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: 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.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Visitors from Taiwan





Yesterday MB and I took my son Julian and his wife Emily (who are visiting from Taiwan) to Five Islands near Georgetown, Maine.  It's one of my favorite spots and the sun came up after a dreary morning to brighten our trip there.

When we got home Jules and Emily cooked us a great Chinese meal and then we went across the street to Bowdoin College to watch the #1 ranked women's basketball team in the nation play.  They are undefeated in Division II and won again in a spirited game.



No snow is going to fall while they are here but the warm temperatures of the last couple of days will drop today by 25 degrees and the snow that was on the ground which melted is now a solid sheet of ice.

It's been great having them here with us.  We don't get to see them so often so we are making the best of it.

Bruce

Friday, February 08, 2019

Report from Hawaii opposition to launch complex - No Space Pork!



HILO, Hawaiʻi - People packed the room at the Grand Naniloa Resort to hear about the proposed Pacific Spaceport Complex-Hawaii and the environmental assessment process.

An informational meeting was held Wednesday evening in Hilo to introduce the public to a new spaceport proposal.

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation wants to develop a Pacific Spaceport Complex-Hawaiʻi, or PSCH, on Shipman lands in Keaʻau and is beginning the state and federal environmental assessment process for the project. The spaceport would “support commercial small vertical launch vehicle capability for inserting small payloads from the east side of the Island of Hawaiʻi into equatorial and low-inclination orbits.”

A crowd of interested residents overflowed the Grand Naniloa Resort space, where display easels lined the room and consultants answered questions. Some attendees wrote their comments down on paper, others expressed their opposition directly to the project executives, while others sang songs of resistance.

The meeting was part of a scoping session, which will help Alaska Aerospace identify significant issues for consideration to be analyzed in the PSCH environmental assessment. Next, the project team will collect data “to contribute to the determination of the likely environmental impacts (including socioeconomics) of the option for constructing and operating a commercial spaceport for small low-inclination/equatorial flights.”

After that, a draft Environmental Assessment will be prepared, and an opportunity for public comment.

History lesson: Venezuela a repeat of U.S. take down of Chile



The Battle of Chile is a documentary film directed by the Chilean Patricio Guzman, in three parts: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (1975), The Coup d'état (1976), Popular Power (1979). It is a chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. It won the Grand Prix in 1975 and 1976 at the Grenoble International Film Festival. In 1996, Chile, Obstinate Memory was released and followed Guzmán back to Chile as he screened the 3-part documentary to Chileans who had never seen it before.

The film opens in March 1973 with reporters asking people how they intend to vote in the coming congressional election. The election is taking place after Allende has been in office for over two years and has been trying to reorganize society along democratic socialist lines. His "Popular Unity" coalition was put into office with only a third of the popular vote. His efforts to nationalize certain industries have met with internal and foreign opposition, and Chile is suffering economic deprivations.

In the election Allende makes gains to 43.4 percent of the votes, though the opposition bloc is strong too, up to 56 percent. The film has street interviews, speeches, the violent confrontations, the mobs and meetings, the parades with workers chanting. Part One finishes with newsreel footage from an Argentine cameraman Leonardo Henrichsen who was photographing street skirmishes. A soldier takes aim and kills the cameraman, and the image spins skyward.

Part Two - "The Coup d'état" begins with the right wing violence of the winter of 1973 (June is winter in the southern hemisphere) against the government. Army troops seize control of downtown Santiago - but the attempted coup is snuffed out in a few hours. "The film leaps from one group to another ... It shows the different elements in the explosive situation with so much clarity that it's a Marxist tract in which the contradictions of capitalism have sprung to life. We actually see the country cracking open. Step by step, the legal government is overthrown."

