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.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

U.S. 'Ready to Fight' - South Koreans Want U.S. to Go Home



Tensions are heating up on the Korean peninsula, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump exchanging heated threats.

AJ+'s Dena Takruri visits a U.S. military unit in South Korea whose motto is “Ready to Fight Tonight.” And she travels to a village where the U.S. military’s most advanced missile defense system, THAAD, has been installed in a remote village despite protests by local people.

One old woman in the melon farming village where THAAD has been deployed says: "Fucking pack up your fucking THAAD and get the fuck out of here!"

That pretty much says it all......

Friday, September 15, 2017

Space Week Actions List Forming



October 7-14, 2017
 

Keep Space for Peace Week

International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space


No Missile Defense
Close U.S. Bases Worldwide
No to NATO
Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing
End Privatization of Foreign/Military Policy
Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Deal with climate change and global poverty


List in formation

  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 7) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

  • Bath-Brunswick, Maine (Oct 13-21) 6th Maine Peace Walk will focus on conversion of Bath Iron Works with twice daily vigils at the shipyard and door-to-door leafleting. Sponsored by many groups in Maine and Massachusetts.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Bath, Maine (Oct 21) Finale event of Maine Peace Walk with music/speakers/food at Waterfront Park in downtown Bath from noon til 2:00 pm.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Belfast, Maine (Oct 7) Put up space week posters and hold ‘Stop Militarization of Space’ signs on Resistance Corner. Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County   dscampc321@gmail.com

  • Brunswick, Maine (Oct 12) Showing of new film Village versus Empire by South African filmmaker about new Navy base on Jeju Island that is porting US warships viewed through the eyes of Shaman artist Dohee Lee.  Sponsored by PeaceWorks at the Frontier Café & Cinema.  7:30 pm Tickets $8.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Brunswick, Maine (Oct 17) Maine Peace Walk will walk to nearby Brunswick and hold pot luck supper and evening program on impact of Bath Iron Works on the local environment, economy, ports-of-call overseas and the need for conversion of the shipyard to build appropriate sustainable systems.  Hosted by Unitarian Church, supper at 6:00 pm.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 9) Vigil at Peterson AFB at 3:30 pm.  A copy of the recent UN treaty banning nuclear weapons will be presented to base personnel. Peterson AFB is home to Air Force Space Command.    Bill.sulzman@gmail.com

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 10) Vigil at Schriever AFB at 3:30 pm.  Again a copy of the UN treaty will be presented to base personnel.  Schriever is home of the 50th Space Wing of the Air Force Space Command provides command and control for over 170 warning, navigational, and communications satellites. Also housed at Schriever AFB are the Missile Defense Integration & Operations Center and the Air Force Warfare Center. Schriever AFB is the main control point for the Global Positioning System (GPS).   Bill.sulzman@gmail.com


  • USAF Croughton, England (Oct 7) March & Rally at U.S. satellite communication and intelligence base. Space communications, drones, bomber guidance, missile defence and command & control functions.  (Also will be the site of Global Network’s 26th annual meeting in 2018) 12-4 pm. Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

  • Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona (Oct 10) Vigil at Craycroft Road entrance (at Golf Links Road) from 7:00 – 8:00 am.  Remotely piloting UAV's from the base that are firing guided bombs and missiles and killing more civilians than targeted "terrorists" in Afghanistan, Iraq Syria, Pakistan and possibly more sovereign nations.  A-10 warplanes that train at the base are responsible for the vast majority of radioactive Depleted Uranium ammunition - estimated at well over 400 tons - used in Iraq since 1991.  More info: 520-323-869

  • Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct 7-14)  Picketing, educating, expressing solidarity with the people of Seongju and Gimcheon against THAAD,  in front of the Jeju navy base, sponsored by the Anti-naval base committee, Gangjeong Village armha2013@gmail.com

  • Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct 14) Discussion on the "Keep Space for Peace week and military industry’, as a part of an event on the issue of Military Industry organized by People Making the Jeju, Peace Island to Be Demilitarized.   (armha2013@gmail.com)

