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'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Views from Yalta in Crimea

This shot is along the promenade in Yalta.  I moved today to the hotel that conference participants will be staying in which is just beyond the boat restaurant in the background.  Yesterday while walking along the promenade there was an Orthodox service happening just outside the church in the foreground.  The singing and chanting were quite special to hear.  A large crowd formed.  I've been asking alot of people what the difference is between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.  The answer has repeatedly been that Rome is basically allied with western governments and their political agendas.  People say the Orthodox Church holds stronger to the original Jesus message.  There is no doubt that the Russian people are far more traditional than their western peers. (Click on photos for a better view)



I walked for several hours yesterday up and down the promenade where many shops, restaurants and hotels are located.  I also ventured off into some interesting side streets and saw many older houses and buildings.  The streets are very narrow and parking is a premium.  I noticed that most people were not shopping in the very trendy and expensive shops along the promenade.  The only two stores I noted that were crowded were selling cosmetics and jewelry.  I imagine that before western sanctions were slapped on Crimea, following their 2014 vote to return to Russia, most of these shops were filled with comparatively wealthy westerners arriving on the cruise ships which no longer dock here.  Now most of the tourists are from Russia.  Some still come from Ukraine (I need to learn more about that dynamic).


The view from my hotel room of the hills behind me is very similar to this photo.  This extraordinary view surely has to be a key reason for Yalta's charm.


On the right side of the Crimea part of the map you will find 'Kerch' which is where Putin built the bridge in record time that connects Russia with Crimea.  Construction began soon after the 2014 vote to reunify Crimea with Russia.  Now tourists by large numbers are driving from Russia onto the Crimean peninsula. That means traffic jams and not many places to park but visitors don't seem phased as they appear to be having a good time here.  In the gold upper part of the map you can see where I was previously in the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics that are continually under attack by the Nazis.  It is interesting to note that in Canada and the US (Chicago, Brooklyn, etc) there are large enclaves of 'nationalist' Ukrainians who today are very active in supporting the Nazis that are shelling the Donbass.  Lt. Col Alexander Vindman (a Democrat) who has been calling out Trump on the Ukraine phone call issue, comes from one of these anti-Russian exile families which indicates there are many deep layers in this current drama playing out in Washington surrounding the US-Ukraine-Russia story.  Don't just swallow the mainstream media line on this - dig into the bigger Ukraine corruption story. One good source is here.

This is the famous Swallows Nest that is just up the road from Yalta.  It's quite a dramatic view from there, right off the highway that leads to Sevastopol (where the Russian Black Sea navy base is located).  It was Sevastopol that was the real prize that the US-NATO sought when they orchestrated the coup in Kiev, Ukraine in 2014.  But the people in Crimea were watching the madness of the 'Maidan revolution' on TV that year and decided they wanted nothing to do with the Nazis who forced their way into power with the backing of the US (particularly V-P Joe Biden, Sen. John McCain, Asst Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and more).  Thus their vote to seek reunification with the Russian Federation.


Bruce

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