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, June 14, 2018

Why we will protest at Croughton AFB in England

Peaceniks jumping the fence at the expanding US/NATO military space communications and control base at Croughton.  As part of the Global Network conference in Oxford we will take a side trip to the base for a protest on Sunday, June 24.


We accepted the invitation to hold our 26th annual Global Network space organizing conference in Oxford, England (June 22-24) due to the growing importance of the base at 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 £200 million 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.

Over the years I've been to Croughton twice and have seen the dramatic expansion of the base with my own eyes.  The first time I went there I was asked to plant two trees along with the Lord Mayor of Oxford.  A placque was placed there and the last time I visited the base we got a photo of it.



The non-violent resistance to US space technology war bases around the world is often unseen and under-reported.  Most of the groups work in relative obscurity as they try to educate their local communities about the mission of these offensive installations.

The role of the Global Network is to draw people together, share information with one another, and help shine a light on what has otherwise been dark for far too long.  Each year we hold our annual meeting in a different country and bring many of our members to meet the dedicated local activists who keep working year in and year out.

I am proud that the collective leadership of the GN has stayed on the case for 26 years.  We don't have much money but we are determined and have that special ingredient called stick-to-it-iv-ness that is necessary for any long-term struggle.

Bruce

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