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....

My Photo
Name:
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.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Who was Khashoggi?



The murder of Jamal Khashoggi should be denounced.

Professor As`ad Abu Khalil says western media's uncritical praise of Khashoggi is unworthy, he was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus and chose the wrong side of the House of Saud.

Sunday song




Politicians won't save us....



Politicians won't save us, only we can.

Video by Will Griffin
The Peace Report and board member of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Friday, October 19, 2018

Some perspective on Russia



On September 27, 2018, Yale's Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the Poynter Fellowship for Journalism, hosted Vladimir Pozner, the acclaimed Russian-American journalist and broadcaster.

Pozner spoke on the impact of US foreign policy towards Russia after the Soviet Union has been disbanded, and shared his opinions on a range of issues raised by the audience, from the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, to Skripal poisoning, to the state of independent media in Russia and the US. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I listened to this entire video last night. I've seen Pozner on American TV over many years.  I don't always agree with every one of his comments but in general I think he is correct that the US has made Putin into the 'bad guy' because the Russian leader dared to stand up to the west as he defended Russian national sovereignty. 

I also found Pozner's concluding answer to the Skripal 'poisoning' question to be quite interesting although he made a joke out of his own wondering if it wasn't the British intelligence agencies that had poisoned the former spy in order to give Putin a black eye.  I think Pozner was correct when he commented that Russia had nothing to gain (and everything to lose) by poisoning Skripal.  I've always believed it was a British-US cloak and dagger operation.  It is their modus operandi for sure.

Bruce

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Remembering my moments with Russian cosmonaut


Just across the road from the Cosmos Hotel is the Russian space museum - a five minute walk through an underground tunnel.  The metro station is right next to the museum.

It was instructive to see how they portrayed their national space flight history and I was impressed with the international character of the museum.  They had several displays of US and other international space missions - something I've not seen in US space museums which only showed American exploration of the heavens - all part of the US domination of space ethic.

Of particular interest to me was the section of the museum that featured the process of cosmonauts returning to Earth in tiny capsules via fiery reentry with a dramatic parachute landing in the far reaches of the nation.

The recent failed Soyuz mission of a Russian rocket to bring a cosmonaut and a US astronaut to the International Space Station (that cost over $100 billion to build) brought this to mind because the crew return capsule parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.  It's spectacular stuff.

NASA currently depends on Russian Soyuz launch systems to ferry crew members to the station. It's one of the few areas where Russia and the US still cooperate.

Another key reason for wanting to go to the museum was to look for a photograph of the cosmonaut Georgy Grechko who flew on several space flights including Soyuz 17, Soyuz 26, and Soyuz T-14. Grechko came to speak at a peace in space conference I organized in the early 1980's while working for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.

Grechko was the only Russian cosmonaut that I am aware of to ever come to such a conference in the US.  He made it known in advance that he wished to take a tour of the Kennedy Space Center while in the area so I called NASA and passed on the request.  They (much to my surprise) approved the visit and told me to bring him to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where the Space Shuttles were maintained in between voyages.

As it turns out we were running a bit late that day so I was speeding as I rushed onto the vast KSC property.  A KSC security car put on his flashing light and pulled my car over.  Grechko told me not to worry that he'd take care of the situation as the officer approached the car.  I rolled down the window and Grechko leaned over and told the cop, "I am Russian cosmonaut."  The cop, rather in an unfriendly way, said "I don't care who you are" and proceeded to write me a speeding ticket. Grechko was shocked.


We eventually got to the cavernous VAB and it was clear that they were expecting us.  As we entered the facility all around us workers stopped what they were doing to see the Russian cosmonaut enter.  It was quite thrilling to see Grechko strut into the middle of the place holding his head high as he represented his country - the enemy during that Cold War period coming into the heart of the competitors secret space program.

I'll always remember the moment with great pride.  One small step for peaceful international relations.

Bruce

Meeting with Russian filmmakers last night


РАДИУС ПОРАЖЕНИЯ from GOOD EMPIRE on Vimeo.

I met with the two men who made this film last night, Konstantin Semin and Nikolay Diakov, for dinner here in Moscow. After we ate they took me to a huge building that used to be the headquarters of the Pravda publishing operation during the former Soviet Union.  Now rooms in the building are rented out for various purposes.

In our case a film studio waited for us. As we entered the room four young men were preparing to film an interview with me.  The hour-long interview was done by Konstantin and Nikolay will work on the translation and editing.  You can see their YouTube channel here.

Three years ago Nikolay came to Bath, Maine and interviewed me and then also got two other Global Network members into their film about US 'missile defense' - Karl Grossman (New York) and Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck (Germany).

Besides making films together Nikolay and Konstantin are also in a rock band that does political music.  I will be eager to get some of their videos to use in my Sunday song.

It was a real pleasure to spend time with these two thoughtful and kind men and I look forward to working with them again in the future.

