US supported regime.

One of the workshops listed to be held tomorrow has a title that made me laugh like hell when I saw it on the conference program.  It is called 'Even Bernie Wants to Bomb Syria!'

It is great to see so many key organizers/activists from around the country that I've met over the years here in Richmond.  And it is a great treat for us to be listening to so many outstanding folks who have devoted their lives to serving the present age.

I am so glad I am here.  It feels like family to me.


PS  You can watch the first panel from the confab here


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