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, December 18, 2017

Arriving in Taiwan







Soon after arriving in Taipei, Taiwan today my son Julian and his wife Emily took me for a great Chinese lunch and then a long walk up a nearby mountain that overlooks the city.  Their dog Junior came along with us.  It was quite a climb up the cement steps to the top - quite steep.

Near the top was the famous Grand Hotel.  Julian and Emily were married in the other Grand Hotel in the city of Kaohsiung.  The rooms were the biggest I'd ever seen in any hotel - a really beautiful place.

Taipei has a metro-area population of 7.4 million people.  The immigration process to get into Taiwan took me 50 minutes to get through - longer than any other country in my memory from my travels over the years. 

It is really great to be there - my third time visiting with them - the last two times Mary Beth was with me - wish she was here this time as well.

I stay until Friday and then head home.

It's been a great trip - the time our Veterans For Peace delegation spent in Okinawa was a remarkable experience.  We had a number of younger veterans (men and women) with us this time and most of them had not been on an international peace delegation before.  So it was a very interesting process to see them mature throughout the 10-day visit.  I know they learned a whole lot and there were many very emotional and moving moments as they confronted their own issues from the military.

There can be no doubt that trips like these change the lives of American citizens when they see the reality of US militarism from the other side of the base barbed wire fences.  Activists come home seeing what the US military empire does to the local culture, environment and the people with new eyes and a stirring in their hearts like never before.

Bruce 

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