Bruce

Nazi march in Ukraine - Terrorism in Crimea



  • These are the forces that the US has been supporting since the 2014 US-sponsored coup in Kiev.  Days ago over 8,000 of them marched through the city. American dollars have trained and armed the Nazi death squad battalions to fight against their own fellow citizens in eastern Ukraine who live near the Russian border as a way to create chaos and to draw Moscow into the tar pit.

  • See an excellent article by Diana Johnstone that tells the story about how the coup came into motion here.

  • A US Air National Guard pilot was just killed in Ukraine flying a mission with a Ukrainian pilot in one of their fighters.  What is the US Air Force doing in Ukraine?  See the story here.

  • There are confusing reports about the attack at Kerch College in Crimea that killed 19 and wounded 50 more.  RT has video coverage that clearly reveal shots being fired - see more here.  An article from Fort Russ has more details here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

U.S. Terrorizing with drones



I'd like to thank the communities in the surrounding areas of Horsham Air Guard Base for standing up against drone warfare. Thank you for your time and dedication to PEACE!

Will Griffin
The Peace Report

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

On way to Moscow


I'm at the Portland, Maine airport preparing to fly to New York where I will catch an overnight flight to Moscow.  I am going on a 10-day trip to Russia to do advance work for a spring study tour that will take Global Network and Veterans For Peace members there.

I'll be staying for several nights in Moscow at the famous Cosmos Hotel ($50 per night) that has 2,000 rooms and was built for the 1967 Olympics.  A statue of Gen. Charles de Gaulle stands outside the hotel.  He was the President of France at the time the hotel was built.

I'll be meeting with several Russian journalists and activists while I am in Moscow to get their assistance in preparation for the 2019 study tour that will be composed of 30 people.  They will come from India, England, Sweden, Holland and the US.

Following my several days in Moscow I will go to Crimea to similarly make arrangements there for the study group's visit to that highly contested place.  The US claims that Russia stole Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 but the facts are clear that the primarily Russian speaking citizens of Crimea voted by at least 96% to request joining the Russian Federation after the US-NATO ran the coup d'etat in Kiev in early 2014.

I've never been to Russia before but have long hoped to make the trip.  Now it is happening.

I'll write more in the coming days.

Bruce

NO MUOS in Sicily!



Flash mob at USA consulate in Palermo, Sicily by No MUOS during Keep Space for Peace Week.

The M.U.O.S. (Mobile User Objective System) is a military telecommunication system of the U.S. Navy. A constellation of five satellites covers the whole world, whereas ground communication is granted by four stations, one of which il located in Niscemi, Sicily. Each ground station hosts three parabolic antennas, about 18.4 metres wide, and two elicoidal antennas about 149 metres high. The MUOS will be used to coordinate and command all USA military systems around the world, especially drones, the unmanned aircrafts that will be hosted in Sigonella, Sicily.


Sicilian citizens and No MUOS activists are worried about consequences of the installation of this system on: human health, the ecosystem of the Sughereta di Niscemi, the quality of agricultural production, right to mobility and to the development of territory, right to peace and security of our homeland and of its inhabitants.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Assorted space week pix: Australia, US, Sicily, & England

At the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon in Australia (Click on the photos for a better view)

At the White House in Washington during the weekly Catholic Worker protest

On the street in Montrose, California

Meeting with students at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.  There were more events across this city than anywhere else.

Excellent poster from our friends in Sicily.  Says it all.  Wake up America!

Protest sit-in at the gate of the U.S. Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) in Niscemi, Sicily. The M.U.O.S. (Mobile User Objective System) is a U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station. A constellation of five satellites covers the whole world, whereas ground communication is made possible by four stations, one of which is located in Niscemi. Sicilians are worried about consequences of the installation on: human health, the ecosystem, the quality of agricultural production, right to mobility and to the development of territory, right to peace and security of our homeland and of its inhabitants.  Protest was organized by No MUOS.

More of  No MUOS protest outside the US high-tech base in Sicily.

Vigil at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. Although there were no arrests, Lockheed Martin did close their main gate, and route people around to another gate. They closed the gate as activists approached with their banner.

Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale.

One of my favorite signs from the space week protests - this one at the US Croughton AFB in England.


Thanks to everyone who helped make Keep Space for Peace Week a successful effort again this year.

Corporate domination report: Water issue hits Florida



Dead dolphins. Massive fish kills. Sick people. This is the scene in Florida right now, and it has many residents wondering if any politicians are willing to fix it.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Blue Hill, Maine space week event on bridge

 




We had a lively vigil on the bridge on Friday at 4:30, which is “rush hour” in Blue Hill. About 15 people from the peninsula area, and a few from Hancock and even New Gloucester!, came with signs.

We were gratified, and a little surprised, at the number of honks and waves and thumbs-up. The message was well received.

Thanks to Global Network for maintaining this international presence annually.

Abrazos,

Judy Robbins
Sedgwick, Maine

Sunday song