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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Talking space in Scotland



Last night Global Network board convener Dave Webb (also serves as chair of the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) took Will Griffin, Mary Beth Sullivan, and me to Edinburgh, Scotland to speak to members of Scottish CND.

We spent a few hours walking around the beautiful city - admiring the architecture and visiting a fascinating museum called 'The People's Story'.


More than 25 people crammed into a tiny CND office space and we had a wonderful 90 minute discussion before we had to return to the rail station to take the train back to Leeds - arriving at 1:00 am.


During his opening remarks Will Griffin said, "I've never heard of a good empire."  A woman sitting in the front row responded to him, "Neither has Scotland."

At the end of the meeting one woman, with a very strong Scottish accent, stood up and said, "We know that Trump didn't get his nastiness from his Scottish mother, so he must have got it from his father."  The crowd roared.

Tonight we speak in Otley (next to Leeds up here in Yorkshire) to a group called the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign that organizes around the U.S. NSA spy base called Menwith Hill also located in North Yorkshire.

On Friday we jump back on the train and head south to Oxford where the Global Network annual meeting will be held over the weekend.

RT reports today:

Washington’s plan to create a Space Force could lead to catastrophe, a Russian Senator has warned. Moscow’s ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US violates the outer space treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction into orbit. 

“Militarization of space is a way to disaster,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee told RIA news agency just day after the US President Donald Trump ordered the creation of a new branch of the US military that would be tasked with operating in what he called “forbidden skies.”

The senator warned that Washington could potentially violate international agreements regulating the demilitarization of space and thus put the international security in a grave danger. “There is a major risk that the Americans would commit grave violations in this field … if one takes into account what they do in other spheres,” Bondarev said.

“If the US withdraws from the 1967 agreement that bans deployment of nuclear weapons in space, [such a move] will be followed by a tough response not only from our state but from other states as well, which would be aimed at preserving international security,” he added.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which the US is a party, prohibits deployment of nuclear weapons as well as any other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the Earth’s orbit. It also bans states from testing any weapons in outer space, or establishing military bases on the Moon and other celestial bodies.
 #nospaceforce

Bruce

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