Everybody in Chile seems to know the coup d'état is coming and talk about it openly - yet the people who have most to lose can't get together enough to do anything. Allende's naval aide-de-camp Arturo Araya is killed, and the camera moves around the funeral attendees - General Augusto Pinochet among them. In July, the truck owners, funded by the CIA, begin their long strike, which paralyzes the distribution of food, gasoline, and fuel, and there is a call for Allende to resign. Instead Allende holds a rally - around 800,000 people arrive, but they have no weapons. On September 11, the Navy institutes the coup d'état, and the Air Force bombs the state radio station. The palace is bombarded from the air. And then the chiefs of the junta on television are seen announcing they'll return the country to order.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

NBC red baits Rep. Tulsi Gabbard



NBC news smears 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) as being linked to Russia. Their sources are beyond pathetic…Buckle in for this one…

Why is NBC doing this?

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Kick their ass and steal their gas



Watch out for white 'christian
zionist'
American men

bearing gifts
wrapped in papers
labeled
democracy,
constitution,
respect for the rule of law
and of course
freedom

Watch out for the treaty
breakers
the great white father
from Washington

ask any
American Indian
about promises
and declarations
of intent

the white man
speaks
with a fucked up
tongue

Watch out
when the fat cat
white men
laugh at you

know that
their knife will
be stuck
in your back
very soon

Stay on guard
evil is
as evil does
says those
from long ago
who've
taken this ride
once or twice
before

Know
that
this arrogance
hides
a deep self loathing
a deep lack of confidence
a deep hatred of humanity
and life itself
a deep spiritual
disconnection

Know that our
self proclaimed
liberators
are the devil
in disguise

Bruce

Twitter goes off on Venezuela....


TeleSur English reports:

Nearly 2,000 pro-Venezuelan Twitter accounts have been removed for “engaging in a state-backed influence campaign,” the social media company said in a blog post on Thursday.
A total of 1,196 social media accounts based in Venezuela suspected of attempting to “influence domestic audiences” were purged last week.

Another 764 accounts were deleted, although the San Francisco-based company told users, “We are unable to definitively tie the accounts located in Venezuela to information operations of a foreign government against another country.”

Allegations of censorship soon filled the site’s timeline.

Television host for the investigatory series, Empire Files, Abby Martin tweeted, “While pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere, tech companies are actively censoring pro-government accounts they say are working to "influence" people.”

Another journalist, Ben Norton, accused the company of catering to “U.S. government interests:” Twitter is now removing thousands of accounts supposedly linked to Venezuela's sovereign government. This comes after Twitter suspended Venezuelan government accounts 1.5 years ago. Social media corporations act as an extension of US government interests.”

In another blog post, Twitter announced the release of five new datasets which were allegedly created in relation to suspected foreign interference efforts it had encountered.



Tuesday, February 05, 2019

It's all a big lie



Excellent video by The Intercept

U.S. hates treaties - What can we do?


Americans often present themselves as arsonists and as firefighters at the same time

  • When you believe that you are god's chosen people then fair play, treaties and international law mean nothing.  Might makes right.  The gun is to be used at will. Democracy is just an easy phrase to throw around when needed to justify the mafia-like foreign policy of this corporate criminal nation. 
  • Following the US move to suspend its obligations under INF treaty, the Russian Defence Ministry said that Washington started preparations for the production of medium- and short-range missiles prohibited under the INF deal two years before accusing Moscow of violating the accord. The Russian Defence Ministry has released satellite images of Raytheon Corporation’s plant [in Arizona], saying the facility has been prepared for the production of missiles prohibited under the INF deal. 
  • Russia has a no first use policy - so nuclear war only likely starts after a US first-strike attack. The US Space Command has been annually war gaming such an attack on Russia and China for years. After the US launches the first-strike nuclear sword in the war game, Russia and China respond with their retaliatory strikes. It is then that Pentagon 'missile defense' (MD) shield is used to pick off what Washington thinks would be a limited response - giving the US a 'successful' first-strike. The US has long refused to rule out first-use. Washington pulled out of the ABM Treaty with Russia that outlawed these MD shield systems in 2002 under George W. Bush. The Pentagon is today encircling Russia and China with MD systems based at sea and on land. Now Trump wants to put MD systems in space too.  Imagine the cost$.
  • I sent around an email the other day outlining the US pull-out from the INF Treaty.  One person wrote me and said he was tired of hearing about the problems - he wanted to know what we could do about it. I suggested to him that many people don't know anything about the INF Treaty and that we always must start with education.  Then for sure action is needed.  So below I've posted some ideas of things people can do.  Are any of them the 'magic bullet'?  No, there is no such thing. Send me your ideas as well and I'll post them.  globalnet@mindspring.com
* Stop watching mainstream media.  Read and listen to more alternative media sources.  Pay more attention to what protest movements around the world are saying and doing.  Read more international media - including outlets from (dare I say) Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela and more.

