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.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Peace Movement Should be Broadening




  • As I was sending around Keep Space for Peace Week emails to the various Global Network lists today it was interesting that emails to our own address landed in our spam filter.  Increasingly email service providers are making it really hard to get emails through to their customers unless you pay for an email delivery service.  What a racket.....

  • I had an email from a fellow peace organizer in Finland today.  I found it interesting the way she described how local people have become so fearful due to corporate media propaganda.  In the end she says they've concluded that they must be on the street more often.  Yes, it must be considered that as the corporate crackdown widens on us that even the Internet could be shut down and our primary communication vehicle would be gone overnight.  Think about that one.  How many groups still have a street address mailing list for their members?  Probably not many. 

  • Here is Kerstin Tuomala from Finland:

We used to celebrate October 24th as the UN Day of Disarmament. So this year we will combine this with the Keep Space for Peace Week and it is possible that we focus on the tensions and how to reach detente in our near environment – the Arctics and round the Baltic sea.

In our group the history and the situation on the Korea Peninsula was quite unknown, so we will study it during the year. We have decided to study half an hour in the beginning of each meeting. We studied for instance the massacre in Odessa and the situation of friends and relatives to the victims of the massacre in April, and on May 2nd we had a manifestation were we joined the Solidarity Campaigne, signed the petition and sent it to the president of Ukraina. In this world were disinformation is called truth, we must study all the time. Global Network's material is a good support for this purpose.

Right now our group has decided to support the Swedish peace activists as they resist the Aurora NATO military exercises. The No to NATO Movement collect names on a petition against the NATO installations in Sweden. So we went to the border town of Haparanda and presented the petition for people in the street. It is a job that has to be done as many of the persons we met were afraid of Putin and welcomed NATO. Some hesitated but were easily convinced, when we discussed with them. Of course other persons too, whom the daily mainstream media’s propaganda had not influenced, [signed] as they follow more seriously what is going on in the world. 

Our conclusion was that we must be more on the street, collect names and discuss – also in Finland. All my regards to You all!

  • Another friend, Andre Brochu, who lives in Sweden also wrote today about the NATO war games there.  Andre grew up in Massachusetts (with family in Maine) and resisted the Vietnam War draft by going to Sweden.  He organized the speaking tour by Dave Webb and I last year when we visited several cities in Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.
 Last Saturday we had the Stop Aurora War Exercises demonstration in Gothenburg.  An estimated 3,500 participated. A good showing and another time, not today, I shall write you my analysis of how it was organized.  We are at a juncture when the peace movement should be broadening.  

  • The banner above was delivered to our house a few nights ago by Natasha Mayers, one of the leaders of the group Artist Rapid Response Team (ARRT) that meets monthly to make banners for various protest movements across Maine.  They made this one for our up-coming Maine Peace Walk.  Getting artists involved is an important way to widen our circles.  Many in the public don't read much about politics so banners like these can go a long way in reaching out to folks.

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