  • Gimcheon, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Nightly candlelight vigil against US deployment of THAAD missile defense system near their community (Gimcheon train station). The Gimcheon nightly candle vigil hit its one year anniversary on Aug. 20, 2017

  • King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (Oct 7) Noon, Keep Space 4 Peace meet-up at Lockheed Martin, 230 Mall Boulevard (Mall & Goddard Boulevards). L-M builds the remote-controlled drones, the satellites that direct the drones, and the Hellfire missiles fired from drones.  www.brandywinepeace.com

  • Kyoto, Japan (Oct 7) Dismantle U.S. X-band missile defense radar base and remove out of  Kyoto.  A gathering for the solidarity with people of Okinawa and Korean's anti-THAAD movement, 13:00-15:00, Citizen's Action Centre  Higashiyama Ward, and 15:30-17:00 Demonstration march to Koto City Hall. Contact: 090-15909469 (Mr. Yamamoto)

  • Menwith Hill, England (Oct 10) Demonstration at U.S. NSA/NRO Spy Base in Yorkshire.  6-7:30 pm.   Sponsored by Yorkshire CND and the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign outside the main gate.    info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk 

  • Nagpur, India (Oct 7) Space week Awareness programme at the M. S. Institute of Social Work, Ms. Suparna Deshpande will organise.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

  • Nagpur, India (Oct 8) Space week Protest demonstration organised by the Railway Pensioners Organisation and members of the Global Network.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

  • New York, New York (Oct 7) An 11:30 am vigil at Washington Square Park followed at noontime with a solemn procession along University Place to Union Square.  There we will join the already-in-progress Yemen vigil on the steps at 14th Street. The message will cover the 16th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, the threats to North Korea, weapons in space and all current U.S. wars and so-called "missions." WRL has set up a FB event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/870146323141701/ 

  • Seongju, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Nightly candlelight vigil against US deployment of THAAD missile defense system near their community (a parking lot across from the Seongju County Office)  The Seongju nightly candle vigil hit its one year anniversary as of July 13, 2017.

  • Soseong-ri, Seongju, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Soseong-ri in Seongju is located just next to Gimcheon. It is a small village lived by around 160 people - mostly elderly women and men farming melons. The residents and their supporters have been protesting day and night since the former Lotte Skyhill Country Club site in Soseong-ri was discussed as the planned THAAD deployment site in August, last year. A radar and two launchers of THAAD system were forcefully deployed in the former LCC on April 26, this year. Still they are continuing their struggle to stop more deployment of four launchers.  Beside their 24 hour vigil, they hold a regular rally every Wednesday in front of Soseong-ri village hall which started on Nov. 30. 2016. 

  • Weld County, Colorado (Oct 7) Vigil at Nuclear missile silo N-8 in Weld County at 1 pm, the site of historic plowshares action 15 years ago by Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert. Bill.sulzman@gmail.com

  • Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 4) Keep Space for Peace vigil at space warfare base at the Main Gate from 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm.  For information contact Dennis Apel at 805-343-6322.

  • Visakhapatnam, India (Oct 9) Workshop on 'Peace Communication' at Dept of Journalism & Mass Communication of Andhra University as part of Global Network's Peace week. Organizing Team: Dr. Challa Ramakrishna, HOD, Journalism Dept and Mr. Krishnaveer Abhishek Challa, Soft Skills Trainer of AU.  com2mass@gmail.com


Keep Space for Peace Week co-sponsored by: Anti-naval base Committee of Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, South Korea; US Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom; Global Action Against Military Bases; NoDalMolin (Italy);

Resources:


· Space videos for viewing and sharing available at:  http://www.space4peace.org/videos.htm

·  Latest Global Network Space Alert newsletter at:  http://www.space4peace.org/newsletter/Space%20Alert%2035.pdf

·  John Pilger’s new film The Coming War on China For screenings, contact Bullfrog Films john@bullfrogfilms.com        http://thecomingwaronchina.bullfrogcommunities.com/ 
· Village versus Empire film about Jeju Island through the eyes of shaman artist by South African filmmaker Mark Kaplan.  Order DVD by contacting mark@greymattermedia.co.za          
·  Global Action Against Military Bases  https://www.itstimetoresist.org/call/?lang=en

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Interview on Radio Sputnik



'Trump's decision to use nuclear weapons destabilizes the global system' - Bruce Gagnon
 
I was interviewed yesterday on radio stations in Sarasota, Florida and Sputnik International from Moscow.