* Protest, protest, protest, said Susan B. Anthony.

* Teach people about the reality of nuclear war.  Peace groups did great work during the 1980-90's on that issue but an entirely new generation knows virtually nothing about nukes.

* Learn more about how space technology today coordinates all Pentagon warfare.  Share the information with others.  This website is a great resource. 

* Rebirth the Occupy movement or a new version of it.

* Key to defeating the empire is unity. It’s not a slogan, it’s a reality.  Integrate the issues - show the links so our movements are not divided. The current form of 'silo' organizing (every group/issue on their own) only plays into the ruling elites hands.

* Get out on the street where the public can see you and your protest signs & banners.  Because most people watch the corporate media they have no idea that anyone is opposed to issues like pulling out of the INF Treaty or the current Washington attempts to force regime change in Venezuela.  Be willing to risk arrest for non-violent civil resistance at military production facilities, congressional offices, on Wall Street or at resource extraction sites.

* Speak up when you see an opportunity.  Fear often keeps us quite when we should show leadership.

* Even though Congress is damn near under total corporate control still send letters to your elected officials.  It might help to slow down the empire just a bit.  We have nothing to lose in that regard.
Sign the petitions online that go to Congress.  It takes just a few seconds and helps keep some level of pressure on the hacks in Washington.

* Still write letters to the editor even though admittedly it is getting harder and harder to get them printed.  But your letter (even if not printed) might help another good letter get into the paper.  Got to keep the pressure on the media.

* When you come across an impressive article or video on the Internet share the hell out of it.  Don't assume that everyone will see it.  Be proactive.

* Defend social progress and support funding for the Green New Deal by cutting the military budget.  Find ways to push those points into the public consciousness.  Repetition is important.

* Share political art and music.  Expressions of cultural resistance often reach beyond words.

* Help globalize the resistance to corporate rule.  Make links with international movements and support one another.

* Recognize that American history is full of corporate domination/Christian fundamentalist 'exceptional nation' bullshit.  But our history is also full of people's resistance against this arrogance and deceit.  Keep the fires burning.

* Be critical of the Democrats.  Have you noticed they hate everything Trump does and then suddenly they are supporting his Venezuela take down?  Can you see that the Democrats don't want to bring our troops home from Syria and Afghanistan?  How they hell can anyone think the Democrats are 'the resistance'?  

* Stop believing that electing 'just the right next president' is going to make any difference.  What will make a difference is a non-violent revolution of values in this country that breaks the back of our current corporate domination!

* Don't accept the segregation of the generations.  Old people and young people are kept apart in the US.  We have much to learn from each other.  In Korea it is amazing how young and old work together in movements.  It gives them more power.  Bring back these human ties.

* Recognize that nothing is more important in our lives than defending our Mother Earth and the future generations.  Money, status, cars, fancy houses and job titles mean nothing to a crashing planet.  Defend the sacred. Stick-to-it-ivness is essential.

