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.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Warning: Don't follow America over the cliff.....


Last night Dave Webb took us to a Unitarian Church in downtown Leeds to conduct a taped interview that will be used at an upcoming conference that is being planned.  He wanted to get my thinking about weapons in space recorded for that event.  After interviewing me he put Will Griffin on the hot seat and had him talk about his experiences in the Army during the Iraq and Afghanistan war and also his reflections on why he got involved with the Global Network.

An invitation was extended to the community to come and listen to these interviews and a few people did show up.  One who came was Colin Archer, the recently retired Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau who has moved to Leeds after many years of leading that group from Switzerland.

After it was all over seven of us went 'round to a local pub for a pint' and some fun and stimulating discussions.  We resolved that we have to stay determined and keep our public non-violent resistance alive during times like these where fascism stares us in the face.

This morning we are packing up and preparing for the train ride to Oxford for this weekend's Global Network annual meeting.  Dave got an early call from four people from India who just got their entry Visa approved into England for the conference so we are in a bit of scramble mode to get housing lined up for them.  When you organize conferences there are always some last minute cancellations and last minute unexpected walk-ups.  No matter how well you plan there are usually these kind of late challenges.  Comes with the territory.  (A suggestion to the public:  register in advance for events like this and make life easier for the organizers.)

Our time here in Leeds, staying at the home of Dave and Leslie, has really been special.  Dave has arranged for a nightly talk each day we've been here (two different venues in Leeds, Otley, and Edinburgh).  But we've also had some lovely long walks and seen some really beautiful Yorkshire countryside and of course the trip to Scotland was very special.  And much to my liking the food part has been great - got my fish & chips with mushy peas yesterday.



We've witnessed the planning for a UK wide mobilization when Trump visits Prime Minister Theresa May here in the next month.  People of course are all talking about 'the Donald' and want to hear our take on him.  I keep saying that the only good thing about Trump is that he is escalating the decline and fall of the USA's military and economic empire as the world becomes clear that it is not wise to follow America over the cliff.  But the ultimate question is - as America collapses how hard will it fall?

The Global Network is really lucky to have Dave Webb's leadership as our board convener.  In addition he runs our web site and puts alot of effort into it.  He's a gentle soul and a loyal person who cares deeply about protecting space from the next arms race that the aerospace industry is determined to create.

In the last few days there have been several major articles published about Trump's 'space force' proposal. All of them kindly acknowledged the Global Network.  You can find them here, here, here, and here.

#nospaceforce

Bruce

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