On the Sarasota interview we reviewed many of the issues reported on this blog.  The radio host reads the blog and enjoys getting my take on things.  

The Sputnik interview was about the Trump administration currently considering building more battlefield nuclear weapons.  There is growing moss inside the brains of those in Washington - their cloudy minds are trying to make the case that 'limited nuclear war' is possible.  They want to make the idea acceptable - at least among the American people.  The rest of the world be damned!

The US empire is crashing and burning and increasingly dangerous.  In the interview I describe the US like an alcoholic - thrashing about in a weaponized rage.  This is how the imperial project has always acted - against the Native Americans, anti-slavery movement, military expansion into Asia-Pacific, war in Vietnam, Iraq and much more.

The US only knows one way - we take what we want so get outta the way.  It's a very childish and bad attitude and is now putting the Earth on death notice.

The time has come for the adults to retire both political war parties in Washington and bring sanity to our nation.  We need a 12-step program for Washington.  It would go something like this - "Hello, my name is America and I am addicted to war and violence.  Help me please...."

You can listen to the Sputnik interview here

Bruce 

U.S. Sent Weapons to Syria through Ramstein


Deutsche Welle (DW) reports:

The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin's permission, according to a report from German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published on Wednesday.

The US military may have violated German law with the alleged weapons transfers as the German government has not approved any weapons transports of this type since the conflict in Syria began in 2011.

The report was published after months of collaborative research among the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

The data was gathered from internal emails from the US military, interviews with whistleblowers, official reports and databanks from the US as well as the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

Weapons flown from Ramstein to Turkey

According to the Süddeutsche report, private service providers with the US military have been purchasing weapons and ammunition in eastern Europe since 2013.

The Russian-designed weapons, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, were sent from factories in Serbia, Bosnia, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic and found their way to US command centers in Turkey and Jordan.

The weapons then made their way into the region either through ports in Romania and Bulgaria — or through the US military air base in Germany, the report said.

 
The purchases were part of a US Department of Defense program to arm Syrian rebels in northern Syria to fight against the so-called "Islamic State" in Raqqa.

See the rest of the story here

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Republican Senator Opposes Endless War



Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on America's unlimited, unconstitutional wars.  A rare voice on this issue from either political party.

Paul's proposal was offered as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, but senators voted 61-36 to table the legislation, a move that effectively kills it without an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

In the end, only Paul and two other Republicans, Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Mike Lee of Utah, voted against killing the legislation. Meanwhile, 13 Democrats joined with the majority of Senate Republicans to oppose it.

Most senators were against Paul's amendment because it would have caused the war authorizations to expire within six months and compelled Congress to take new votes on ongoing military operations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere. 

The war mongers don't want to risk allowing the American people to hear such an ongoing debate about the cost of wars - both financially and morally.

USA #1.....Oh, Not so Good

A map showing the fiscal year 2017 total U.S. weapon sales by region.


Defense News reports:

The State Department has set a new one-year record for clearing weapon sales, with $75.9 billion cleared by the department and announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in fiscal year 2017.

That total covers all announced cleared weapons packages from October 1, 2016, through September 12, 2017, leaving two more weeks for that number to increase before the end of the fiscal year.

The previous record for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, sales announcements was $68.6 billion, set in fiscal year 2012 following the approval of a series of massive weapons packages for Saudi Arabia. In comparison, in fiscal year 2016, DSCA cleared $33.6 billion in potential weapon sales.

A State Department official declined to address setting the record directly, instead noting that “strengthening the defense capabilities of U.S. allies and their ability to partner with our forces is a smarter approach to protecting the United States, is a force multiplier for the U.S. warfighter, and ultimately, benefits U.S. industry by driving new innovation and creating high-quality American jobs.”

