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.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Global Network 26th annual space conference at Croughton, UK

Croughton USAF base near Oxford, England being upgraded for surveillance, communication, command and control and the planning and execution of endless wars.

The push for global domination relies heavily on military satellites for surveillance, communication, command and control and the planning and execution of exercises and wars. However, military satellites require ground-based stations to send and receive information/commands - so a global military presence requires an extensive network of various bases and space centres.

The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space has campaigned to raise awareness of these issues, to help coordinate actions at related ground-based installations and to “Keep Space for Peace” for 25 years.

In 2018, we will be holding our annual Space Organizing Conference in Oxford, England.  This will also include a protest at the major US/NATO military space communications and control centre at nearby “RAF” Croughton.

Croughton is an American military and intelligence communications base on the border of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. It is a major hub in the US global electronic communications, control and surveillance network which serves the interests of the US military and intelligence services regardless of the location and the mission objectives.

It handles a huge portion of US military communications in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and is used to route vast amounts of data captured by Washington’s network of listening posts in diplomatic premises back to America for analysis by the CIA and the NSA. A secure fibre-optic link between Croughton and the US air base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti helps to co-ordinate drone strikes over Yemen.

The US is now spending over £200m to transform the base into one of its largest intelligence hubs outside the US to become a new centre for counter-terrorism operations in Africa.

The GN's 26th annual conference will be held from June 22-24, 2018 in Oxford with a side trip to Croughton for a protest.

You can find the full schedule and registration information here

Friday, December 29, 2017

Which war in 2018?

Advert for war propaganda video game

I was reading The Saker this morning - one of my daily stops along my milk route as I explore what others are thinking and doing.  Saker is a Russian emigre living in Florida.  He is an expert on US-Russian military issues and I have learned much from him- especially the Ukraine story.

While trying to grapple with an unstable coming new year, he wrote an article '2018 war or no war?'.  He is trying to get a handle on what US-NATO-Israel will do in their sick quest to knock down Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and many others.  Mr. Big wants it all - the question is how far will he go?  Some of the outcome depends on us.

Saker writes:

Now let’s sum this all up.
The chances are high that in 2018 the USA will:

  • Escalate the war in Afghanistan
  • Renege on the nuclear deal with Iran
  • Back an Ukronazi attack on Novorussia
It is quite possible that the USA will also

  • Shoot down a Russian aircraft over Syria
I find it unlikely that the USA will

  • Invade Syria
  • Invade Venezuela
I am unable to evaluate whether the USA will:

  • Disconnect Russia from SWIFT or seize Russian assets
  • Attack the DPRK

Also looking at 2018 the outlet Space News reports on the wrangling in Congress that continues over establishment of an independent service level Space Force.

Lawmakers fault the Air Force for not investing in important technologies that the military needs to ensure access to space. “We got behind, we became dependent on a Russian engine, we kept using a launch vehicle that is massively expensive, we didn’t take advantage of commercial opportunities,” Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said. “There is no question that we have been lagging.”

The responsibility for military space may be too much for the Air Force to handle on top of its other missions, Smith said. “The Air Force is in charge of a lot of things. They’re in charge of nuclear weapons. They’re in charge of air superiority. Being in charge of space is third on that list.”

They've all got their hands in this pie  - Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and more.  Space warfare preparation and 'defense' is the biggest industrial project in Earth history.  Big enemies are needed to sell this one to a worn out public. Thus Russia and China public whippings - and back to the old days of sweet azaleas on the plantation. They are pushing anything that increases the military space budget - they are the aerospace industry.  The makers of dreams and those taking the global war system into the heavens.

Looks like the confederacy is alive and well.  My vote - no thanks.  I'll go down swinging.  Every now and then you get a hit.  Got to run it out....


Thursday, December 28, 2017

The streets of L.A.

Downtown Los Angeles, Christmas Day 2017.

We have massive social neglect all across the US - but for some reason many accept that we should hand over more corporate welfare to the likes of General Dynamics weapons corporation.

Please help me understand this huge contradiction....


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

'We are determined'......

In an N.F.L. season marked by President Trump’s attacks on football players who have “taken a knee” during the national anthem, a collaboration with The New Yorker explores the legacy of dissent in sports.