* When you are defeated don't give up.  Struggle is part of nature.  Watch the spider spin the web - failure to make a particular connection in the web means nothing to the spider.  It keeps going until the web is done.  The tide comes in and the tide goes out.  Success and failure are part of nature.  Keep going no matter what....

Bruce

Monday, February 04, 2019

Is the US preparing to invade Venezuela?



In this news report V-P Pence boasts, "All options are on the table."

The war mongers in Washington have already said that they want to control the oil in Venezuela - which has the largest supply on the planet.

They don't give a damn about international law.  They don't care how many lives would be lost if they create a civil war in Venezuela.  Hell, look at what they've done in Libya, Syria and Ukraine in recent years.  All torn apart.

As long as they get their greedy hands on the oil inside Venezuela that is all that matters.

Sadly many American people have fallen for this 'need for regime change'.  Just yesterday one liberal 'peace activist' friend told us that Maduro must go because he is a bad guy.  Now where did this person come up with that?  Of course, from the New York Times - owned by Wall Street - but some people still read it and believe everything in it!

I am quite certain that the CIA already has many 'assets' working inside Venezuela leading the destabilization effort.  Now they are mounting clandestine military operations along the Columbia-Venezuela border.  They are paving the way for a full scale invasion.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó has already drafted plans for “opening up Venezuela’s vast oil sector to private investment” and “privatizing assets held by state enterprises.”

This is a criminal conspiracy and violates every tenant of international law.  The entire US government (Republicans and Democrats are supporting this operation) is proving to be nothing but hard core mobsters.

How any self-respecting person can support this is beyond me.

Bruce 

Italy shows respect for international law



Italy vetoes EU recognition of Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader of Venezuela.

It's a violation of international law to try to overthrow another independent nation.

Thank you Italy for your support for international sovereignty!

Militarizing Jeju aimed at China & Russia



We support the people on Jeju Island, South Korea who are still fighting against the Navy base for US war ships.

The people are also fighting against a second 'airport' on the island - quite near the Navy base - that many feel will be used as a military air base.  I've always thought that the US admirals will want an airfield near the Navy base so they can fly in and out of Jeju without having to drive all the way across the island. 

The US Navy will also want a nearby airfield so that fighter jets can give close air support for the Navy base if and when the US goes to war with China and Russia.

The people on Jeju clearly understand they are now a target in the event of war.

Bruce

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Support needed for Hawaii immediately



Dear Friends,

Something just came up of dire importance.

A bill is being slipped into the Hawaii Legislature that proposes to create a non-transparent agency through which public funds would be funneled with no public oversight to the defense industry. This would open the door for private defense contractors to spring up all over the state, with no public oversight.

Because Hawaii's economy is tourism-dependent, the Legislature accepts testimony from people who reside outside of Hawaii. It is SO SIMPLE to submit testimony -- all you have to do is check "OPPOSE." Please follow the instructions below to prevent Hawaii from being overrun with missile and satellite launch pads in anticipation of the burgeoning post-disarmament era.

The deadline to submit testimony is Tuesday Feb. 5 at 3:00 p.m. Hawaii time.

Right now, Alaska Aerospace is trying to build a rocket launch pad nine miles from Hilo, on a site that was the first place ever where hula was performed. Apparently, after two decades of sucking public funds out of Alaska, the Alaska governor finally cut off the stream of massive subsidies to Alaska Aerospace. That is one of the reasons the company is coming to Hawaii. It is looking for a new "victim." If this project, or SB999, succeeds, it will cost Hawaii taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually in subsidies to defense companies like Alaska Aerospace.

And, in full sinister form, the hearing for the bill is precisely the same time as the public meeting for the rocket launch pad in Hilo. So there is no way that opponents here can be two places at once.

