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.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Busy time in Kathmandu


Since arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal it has been non-stop action.  Yesterday the Nepal Chapter of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space organized a talk for me in a meeting room at the hotel where I am staying.  More than 40 people attended and the response to my description of the U.S. attempt for 'control and domination' of space was met with great concern.

Shreedhar Gautum (University professor and chair of the GN chapter here) organized the meeting which was attended by the former Nepal ambassador to Russia and a well respected nuclear scientist.  They both made opening remarks about the need to rid the world of nuclear weapons and war.


Today I was taken to the home of Prabhu Yadav (Professor of English and GN member) for a king's feast for lunch prepared by his wife.  I was able to meet Prabhu's two children and following the wonderful meal I was taken to a private English language school to speak to a large group of students from 10-16 years old.  They had many good questions including 'What is area 51?' and 'Does God exist?'  So I was challenged by these young folks in a big way.


Following the talk to the students I returned to my hotel for a short rest and was joined for supper by Satya Shah who is the director of the NGO called Social Development Path in Nepal.  This NGO is also a member of the Global Network and works to help deal with the enormous poverty and social needs of the rural people.  Satya sent two of his staff to the recent space law conference in Visakhapatnam, India that the Global Network co-sponsored.

During our dinner together I asked Satya how climate change was impacting Nepal.  He told me that drought was becoming a serious problem in the southern part of the country and that rice and wheat production will soon be dramatically impacted.  The government is doing little he said to help deal with this massive coming climate catastrophe.  Likely the people from the south would head to the big cities like Kathmandu which already faces serious problems with over population, pollution and poverty.


In the morning I will have a breakfast meeting here at the hotel with Prabhu and his mentor who has expressed the desire to meet me.  After lunch time I will be picked up by Shreedhar and Tulsi Shrestha and taken to the airport for my 24-hour trip to Moscow.

Last night Tulsi (a retired local doctor) invited Shreedhar, another man, and myself to his home for dinner where we ate mountain goat (a once a year delicacy during the current Festival of Lights).  Tulsi (which means basil) told me that the mountain goat is good for the health as the animal only eats pure grasses and herbs high in the mountains of Nepal.

Tulsi came to Huntsville, Alabama in 2017 for a Global Network meeting and protest at the Army's Redstone Arsenal where the Nazi rocket scientists were brought at the end of World War II to create the US space program.  Today the 'missile defense' program is largely headquartered there.  On that occasion Tulsi was the only person from Nepal that was granted an entry Visa by the US government - several others from the Nepal GN chapter were denied the right to attend.  Shreedhar explained that the US embassy staff in Kathmandu told him that a professor like him should not attend such an event in Alabama because we would be holding a protest at Redstone Arsenal.

I will leave Nepal more than impressed by the very generous hospitality shown by everyone I have met here.  They are a kind and giving people who treat guests with an abundance of love and  friendship.  Even though Nepal is by western standards a 'poor nation' they are rich in many ways that people in my country could learn much from.

Bruce

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