Soul of America?

The return to a feudal society is fast on the way in the United States.

My acupuncturist (being provided by the VA) and I talked about this very thing today.  He has young children and is worried about the future.  Most people know the score but want to blame others (immigrants, people of color, etc) which reminds me that the oligarchy remains successful pitting us one against the other.

One thing that gripes me is how partisan much of the 'resistance' appears to be.  Currently here in Maine we've heard strong outrage from liberals against our Republican Sen. Susan Collins for supporting Trump's tax bill giveaway to the rich.  It's devastating and people ought to be angry.

But the interesting thing in my own community is that many of these same outraged grassroots Democrats are finding it hard to speak out publicly to their own local party leaders who are the ones that will introduce the $60 million corporate welfare giveaway to General Dynamics (GD) which owns the Bath Iron Works shipyard.

While they may privately grouse about the bill (to be introduced in the next legislative session in Augusta in January) few, if any, of the local Democratic party loyalists are willing to Collins-ize their leaders.  It's really very sad to watch.

I consider it hypocrisy and I can very well imagine stalwart Republicans calling out liberals for such behavior.  I'm afraid that I wouldn't disagree with the right-wingers on this one.

Do you oppose corporate welfare only when it is done in Washington by a Republican administration and Congress?  In our own hometown of Bath we witness a well-endowed weapons maker (5th largest in the world) be able to neutralize opposition by getting our local Democratic Party state representative and senator to be primary co-sponsors of the tax subsidy bill.  It freezes grassroots 'progressives' and local Republicans will mostly support the bill.  Great strategy.

This is a key reason that I've lost faith in political 'parties' anymore because eventually they get frozen by the contradictions of the sausage making process inside the so-called 'people's assemblies'.

I think you can only escape being a captive of any party by maintaining your independence of will and thought.  Without freedom of action then judgment, truth, and accountability suffer badly. You can't be a true citizen unless you are able to publicly challenge all the political leadership - no matter their party affiliation.

The American political experiment is over - we've been hijacked by the big corporate masters like GD.  They have undue influence (they are helping to write the tax subsidy bill being drafted by Rep. Jennifer DeChant from Bath) and unless stopped we will see even greater erosion of democracy and social stability.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for the Dems - it's time to fish or cut bait.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Coverage of VFP in Okinawa on RT

The US government claims that RT (Russia Today) is part of a Moscow plot to steal elections in this country.  It's all bullshit.

Elections in the US are routinely stolen by big corporate money, candidates who are corporate operatives, and if needed,  the hacking of voting machines and suppression of voter turnout.  This is the playbook that the oligarchies use to steal elections in America.  It helps to divert anger and attention away from themselves toward the Russians.

RT interviews critics of US domestic and foreign policy.  It's fair game - they are an international media outlet.  If people, like me, are willing to appear on RT then what is the big deal?  I'd like to go on CNN or FOX News but they are not going to invite me.  I'm glad RT exists.

The US has all kinds of media outlets operating in Russia - including Voice of America and dozens of others.  They have had free license to spread Washington's propaganda for years.  Lately, following Washington's crack down on RT, the Russian Duma (parliament) has demanded they take reciprocal actions against American media operating there.

Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are among ten American media outlets operating in Russia that are now considered "foreign agents" under a new directive from the Kremlin – a tit-for-tat response to a similar U.S. move.

"Our measures were entirely a mirror response to the suppression of Russian media in the United States," the head of the Federation Council's Commission on the Protection of State Sovereignty, Andrei Klimov, was quoted as saying.

"The list includes American propaganda companies that live on government money and broadcast in the Russian language," Klimov said, adding that CNN was not on the list because it was not "a propaganda company."

But why was the US so upset with RT from the start?  It's because RT breaks through the otherwise dominant news reporting of mainstream media which are under the control of the Deep State.  Mr. Big wants total control - half measures are not acceptable.  They want to control the world and Russia and China are the two primary obstacles.  Russia being able to project information to US viewers is seen as violating Mr. Big's 'Full Spectrum Dominance' rule.

