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, January 11, 2018

Close U.S. Overseas Military Bases

At a newly refurbished base to house US Marines in Darwin, Australia a few years ago

Mary Beth and I are on the train from Boston to Baltimore to attend this weekend's national Conference on US Foreign Bases.  I was on the planning committee for the event and will be chairing one of the plenary panels entitled Asia-Pacific/Pivot to Asia on Saturday afternoon.  The full conference schedule is available here

The conference sold out about a week ago but an overflow room has been secured where folks can watch the proceedings at a cheaper rate.  The entire conference will also be live streamed so you can watch from home by using this link.

This will be an important event for the national and international peace movement.  We've been needing to build greater unity for years between various groups across the US and around the world.  We've also needed badly to connect the dots about US military intervention and occupation showing how the more than 800 Pentagon bases around the world are used as the global fist of corporate capitalism.  Mr. Big wants to run the world - wants to control all the resources around the globe - and US bases are the primary instrument to implement that strategy.

In my organizing I've long tried to highlight these deadly connections.  I've worked to connect the dots between my home town (Bath, Maine) and the warships built there and how they impact places they are sent such as the new Navy base on Jeju Island, South Korea.  When we do civil non-violent resistance at destroyer 'christenings' at Bath Iron Works (BIW) we are trying to get the local citizenry and the Navy crews to also begin to see these connections.

In a related note we finished our Aegis 9 jury selection last Tuesday and go to trial on February 1-2 at the Sagadahoc County Courthouse (corner of High & Centre Street) in Bath at 9:00 am.  The public is welcome to attend any part of the trial.  Three of the nine arrested at BIW on April 1, 2017 are repeat offenders and the prosecutor is asking for jail time for us (Jason Rawn, Russell Wray and myself).

The Pentagon is chewing up the national treasury of the US making it virtually impossible to have money for any social programs across the land.  Until we deal with the voracious appetite of the military industrial complex I am afraid that our very severe domestic collapse will only accelerate.  Thus closing overseas US bases and converting military production factories at home to sustainable production is a must.



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