HOW TO SUBMIT TESTIMONY:

  • Fill in the blanks in the middle of the page.
  • If you are already registered, Sign In at the top right of that page capitol.hawaii.gov
  • (Fill in your user name and password as requested.)
  • Click the orange "Submit Testimony" button in the middle of the page.
  • In the blank on the left, enter SB999
  • Click "Get Hearing"
  • For each of these bills, check "Oppose"
  • Check "No" you will not be in attendance at hearing (it's Tuesday)
  • Check "Individual"
  • Scroll down and click "Submit."

Here is a link to the bill on the capitol legislative web site: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2019/hearingnotices/HEARING_EET_02-06-19_.HTM

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG.

Mahalo,

Koohan Paik-Mander
Hawaii

Bruce Kent on Trump's INF pull-out



CND's Bruce Kent on Sky News last night talking about Donald Trump's withdrawal from the INF treaty and ramping up the nuclear arms race.

Kent is a British political activist and a former Roman Catholic priest. Active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, he was the organisation's general secretary from 1980 to 1985 and its chair from 1987 to 1990. He now holds the honorary title of vice-president.

In 1987, Kent left the priesthood rather than comply with an instruction from the late Cardinal Basil Hume to desist from involvement in the 1987 UK general election in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church. 

Sunday song - bonus track & lyrics




We Are The Many - Makana from Makana on Vimeo.


Here are the complete lyrics to “We Are The Many”:

Ye come here, gather ’round the stage
The time has come for us to voice our rage
Against the ones who’ve trapped us in a cage
To steal from us the value of our wage
From underneath the vestiture of law
The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw
At liberty, the bureaucrats guffaw
And until they are purged, we won’t withdraw
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few
Our nation was built upon the right
Of every person to improve their plight
But laws of this Republic they rewrite
And now a few own everything in sight
They own it free of liability
They own, but they are not like you and me
Their influence dictates legality
And until they are stopped we are not free
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few
You enforce your monopolies with guns
While sacrificing our daughters and sons
But certain things belong to everyone
Your thievery has left the people none
So take heed of our notice to redress
We have little to lose, we must confess
Your empty words do leave us unimpressed
A growing number join us in protest
We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few
You can’t divide us into sides
And from our gaze, you cannot hide
Denial serves to amplify
And our allegiance you can’t buy
Our government is not for sale
The banks do not deserve a bail
We will not reward those who fail
We will not move till we prevail
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few
We are the many
You are the few

MOURNING ARMAGEDDON - Makana from Makana on Vimeo.


Mourning Armageddon - Makana

I’m underground
What a sound
All around
How did I get down here
So low
Where did all the people go
In my mind
I don’t know if it’s real
When I think
What could happen
Why they built this
Why it came to be
Why we build places like this
With our mind
Oooooh
With our mind
But it’s just a container
And it’s up to us
To change
Gotta see each other
As friends not enemies
We can bring peace
I hope we never have to build another shelter
Like this
Never gonna build another bunker
Like this
Oooooohhh
Oooooohhh
I’m underground
Hear this sound
All around
How did I get down here
So low
Where did all the people
All go
In my mind
It was all
Just a dream
______________________________
Плач об Армагеддоне - Макана
Я под землёй,
Ох, какой звук
везде вокруг.
Как же я опустился сюда,
Так низко?
Куда пропали все люди?
Моему уму это непостижимо --
Это реальность или нет?

Когда я представляю
Что может произойти...
Почему же это построили?
Как такое стало возможным?
Зачем мы возводим места,
подобные этим?
С нашим разумом...
О-о-о-о-о
С нашим разумом.
Но это всего лишь контейнер
И в наших силах всё изменить.
Когда мы станем воспринимать друг друга
как друга
А не врага,
Мы сможем воплотить мир.
Надеюсь, нам никогда не придётся строить
Ёще одно такое убежище,
И мы больше никогда не построим бункер,
подобный этому.
О-о-о-о-о-о
О-о-о-о-о-о
Я под землёй.
Услышьте этот звук
везде вокруг.
Как я опустился сюда
Так низко?
Куда пропали все люди?
В голове моей остался
Всего лишь сон.