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.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Oliver Stone on the situation in Ukraine



Plus a look at Russian TV reactions.....

And the Kiev puppet regime shelling of the Donbass, with full support of US-NATO, continues each day.....

  

Friday, July 12, 2019

VFP members stuck in Ireland after anti-war protest



Yesterday the Irish High Court denied U.S. Veterans For Peace (VFP) members Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers appeal of their bail conditions requiring them to stay in Ireland until their trial. "As soon as the judge opened his mouth," said Tarak, "I could tell he was going to deny the appeal. It's clearly political."

This means that Tarak and Ken could be required to stay in Ireland for years, much longer than any possible penalty for their charges should they be found guilty.

The judge said that if their charges are moved from the Circuit Court in County Clare (where it's not possible to get a fair trial regarding Shannon Airport) to Dublin, he might reconsider the question, as the Dublin Circuit Court is backed up for years.

Seven members of VFP from the U.S. came to Ireland in March 2019 to show solidarity with Irish peace activists who have been campaigning for years with nonviolent direct actions at Shannon Airport since 2001.  Kauff and Mayers entered Shannon Airport on St. Patrick's Day this year to search and investigate an Omni Air plane carrying up to 300 armed U.S. troops to the Middle East.

When brought before the court the day after they were arrested at Shannon, they were denied bail and held in prison for 12 days, until a high court appeal against their unjustified imprisonment could be arranged.  Their passports were seized and they've been held in Ireland ever since.

During the intervening time they've been bannering, leafleting, doing media, and speaking to the public and parliament members about the U.S. military use of Shannon.

It is likely that the prime minister of neutral Ireland was coerced or otherwise persuaded by President George W. Bush to allow Pentagon and CIA aircraft to land and refuel at Shannon Airport in Ireland on their way to Washington's wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

It appears that Tarak and Ken are being used by Ireland and the U.S. to make a point to others.  The message: don't bother coming to Ireland and trying to shut down Shannon.  It's become a U.S. air base in spite of Ireland's professed 'neutrality'.

Parts written by Edward Horgan (VFP Ireland) and Ellen Davidson (VFP New York City)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

It's all about the maps - trigger for war


I am like a man possessed when it comes to the Ukraine story.  Not only do I suffer while watching the daily genocidal shelling by the US-backed government in Kiev of people living in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine near the Russian border) - but I've also put my ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.

Take a look at this story about the US (since unable to grab Crimea in 2014 following the US orchestrated coup d'etat in Ukraine) presently building/expanding new Navy and Air Force installations in Ukraine.  The US is preparing for war with Russia - poking them - prodding them - escalating war exercises near their border.  The US-NATO are just itching for Moscow to make a move they can use as justification to start dropping the hammer on Russia.  It would be a colossal mistake.

The online site called Breaking Defense ran the story called US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports To Fit American Warship. The story reads in part:

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea.

Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea — the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities.
Romania, which sits just 150 miles across the water from Crimea, is buying the Patriot air defense system from the US, and Romanian and American forces recently held a series of air defense drills in the Black Sea that simulated shooting down drones.
This is the reverse of the 'Cuban missile crisis' from October of 1962 when the former Soviet Union and the US almost went to nuclear war over deployments of Soviet missiles in Cuba.  As it turned out the Soviets were responding to the US having deployed missiles first in Turkey.  President John Kennedy didn't even know about Pentagon missiles in Turkey.  In the end the US 'quietly' removed the missiles in Turkey and the Soviets stepped-back in Cuba. 


Hopefully there is a strong debate going on inside the Pentagon about the advisability of making such war mongering moves.  I've seen a few, short on info, reports about conflict inside the war rooms but not enough.  It's no surprise the Washington Post or the NY Times say nothing about this.  They are owned by the same corporate forces who want western control of the planet.  At the Pentagon they continually practice a new war between the 'red team' and the 'blue team'.

One should keep in mind that the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker community has been holding a weekly morning peace vigil for more than 20 years at one of the entrances to the Pentagon.  I've been there several times while in Washington.  It is fascinating to watch the reactions of the multi-ethnic Pentagon personnel who flow in each morning by the thousands.  One of my favorite things to say when a high ranking officer walks by is:  "Colonel, do you think we've killed enough people yet, sir?"

For me Ukraine is central to the whole plan for domination of Russia.  The CIA, National Endowment for Democracy and the George Soros Open Society Foundations and others are doing their best to intervene and destabilize virtually all the nations near or bordering Russia.  There is a big conflict now raging in Georgia as the US ramps up tensions there.

I was asked by a labor union leader in Lugansk, Ukraine (one of the larger cities in the Donbass) to start a petition to oppose US and Canadian arms sales/gifts to Kiev's puppet government.  I met this man in October of 2018 at a conference I attended in Moscow while there doing advance work for the Global Network's 2019 Russia Study Tour.  I was impressed by his gentle spirit and directness.  When I got the request from him to do the petition I felt compelled to do so.

But there is a difficulty.  The host of the petition is Roots Action but they are not willing to give it a 'helping push' because of the forthright language I put in it about the Kiev government being run by Nazis who the US is promoting, arming, training and directing.

This is the headquarters of the internal security bureau in Kiev, Ukraine.  Who do you think really runs the place?

I know this because I've been studying the Ukraine story practically daily since 2014.  All the evidence is there as to what is really going on. Just click on the links I provided above.  Read it for yourself and make your own determination.  Ukraine is a trigger for WW III.

The melting of the Arctic ice gives the RAND Corporation and Washington the hope they can move military operations into that once frozen zone and make it possible to balkanize Russia to ensure that western oil corporations take claim to the vast resources there.

