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 grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Gravity of the situation: Expanding U.S. missile deployments



Well, not much has changed. They said one thing but they're doing something completely different. Basically, they are building up their launch sites in close proximity to the Russian border.

East and Southeast Asia is a region that presents a particular interest for the USA. It's not surprising that over twenty military bases operate there already. The biggest bases are located in Japan, South Korea, and in the Philippines.

The previously deployed 'missile defense' systems in South Korea (and soon Japan) are interchangeable and can also fire first-strike attack nuclear-capable cruise missiles with longer ranges. Since the US withdrew from the INF Treaty the Pentagon has tested these from ground-based launchers which were illegal under the treaty. So the story is quite accurate.

Talking Space Command (Space Force or Space Corp?)

Listen to "Saying NO to the militarization of space" on Spreaker.

The only thing the Democrats in Congress appear to be challenging about Trump's new Space Command/Space Force is the liberals want to call it Space Corps.  Ugh......

A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe?

Brian Becker and John Kiriakou speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Friday, September 06, 2019

Who owns the media?



Comedian and podcaster Jimmy Dore joins Matt and Katie to discuss his show and media bias.

Connect the dots: climate & military empire


Many of us in Maine that are working in the peace movement will join the youth climate strike event planned for September 20 in Portland and other communities across our state.  We will bring signs and banners making the important connection between climate catastrophe and endless war - and most importantly the US military empire of more than 800 bases around Mother Earth.

Just imagine how big the carbon boot print is from this string of bases and the current wars the Pentagon in fighting in seven nations.  It's got to be massive!

One of the main ingredients that is missing from the current climate change movement is this very important connection.

So I'd strongly recommend that those attending these student climate strike events across the US, and around the world, be sure to visually make these connections as you go to stand in solidarity with the youth.


It's a very important week of actions being lined up on the climate change issue - September 20-27.  But let's make sure that the public outcry does not leave out a very important element of the solution.  There can be no serious effort to deal with the climate crisis without also taking on the massive contributions to global warming by the US military and its current wars.

Repetition of this message is very important.  You can't mention it once and then figure that it is all set.  Things don't work that way.  We've got to repeat this mantra over and over again until it becomes part of the public consciousness.  And that takes time and determination.

In the end we'll never have the $$$$$ to do what needs to be done to help deal with the coming ravages of the climate crises unless we massively cut the Pentagon budget.  There is no way around that one.  It stares us in the face.

Bruce

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Climate catastrophe watch



We need to convert the Pentagon to the Natural Guard to help with rescue, recovery and reconstruction after these destructive weather events.

We can't afford endless war and climate crisis at the same time.

Do something, say something......

Right on the money as they say in Las Vegas....


NATO has got to go, so the people can live in peace....



Video by Global Network board member (and Iraq & Afghanistan war veteran) Will Griffin.

He has produced a stunning & brilliant video for our annual Keep Space for Peace Week (October 5-12) with special emphasis on NATO. 
  
I hope you will help us share it via email, Fazebook and otherwise.

Please let us know what local events your community might organize during space week so we can add you to the list.

NATO sees the US Space Command/Trump’s new ‘Space Force’ as a key instrument in their global domination on behalf of corporate interests.

Moving together we are all stronger.

Bruce

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Jaywalkers for conversion of BIW


Originally we called ourselves the Inouye 22 (the new Aegis destroyer, outfitted with 'missile offense' systems, is named after former US Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii).  Now we should call our group the Jaywalker 22.

On June 22 there was another 'christening' at Bath Iron Works shipyard here in Maine of the destroyer the USS Inouye.  On that day 22 were arrested for blocking several streets into the shipyard holding up buses, vans and cars filled with people going to the ceremony.  We were charged with 'Obstructing a public way'.  Those charges would allow us to have a jury trial where we could make the case that the coming climate catastrophe is forcing us to immediately make a transition from fossil fuel burning warships to building things like commuter rail, offshore wind turbines and tidal power systems in order to give the future generations some hope for survival on Mother Earth.  Scientists are now saying we have 11 years to make this change or face the worst.  Hello, anyone listening?!!!

After our arrests we were told we had to pay $60 bail commissioner fee before we could be released.  Nine of us refused to pay the $60 and were sent to country jail for 2 1/2 days.  Then we heard that the District Attorney (DA) was changing the charges to the equivalent of jaywalking which would not allow us to have a jury trial.  Instead a fine of $152 was levied with the penalty of losing our drivers license if we don't pay it.

We can contest the fine and have a 'bench trial' before a judge that we are told we'd likely lose.

Today those nine of us who had gone to jail following our June 22 arrests at BIW had what is called a Disposition hearing at the West Bath courthouse.  There we were told we could pay the fine or contest it.  Several of us made short statements to the judge in front of a full court room.

I told the judge that we'd already spent 2 1/2 days in jail for now what is a jaywalking charge.  But the best amongst us was Dixie Searway.

Dixie told the judge, “I am 81 years old and we’ve been at war my whole life.  The Nuremberg Principles say I must stand against these warships.  You are forcing me next time to step onto BIW property to ensure I can have a trial by jury.” 

