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, June 11, 2018

Preparing for the GN conference in Oxford....


During the past few weeks I've been preparing for our Global Network annual conference that this year (our 26th) will be held in Oxford, England on June 22-24.  There are always a million small details that need to be checked off my list.  Thankfully our hosts the Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, GN board member Lindis Percy, and our organization's board convener Dave Webb (who also serves as the chair of the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) are doing most of the heavy lifting.

Mary Beth, GN board member Will Griffin and I will arrive in London on June 16.  We'll take a train north to Yorkshire where Dave will take us to his home in Leeds.  Then over the ensuing days he's arranged four talks for us including one in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Then on June 22 we'll head back south to Oxford for the conference.  You can see the event program here

Most of our board members have been with the organization a long time.  In various countries around the world the Pentagon has established downlink receiving stations and radars that work with military satellites which guide and direct all of their war making operations.  The pirates of old have graduated to space technology and are sitting on the buried taxpayers treasure chest that will pay for all this expensive Star Wars in the making.

Groups from England, Sweden, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Diego Garcia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and throughout the US have long been engaged in educating the public about the role a particular Pentagon (US Space Command) high-tech facility in their community plays in the overall design for 'Full Spectrum Dominance'.

It's a bit of a specialized field but in a way its clear as a bell and easy to understand.  The aerospace industry sees space as a lucrative new market.  Have the taxpayers cover the many years of research, development, and testing costs and then once 'ready to use' the process is privatized.  So now that the industry sees it can make huge profits by militarizing and colonizing space they are ready to 'take the risks'.  In the end the taxpayers get Tang, Velcro, tin foil and a big slice out of their weekly pay check to pay for it.  And the industry is coming for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare next.

The spirit of our folks that will meet in Oxford is exciting to experience.  They all have a steady eye on the Star Wars project - they see the dangers and the costs - but they are realistic about our immediate chance to impact Washington decision making.  The GN's basic strategy from the start has been to help translate this space issue to the public in a meaningful way.  We need an expanded consciousness and bigger constituency around the space issue before we can make much headway in the colonial capitals. 


  • J. Narayana Rao from India is one of our best leaders.  He works hard at spreading the space issue message all over his country and to Nepal, Mauritius, France, Japan, and Vietnam among others.  All these nations are sending representatives to Oxford except Nepal.  There in Kathmandu our newest affiliate has been denied two years in a row the right to attend a GN annual conference.  Last year when we met in Huntsville, Alabama (Redstone Arsenal) our friends in Nepal were denied entry Visas by the US and this year England is doing the same.  Nepal has gone commie and must be isolated.

J. Narayana Rao from Nagpur, India (holding banner on the left) is a key leader in the Global Network

  • Sung-Hee Choi from South Korea is part of the international team in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea.  She brought the issue of Jeju to the GN long ago and helped lead us into greater understanding and action around the Asia-Pacific region.  She will be in Oxford as well.
  • Lindis Percy from North Yorkshire is a dedicated resister of American military bases in England. She's been arrested many times at the US NSA spy base and downlink station called Menwith Hill and at other American bases across her colonized country. She often holds American flags with anti-base messages painted on them.  Lindis came out of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp days in the early 1980's when the UK women came on fire in opposition to US nuclear weapons deployments at an Army base.  The women set up full-time occupation and eventually due to persistent protests all across Europe the US had to pull their nukes out of England, Italy and Germany. 

Lynda Williams on the left and Lindis Percy on the right.

  • Retired economics professor Atsushi Fujioka from Kyoto, Japan is a long-time board member.  He is very active with protests opposing the recent deployment of a Pentagon 'missile defense' radar in his prefecture.  The radar is aimed at China and Russia and would guide a US launch of a 'missile defense shield' to its target after a Pentagon first-strike attack.
  • Dave Webb takes care of the GN's web site and runs our meetings with patience and gentleness.  He makes excellent presentations with images to illustrate how the entire US-NATO space warfare technology system all fits together - with Washington at the tip of the spear. 
  • Agneta Norberg in Stockholm, Sweden is a tireless worker educating the world about how the Scandinavian region is being taken over by US-NATO military operations and new bases.  The bases and the constant military exercises aimed at Russia have become a US-NATO staging platform for war.  Agneta gets arrested and talks to people everywhere she goes.  She is a leader with fierce determination.  See a recent documentary about her life here
  • Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Will Griffin will do some filming during the conference and make short videos afterwards sharing the spirit and story of the event.

I am lucky to work with such fine and dedicated people.  As always it will be good to see them all again.

We hope each of you will find some way to help take the money away from the aerospace industry.  Growing global poverty and the coming reality of climate change require that we dump the Star Wars plans in the dust bin of history.

Bruce



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