You can see and sign the petition I created here.

Bruce

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ukraine fascists: No talk allowed between the people....



Ukraine revealed its unique nature before European officials who arrived in Kiev to hold the Ukraine-EU summit but came across multiple fits of hatred by local politicians toward local journalists.

They became indignant when they found out that journalists from the channel NewsOne, in cooperation with journalists from VGTRK, are preparing the Moscow-Kiev teleconference because "We Need to Talk."

To prevent that conversation, fascist fighters, who went through the Maidan in 2014, used their bag of techniques, intimidation, and threats. Newly elected President Zelensky quickly got in line.

The dirty hidden story.....



You can sign the petition to Trump and Canadian president Trudeau demanding that both nations stop supplying weapons to the Nazi infested government in Ukraine here.



Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Talking about struggle in church


MB, Tanya Bukharina (our guide from our recent trip to Crimea), Regis Tremblay and myself went to the Neighborhood Church in Bath on Sunday for the service.  Rev. Bill Bliss (who went with us to Russia) spoke about forgiveness and letting go.  The need to learn to love and show penance for our collective bad behavior.

That's a tall order for must of us - the line between sanity and psychopathy - how do we stay connected to nature and one another while inundated with the brutality and arrogance of  Mr. Big and his lackeys on Wall Street and the Bank of London? Exceptionalism and empire are the works of the devil.

Following the Church service about 20 people stayed for the 'Afterglow' discussion time where MB, Tanya, Bill and I spoke about our recent trip to Moscow, Crimea and St. Petersburg.  Bill put lots of pictures and maps on a big TV screen for everyone to get a better sense of what is going on there.

I told about how Bill Clinton signed the 'NATO Enlargement' program that broke the promise to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the reunification of Germany, that the NATO war machine would not expand eastward 'one inch' toward Moscow.


Ever since then the NATO expansion plan has been on steroids with its goal to encircle Russia with military bases.  Similar to the way Iran is currently surrounded by US military bases.  And China is being surrounded with a NATO that has morphed into the Pacific region.  NATO is the military arm of corporate capitalism.

It was magical to watch the church folks open their hearts to Tanya from Crimea.  She speaks well and her warm smile touched them all.  I was pleasantly surprised at how, in general terms, people seemed to intuitively understand the whole Russia story.  People are not stupid - many of them have worked for corporations and they have seen the way Mr. Big throws his weight around.

People  understand how evil our government is - they just don't want to get involved.  The material world and 'success mythology' keeps their nose to the grindstone.  Credit debt is another key tool to keep the masses in line and it works.

I pointed to the Arctic Sea map and said that drilling for fossil fuels in that once frozen zone will now be possible.  The RAND Corporation has a plan to break Russia up into pieces so that the oil corporations can take control of the region. NATO is holding regular war games up in the Arctic zone in order to prepare to 'capture' the region.



One man approached me once we concluded the 'Afterglow' and I should say he was hot.  He understands everything going on, his heart is breaking over it all, but he thinks there is no stopping Mr. Big.  We talked about resignation, giving up, surrender.....just walking away.

I reminded him that I've heard him play drums at church musical events.  I told him he was in touch with the heartbeat of the Earth.  If we are alive we must hear the heartbeat that calls for struggle to survive - that is the essence of life. 

I told him I can't quit.  Mr. Big might win many battles but I'll never surrender.  I am in line with those who understand that human dignity, sovereignty and solidarity requires us to stand up to the corporate oligarchies.  I told him that each day I look for things to do to keep connected to the struggle for life and justice.

To do less would be submission to slavery - of the 21st century variety.

Bruce

Monday, July 08, 2019

Digging a deeper & deeper hole......



Executive producer and activist Jean-Louis Bourgeois and director Bob Cohen recently released their full-length film which covers the endless war in Afghanistan. The hour-long film features former commandant of the US Marine Corps, former state department officials-turned-activists like Matthew Hoh, Afghan-American activist Shukria Dellawar, well-known author and activist Phyllis Bennis and more. The film provides a narrative of how leaving Afghanistan is not only necessary but also the only way to end the war.

Nearly 18 years after US forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, the Afghan conflict has become America’s longest and costliest war. Yet today, the Taliban insurgents are stronger and control more territory than ever before.

Featuring former commanding officers of the US military, combat veterans, political analysts and American and Afghan peace activists, this documentary deconstructs the reasons why the the war has failed and has dragged on for so long, while also offering solutions on how the United States can exit Afghanistan and not make this an endless war.

See the entire documentary here

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Sunday song




Yes it is true, the Nazis even shell churches....



"Something spiritual is happening here, I think. Right after we installed a cross in the center, exactly two weeks ago, [intense] shelling began. Right into the city center, right at this place! It feels like some sort of spiritual warfare" - tells Father Ioannes who came to Kominternove to help parishioners of recently burnt down church.

Saint Spyridon church is suffering through all years of war. It's shining dome is an easy target for Ukrainian army forces. Walls are wrecked by shrapnel, front door is pierced all the way through by bullets. Four mortar shells landed around the church just two days ago. Nevertheless, few but resilient parishioners of Kominternove continue to come to the church service. Faith is almost all they have left.

This settlement in the South of Donetsk Republic is often shelled by incendiary munitions. Houses are burning almost every night and on the 5th of July as a result of direct hit, the roof of the church caught on fire.

DPR military [self defense forces] and local residents had to put out the fire under the constant shooting from large-caliber machine-guns. It's a kind of a habit here, that as soon as a house catches on fire, Ukrainian shelling becomes more intense to hinder people from saving their homes. Luckily, all icons have been rescued and services will be held in St Spyridon's church again very soon.