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: Brunswick, 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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heading to California & Other Bits

Mary Beth and I head to Morro Bay, California tomorrow for several days to be with my son Julian and his wife Emily and some of our combined families.  Two of my sisters are coming and Emily's mom, dad and brother have come over from Taiwan.  Julian's mom will be there as well along with a couple of her grandchildren. 

Julian and Emily have been in the states for about two months - he was working at some debate camps and they've been touring across the south and southwest in recent weeks.  They got married in Taiwan last January and are going to hold another beach ceremony in Morro Bay for the stateside folks who could not make the trip to Taiwan.  So it should be alot of fun for all of us.

It's been a busy week for me - doing several media interviews which can be listened to here, here, here, here, and here.

Once we return home next week I'll have to get right to work doing final preparations for our Navy Blue Angels airshow protest in Brunswick on August 26.  Then I'll be doing a taping of my public access TV show on August 28.

Our Maine Peace Walk is approaching fast (Oct 13-21) as is the Global Network's annual Keep Space for Peace Week (Oct 7-14).  In addition we have our Aegis 9 trial coming up with jury selection on September 7 in West Bath District Court. So it will be an active fall around here.

Another thing I've been up to lately is working on a committee to organize a 'Close all US foreign military bases' national conference for next January that will be held in Baltimore.  It's a great group of folks and we've already held two conference calls to set things in motion.  Sometimes working on these kinds of events can cause you to pull the hair out of your head but our committee is really doing very well together.

As word has spread about the new coalition that we've created to close US bases the organizing committee is hearing from activists all over the world.  Here is one message we got from folks in Germany.

Subject: Duelmen Army Depot, Germany
Dear Friends, we live in Germany, Duelmen, a place where the US Army has opened a new APS (Army Prepositioned Stocks) set in the former Tower Barracks at May 12th, 2017. [The APS program supports the National Military Strategy by strategically prepositioning warfighting stocks afloat and ashore at critical worldwide locations.] This is an operation for ERI/Atlantic Resolve. They have started to store 12,000 pieces of weapons and equipment (modern howitzers M109 Paladin, Air defense systems - we think: HIMARS and Bradley linebacker, etc).

We started a new peace group "Friedensfreunde Duelmen" as our answer. Our goals are "Talking with the Russians, negotiations about mutual controls of weapons and manoeuvres".

We try to get in contact with citizens in Zutendaal/Belgium and in Eygelshoven/Netherlands, little towns 300 miles away from Duelmen, where similar bases are planned.

So we appreciate your initiative very much and try our best to share it with everybody we know: Go tell it to the mountains, over the hills and everywhere. ...
We will keep you informed about our actions.

Michael and Penelope


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