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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Arrival in Lugansk

Civilian targets (like this apartment block) have continually been shelled in the Donbass region by the US-NATO backed puppet regime in Kiev. More than 10,000 have died since 2014 when these attacks on the residents of Donbass began.  Their crime?  They are ethnic Russians and those in traditionally right-wing western Ukraine like to kill Russians.

I spent last night in Rostov, Russia after a 24-hour train ride from Moscow to that city.  My guide Leonid has a friend whose father lives in Rostov so we stayed at his home. Vladimir cooked a great dinner for us and then entertained us on his accordion and sang many Cossack songs.  He is a short but well built man who is four years younger than me.  This morning at breakfast he challenged me to an arm wrestling contest and cleaned my clock twice.

Our host in the Donbass is a labor union leader by the name of Andrey and he picked Leonid and I up this morning about 10:30 am in Rostov and then we went to the airport to pick up a man who has come from Ireland to join our small delegation for the next five days.  We made the drive to the Russia-Lugansk border where it took me an hour to pass thru Russian immigration (they had lots of questions for me on a form that had to be filled out) and then similarly it took almost another hour to pass thru Lugansk immigration.  Because it is an active war zone they are very security conscious.

When we arrived in Lugansk at our hotel we were immediately taken to a dinner being sponsored by the Teachers Trade Union and many toasts were made as introductions were done.  The food was excellent and the spirit of the people quite soul full.  They are particularly grateful that people had come from so far away to stand in solidarity with them.

I don't know many of the details of our schedule yet but we leave the hotel early in the morning at 8:30 am for likely a full day of activities.  In a couple of days from now we have been invited to speak at conferences being held in Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics.

I'll do my best to keep the blog posts coming during this period but not sure how much time I will have.  I do know that there is a curfew from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am every day so I doubt we will be having many nights out on the town.

At this point it appears that the war is a stalemate.  The new Ukraine President Zelensky talks about peace but allows the shelling of civilians in the Donbass to continue.  Germany, Italy and France have been pressuring Kiev to back off the war and settle for peace with the Donbass.  The US has in the past not wanted that to happen and has pushed Ukraine to keep the war going.  It is not really clear what Trump's position is on the war - as most other issues he is hard to figure out.

Bruce 

1 Comments:

Blogger Ariel Ky said...

How thrilling to read your account of your visit to Donbass, Bruce. I look forward to reading about more of your great bridge-building between cultures adventure. I wish I could have been there to hear the Cossack songs and to see you get beaten at arm wrestling. As an 8th grader, I could beat all the boys at arm wrestling. By ninth grade, when I could beat even the strongest boys, they were calling me a witch. However, my strength came from spending hours on the lake rowing a boat, doing 100 chin-ups at a go, fifty push-ups, etc., keeping up with my brothers. How I went from being so physical to so sedentary, I'll never know. Even if you lost to that guy twice!, you could probably beat me today.

10/28/19, 9:04 PM  

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