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....

My Photo
Name:
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, October 05, 2017

'Life is a Treasure'

Ed McCarten (Brunswick, Maine) during one of the wintry weekly vigils at BIW

My heart has been hurting all week for the people of our nation.  This country has become so warlike and dysfunctional that the cancer sores are bursting loose.  It's hard to watch.  It makes many of us feel weak and consider giving up.

A friend from Staten Island wrote me recently and asked, "How do we sustain and enhance our highest values at a time when lies, violence and cruelty seem to underlie most short and long-term policy decisions that impact our lives."

This is the question of our times.

We know who the monster is and what it wants.  Mr. Big wishes to devour our Mother Earth and take down those who dare stand in his way.  There are many theories about 'who and why' - but there is no real debate about the what.... We are in trouble as the greedy international oligarchies are rolling their dice and going for broke.  They are the ones with the sign in their back car window that reads:  Control the world or Bust!

The corporate types don't give a damn about any one particular country anymore.  They have no loyalty to any of us - when we hear Washington say they are "protecting our interests overseas" they are not talking about Mr. & Mrs. Average.  They are talking about Wall Street - and the deep state.  Little Johnnie, who innocently just signed up in the Army to go fight terrorism, actually joined up as a mercenarie for corporate interests - likely fossil fuel and weapons companies.

One way we can overcome the feelings of defeat and fear in the midst of this American militarized culture is to allow our hearts to grow and reach out to others who have long lived under the US military boot.  By being in solidarity with others we learn from them. The Native Americans know about living on the reservation - under lock down - culturally and physically.  People in places like Okinawa have a long history of resisting US militarism and lessons to share.  When we work together we create the unstoppable global momentum to remove the boot from our necks.

In December I will join a Veterans For Peace delegation to Okinawa to stand with the people who are resisting US military base expansion on their island home.  One joining the delegation is a Japanese-American woman named Miho.  She writes today:

While I [previously] joined in a sit-in with Okinawans and their supporters in Takae [forest area where US is building helipads for V-22 Osprey aircraft ignoring the will of the local people], I had an awaking moment of empowerment and commitment to the peace movement in Okinawa for the rest of my life.

Right before the riot police removed us, I heard through a megaphone, "This is the police department. It has been two minutes since you occupied the gate. Please move immediately." One man replied, "Two minutes? What are you talking about? They have been occupying our land for 71 years! These years, we've endured. Only two minutes? Don't be a fool!"

His words reminded me of how long they have resisted this injustice, and Okinawans’ commitment to continue fighting. A man who was sitting in front of me was wearing a blue shirt that stated: How to win.... Never give up until you win. This is the Okinawan spirit of Nuchi kajiri, an Okinawan word for "as long as we live." As long as I live, I will demand justice and peace, and stand in solidarity with Okinawans.
There is an Okinawan phrase that "life is a treasure." As we reconnect with the good spirit in others we find our way through the darkness toward the light.  

Bruce

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home