As in 2012, the vast majority of dollars approved came from a few huge notifications. The sale of F-15s to Qatar ($21.1 billion), F/A-18E/F fighters to Kuwait ($10.1 billion), the Canada F/A-18 agreement ($5.2 billion) Patriot PAC-3 weapons to Romania ($3.9 billion), CH-47 Chinooks to Saudi Arabia ($3.51 billion) and Apache AH-64E for the UAE ($3.5 billion) all helped push the total to record highs.

My question:  When weapons are America's #1 industrial export product, what is the global marketing strategy for that product line?

Africa's Resources Result in Heavy Militarization



China is deploying its troops to their first overseas base in Djibouti, a small east African country already hosts troops from several foreign powers. RT’s Emily Sue has more on the troop deployment and what it means for China.

Ultimately it is a signal that China is challenging the U.S.'s 'full spectrum dominance' in the region.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Israel Wants to Dominate Iran

After years of being unable to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians, Israel wants to have a say in the resolution of another conflict - this time in Syria. Its objective is clear - to minimize the regional influence of Iran but isn't it a bit late in the game?

Oksana is joined by Tzipi Livni, a prominent Israeli politician and former Foreign Minister of Israel to discuss these issues. Tzipi Livni is also the leader of the Hatnuah Party and Co-Chairperson of the Zionist Camp.

My Worst Fears


My Worst Fears

We are in big
trouble
super-sized storms
exploding nukes
crazy Washington
contemptible NATO

bad water
computers, robotics,
automation
jobs lost
to the
integrated circuits

Worried about
future generations
and our
non-human relations
on this
fragile planet

Grew up
hiding under
school desk

Cuban missile crisis
never went away
comes back like a
bad dream

Grew up
ducking from
flying combat boots
and smacks on head
and ass
head thrown
against closet door

Grew up
doubting
myself
the voice was so harsh
("If you had a brain you'd be dangerous.  You're a dumb ass.  Dig your head outta your ass!")

What weight
was he caring around
that was taken out
on me?

Grew up
trying to prove
myself
to others
and to me

Grew up
worried about abandonment
from father
mother
step-father
relatives
friends

Grew up
lucky,
if luck
truly exists,
found a life raft
a way
to live
care
and share
the values
that deep down
were not beaten
out of me
in spite of
my worst fears

Bruce

* Art work by Will Park from Central Florida and poem inspired by recent house guest from New York City poet Dan Icolari who challenged me to write it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Real 9-11 Truth.....



And endless war ever since......who benefits?

Who controls the media narrative?

Who scripted the whole 9-11 charade?

Who keeps the cover up in tact?

Why do the people go along with the fantasy?

Bruce 

The Vietnam Debacle



Highly recommend this excellent review of a now almost forgotten period in US history.....

Sunday, September 10, 2017

U.S. & NATO Using North Korea as Foil



U.S. Army brings THAAD 'missile defense' systems into Seongju, South Korea after the local melon farming community blocked the road for more than 12 hours but were eventually pushed back by over 8,000 police.

The people feel totally betrayed by their new 'liberal' President Moon who before the election had promised to delay any deployments. But Washington controls the government in Seoul and got what they demanded. In spite of that the people fight on.....

North Korea is a foil that allows the US to justify the Pentagon's massive expansion in the Asia-Pacific.  The US is now talking about returning its own nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula which makes China and Russia very worried.  Brussels is also using fear of North Korea being a ‘global problem’ to pivot the ‘Atlantic alliance’ into the Asia-Pacific - using North Korea as an excuse to expand NATO into the global war machine that they’ve been developing since the end of the Cold War.

The Global Network's annual Keep Space for Peace Week this October 7-14 is calling for local solidarity protests around the world with the South Korean people who are opposing these THAAD deployments.

Please hold some type of local activity (public protest in your town, at a military base or weapons production facility, at a government building, at a Congressional office).  Download our poster and share it widely during the coming days - find it here

Bruce
 

No War 2017: War & The Environment Conference in DC



Infomercial about my presentation at the upcoming No War 2017: War & The Environment conference in Washington DC on September 22-24 at American University.

You can see more details about the conference here

Video kindly produced by Regis Tremblay from Maine.

Sunday Song