(Stepping onto BIW property would mean we'd be charged with Trespassing which allows for a jury trial.)

As we were leaving the courtroom many in the pews gave us great reactions and the judge likely noticed.  One woman followed us out the door, high-fived Mary Beth and gave her a big hug.

So the saga continues as we learn that BIW now has contracts to build 11 more destroyers (laden with missile systems) that are being used to encircle China and Russia.  Hundreds of billions of dollars are being pissed down the rat hole while hurricanes get larger, Arctic ice melts at alarming rates, the seas heat up as lobsters head north, waters rise and islands in the Pacific begin to disappear into the ocean.

Now is the time to act and the judicial system in Maine tinkers around the edges trying to punish and discourage peaceful protest which is supposedly protected by the Constitution.

We won't give up.  I'll stand with Dixie next time at a BIW 'christening' and likely others will as well.

Bruce

Defending Assange




Journalist John Pilger has delivered a stark warning from WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who said that his persecution is intended to kill dissent.

“Speak up now,” Pilger said, or face “the silence of a new kind of tyranny.”

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

History lesson: A highly misunderstood story....



International justice - what is that?  Who decides?

Yugoslavia (what really happened there?)

What role did Washington and NATO play in this production?

Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons were used by NATO in attacks against Yugoslavia.  What are the health and environmental implications to people today?

Was the US/NATO 'balkanization' of Yugoslavia illegal under international law?

Why didn't Russia react as its ally was taken down?

Why should we bother with this story?

Monday, September 02, 2019

Another western color revolution


Ever wonder why regular large Yellow Vest protests in France don't get the coverage that protests in Hong Kong or Moscow get on western mainstream media?

Have you heard that Extinction Rebellion has called for September 23 protests in Washington DC to 'shut the city down' due to our governments lack to real response to climate catastrophe.  Do you think the police will allow them to block major intersections in the capital city and do you really believe that the media will give them huge and friendly coverage? Do you figure that Trump will tweet support for them and V-P Pence and John Bolton will speak in their favor?

Why the big difference?

See this bit below from K. J. Noh, a Korean-American who is an expert on China and other Asian countries (and VFP member).  In an article for Popular Resistance he writes:

The Banality of Protest: Western “Progressives” Support Yet Another Color Revolution in Hong Kong

Misinformed “progressive” western “activists” and pundits are putting down their remote controls and organic smoothies just long enough to tweet out that Hong Kong protesters need to be supported as paragons of virtue and justice. Some have even blogged and bloviated about the importance of these protests as a struggle for freedom against “dictatorship”.

Most of these individuals never question why, out of the thousands of daily protests, or the 200-plus ongoing global independence movements, or the 50-plus ongoing violent conflicts, this particular struggle has been curated to penetrate the thick fog of their ignorance and their lightning-flash attention span.

Most of these individuals wouldn’t be able to distinguish Hong Kong from Hokkaido, and couldn’t tell Putonghua from Toisanhua from Cantonese. Most have never seen or spent a day in China. In fact, you know it’s not a real color revolution until the stupid section of the western “progressive” blogosphere gets to cheerleading.

This is what they are willfully missing:

  • It’s not a progressive popular uprising if the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is involved.  The NED is the soft-power coup arm of the US government, doing what the CIA used to do–regime change and dirty tricks–by other means.  The NED is crawling all over this.  This is an off-the-rack NED project.
  • It’s not a progressive popular uprising if the key funder and fluffer is a fascist media billionaire with close ties to the most reactionary elements of Western rightwing reaction: Hong Kong’s Rupert Murdoch, Jimmy Lai, the owner of the misogynist, racist, xenophobic, Next Media/Next Digital Corporation/Apple Daily is the driver of this.
  • It’s not a progressive popular uprising if the key leaders are racist, anti-immigrant, secessionists that court and consort with powerful rightwing extremists and regime change ideologues in the US (John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, Eliot Engel, Larry Diamond, etc). John Bolton, for God’s sake?
  • You know it’s not a progressive popular uprising when foreign powers (US Congress, State Dept) proclaim their ardent support for the protestors, write bills, make threats, and threaten consequences if the protests are not allowed by the government.  When was the last time the US government actually supported a real populist movement?
  • You know it’s not a popular progressive uprising—at least one with a shred of sense– when the protesters make appeals for US intervention or want to go back to being a colony: a shamelessly white supremacist, colonial [British] Apartheid state without a hint of democracy or representation.
  • Popular progressive uprisings don’t wave US flags, UK flags, chant colonial slogans, use swastikas and alt-right symbols, terrorize children, spew hate speech (“Chee Na”), or beat unconscious people with US flags.  Fascists do.
  • Popular progressive movements for democracy and free speech don’t try to shut down free speech and terrorize all who disagree with them.
See the rest of this important article here

Forgotten Labor Day story



Documentary about the Robeson Riots/Peekskill Riots.

In 1949, Paul Robeson came to Peekskill, NY to have a concert. What followed was an internationally known riot. Pete Seeger and others discuss what occurred.






Shown at 2013 VOB Film Festival

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Sunday song