I had an exchange with a friend today whose son is in the Army Special Forces.  He's lately been deployed to western Ukraine where the US has set up a training base for the Kiev puppet government's Army, propped up by the US and NATO since they put it in power in 2014.

My friend's son is itching for war - they want to take down North Korea.  They are ready to 'Fight tonight' as the new Army slogan goes.  Trump just gave the go ahead to send offensive weapons to the Kiev regime that can be used against the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine which have been continually attacked since 2014.  The US goal is to create a failed state on the Russian border - and potentially use Ukraine as a jump off point for 'shock and awe' on Russia.

It's all about the threat - put a loaded gun up to Russia and China's head and threaten global war if they don't surrender to Washington-Paris-Brussels-London-Bonn.  Russia and China are not going to surrender.

The US has lit so many regional fires around the world that the Pentagon can't keep them all under control.  US forces are worn out and over extended.  Many of the top military brass appear to believe that they could prevail in a nuclear war.  The introduction of 'missile defense' gives them the false hope they can survive a counter attack after a US first-strike on Russia and China.  The US Space Command annually war games that very thing.  They call it the Red Team verses the Blue Team.

The era of US world domination is over.  People are resisting the western corporate imperial project everywhere.  We all wish these peace movements were stronger like the one that exists in Okinawa today.  They are the role model for all of us - city mayors and a governor on their side - huge majorities of the people want US bases on the island closed.

So keep the alternative views coming our way RT.  We appreciate them very much! 


Snow in Maine on Christmas

The view from our back and front yard on Christmas day during the early part of the blizzard.

The shoveling and roof raking once the storm stopped took hours but MB and I enjoyed doing it and loved being outside.

There is always something very special about being outside during and after a storm.  The city grinds to a halt and a lovely and peaceful quiet takes over that is a rarity in this hectic world we live in.

I experienced similar moments of solitude during hurricanes in Florida - when nature takes over humans become secondary.


Pentagon Expanding 'Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre' in England

This video investigates not just USAF Croughton near Oxford, England ('RAF' assumes a level of control that does not, in reality, exist), but also the evolution of the idea of "network-centric warfare" as it has developed at this site.

USAF Croughton is about to undergo a large upgrade to extend its mission. The new 'Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre' (JIAC) will create an intelligence hub in Europe that will co-ordinate NATO (but predominately US) military and intelligence services across the new 'electronic battle space'.

That means not just continuing its existing involvement in various activities which violate international law and the Laws of War; it will intensify the capacity of the US to project its power using technology across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The video concludes with a brief snippet from the 'Keep Space for Peace' week demonstration and rally at Croughton in October 2017.

Paul Mobbs

* The Global Network will hold its 26th annual space organizing conference next year in Oxford which will include a side trip to Croughton for a protest.  The events will take place on June 22-24.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

By Thomas Kircher

They say
Prowled the London streets
At night while stalking Scrooge
And Christmas ghosts.
Like any good bounty hunter he knew
They could be tracked,
Captured at gunpoint,
Put on display,
Bent against
That long moral arc
That lived within
His beating heart.
If karma is a bitch
She’s howling at the moon tonight,
In this modern age,
With its silos of steel and glass,
Where bitcoins are stored
Against the beast
Now stirring at the gate.
Old Marley
Still rattles his chains,
Only now, like
The hooded man who stands
At the gallows,
Offering out advice,
Tells Scrooge
Not to take the bait
This time around.
Times have changed.
Tiny Tim is just
Collateral damage
In the cross-fire of the culture wars.
Now the ghosts of Christmas wait
For a drink with Scrooge
Down at the bar.  After all,
There are still
Deals to be done
Before the final call.

Thomas Kircher
Biddeford, Maine

Happy holidays to you

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Final Advent vigil at BIW

Jane Newton

Maureen and Joergen Kehoe Ostensen handing out flyers as workers exit the shipyard at noon

Mary Beth Sullivan offering an alternative vision

Standing in the slush

Seven of us yesterday at BIW during the finale Advent season vigil.  Just before we walked down to the shipyard it began raining ice and it was quite cold.  Usually we draw 15-20 people for these vigils but Saturday was different.

See more photos from Roger Leisner here

Sunday Song