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: Brunswick, 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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Global Network Russia Study Tour Declaration


 
May 9, 2019
 
As an international delegation to the Russian Federation of 25 individuals, we have visited Moscow, St. Petersburg, and three cities in Crimea (April 25-May 9).

We came to learn, to listen, and to build a bridge of friendship through citizen diplomacy.  We have had daily important meetings with Russian journalists, activists, academics, ordinary citizens, and gained first hand information and historical perspective. The Russian people met us with warmth, openness, and generosity.

We came because we are alarmed by the U.S. demonization of Russia and the NATO provocations which have created a world of increasing military confrontation, with the U.S. even threatening the first-use of nuclear weapons.

Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 US/NATO has encircled Russia with bases, so-called ‘missile defense’ systems, escalating “war games” right on its borders, and with warships increasing military operations in the Black Sea.

Numbers don’t lie.  Russia is a country of just 144 million people, with average income of $400 a month, or $13 a day. Their annual military budget is $60 billion and decreasing. The U.S. military budget is $800 billion and increasing. The U.S. has more than 800 bases encircling the world.

The Russian people love their country with a warmth and depth of love that is difficult for Americans to comprehend. It is a love born of centuries of history, culture and religious faith, and a love born of the suffering and sacrifice of the repeated defense of their Motherland.

On Victory Day, May 9 in St. Petersburg, we walked in solidarity with 1.2 million family members and survivors of the 1941 – 1945 defense of the former Soviet Union when Americans and Russians were friends and allies against the German fascist invasion and occupation. (It should be remembered that 28 million Soviet citizens lost their lives during the fight against the fascists.)

Our message is a call to end the demonization of Russia, remove US/NATO warships from the Black Sea, end the escalating war maneuvers on Russia’s borders, and build bridges of diplomacy and friendship.

Signed by:
  • Dave Webb, Convener, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Leeds, England
  • Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Brunswick, Maine
  • Subrata Ghoshroy, Board Member, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Will Griffin, Board Member, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and the Peace Report, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mary Beth Sullivan, Board Member, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Brunswick, Maine
  • Rev. Bill Bliss, The Neighborhood United Church of Christ, Bath, Maine
  • Lincoln Bliss, New York City
  • Raymond Bliss, Freeport, Maine
  • Cathleen R. Deppe, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Veterans for Peace, El Segundo, California
  • Shreedhar Gautam, Secretary General, Nepal Council for World Affairs, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Leslie Harris, Veterans for Peace, Flower Mound, Texas
  • John Harris, Veterans for Peace, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Cindy Heil, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Veterans for Peace, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Leonid Ilderkin, Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine, Moscow, Russia
  • Yosi McIntire Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, St. Augustine, Florida
  • Solidad Pagliuca, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Cuba Friendship Association, St. Augustine, Florida
  • John Schuchardt Veterans for Peace and House of Peace, Ipswich Massachusetts 
  • Carrie Schuchardt, House of Peace, Ipswich Massachusetts
  • Alexander J. Walker, Veterans for Peace, El Segundo, California
  • Bill Warrick III MD, Veterans For Peace and Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Gainesville, Florida
  • Sally Warrick, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Gainesville, Florida
  • Prabhu Ray Yadav, Treasurer, Nepal Council for World Affairs, Kathmandu, Nepal

3 Comments:

Blogger Ariel Ky said...

BRAVO! I appreciate your citizen diplomacy. I hope students will read your declaration for years to come, as an important effort in averting war between the U.S. and Russia.

5/21/19, 10:24 AM  
Blogger miapeace said...

Well said.. can I join your organisation? Russia is an amazing country ☮️

5/21/19, 3:11 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

We'd be happy to have you join the Global Network Mia. See membership info at http://www.space4peace.org/contact/mform.htm

Best wishes to you
Bruce

5/24/19, 8:01 AM  

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