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, November 16, 2019

Is it a crime to tell the truth?



Bolivia President Evo Morales at the United Nations in February of this year.  Right in front of Trump.

As my mother used to say, "The proof is in the pudding."

You can't speak the truth to the 'hound dog' and not expect to get over thrown.  You are supposed to be a supplicant and bow before the master.

Morales has too much courage and integrity to do it any other way.

The US is a moral midget in this world.

The American people should be ashamed.

But it is not just Trump.  Over throwing governments is what Washington does - no matter Republican or Democrat in office.  The US is an outlaw regime.  (Please note that the Democrats, who hate Trump and are trying to impeach him, have nothing of any substance to say about this latest 'regime change' action.  Their silence speaks quite clearly.)

These are war crimes - severe violations of international law.  How come sanctions are not imposed on the US when they keep interfering in other nation's internal affairs?

How come the American people (and much of the west) remain largely silent over these evil deeds?

Bruce

Friday, November 15, 2019

Ukraine's parliament votes to sell farm land


The Rada in action on November 13 as they voted to sell off Ukraine's rich farmland to international agri-business interests.  This was demanded by the IMF as a way to settle Ukraine's growing debt crisis.  The public hugely opposed the new law but no one cares what they think.

Ukraine's parliament (the Rada) bent over to accommodate the dictates of the IMF and international capital that wants to grab the one remaining asset in the country - the land.  The plan is to grow GMO crops there and to actually export the good farming soil to other countries.

You can see more about this horrid example of 'democracy' at this site which covers Ukraine issues about as well as anyone - just click here.

The big fight in Washington is about 'continuing' the Ukraine policy initiated by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and the rest of the elites from the Obama administration.  This land sale law is a by-product of that failed policy.

Rise up to survive


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Home at last


After a long series of flights from Crimea to Moscow to New York City to Boston and then bus ride to Maine, Mary Beth picked me up at 7:00 pm last night in Portland and took me straight to an Italian restaurant for Eggplant Parmesan.  I needed it.

I have to say it is wonderful to be home - it was a great trip - but a month is a long time, especially when you are 67 years old.

The amazing thing is that MB never complained - not one word of criticism - as I went off for a month-long organizing trip.

I want to thank all those along the way on this journey to India, Nepal, Moscow, Lugansk, Donetsk, and Crimea who offered me hospitality and friendship.

Now I have a big stack of work to catch up on and as I sit at my desk and look out the window I see the snow and ice already accumulating - it is unusual in my experience in Maine to see this before Thanksgiving.  But it is beautiful and the sun was out for a bit this morning.

I am in my pajamas (and might just stay in them all day). It is good to be alive and after a cup of tea and some peanut butter toast (how I craved it for the last month) I am ready to get back to raising sand as they say down yonder south.

Thanks to all who have checked the blog during my trip to see how things were going.  I hope you found it at least interesting at times.  I made it my goal to try to post something each day when possible in order to give a small picture of my experiences or to keep up with the bigger happenings like this disgusting US directed coup in Bolivia.  America has no damn shame.

Bruce

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ukraine coming apart at the seams


While in Moscow two weeks ago I was invited to meet with Larisa Shesler, the Chairperson of the Union of  Immigrants & Political Prisoners from Ukraine.  Larisa is from Ukraine and had to escape for her life in 2014 following the US-backed coup in Kiev that was directed by the Obama administration.  While in Ukraine Larisa was a political activist and Deputy Chair of a left political party.  She was an elected member of the Area Council (equal to a state).  Several thousand former Ukrainians are members of the Union of Immigrants & Political Prisoners and now are living in Russia.  Here are some of her words from our meeting.

  • Ukraine has become the center of world attention.

  • Russian oligarchs do not want to lose connection to Ukraine's economy.

  • It would have been a great geo-political defeat for Russia to allow US-NATO military bases in Ukraine. [Imagine the reverse if Russia or China put military bases in Mexico or Canada.  Washington would go ballistic.]

  • Ukraine today depends on IMF and World Bank for financial help.

  • It was absurd that Russia was involved in the 2016 US election.  Russia had no instrument of involvement.

  • The current Ukraine situation could lead to global conflict between Russia and the west.

  • There is a law in Ukraine against selling the nation's lands and soil, but the new President Zelensky wants to take it away. [Ukraine has some of the best farming soil on the planet.]

  • Western [agri-business] companies want Ukraine out of the world food market - except for sunflowers and rapeseed (canola) oil.

  • Ordinary people in Ukraine are absolutely against selling land - only five million people would be needed for farming, so many would lose their jobs, at least three times as many who would normally be working.  Vegetables, fruits and berries are now big crops - all could be lost.

  • More than 80% of the Ukrainian people are opposed to sale of their lands. Monsanto today is the biggest company interested in Ukrainian lands.  [Monsanto wants to do GMO farming there.  Russia has banned GMO.] The IMF is demanding sale of lands in order to pay Ukrainian mounting debts - especially since 2014.

  • When unemployment hits hard Ukraine will be the most dangerous country in Europe - that becomes a problem for Russia because of the instability on its border.

  • Wise people in the west believe that Ukraine is best left in peaceful relationship with Russia - it's historic trading partner.

  • China is about to stop tourism to Ukraine.  China has stopped issuing Visas for Ukrainians to travel to Hong Kong because some fascists from Ukraine have been helping to train protesters in Hong Kong. China thinks Ukraine is an instrument of western policy.

  • Ukraine wants Chinese investments.

  • Russia can't really do much to stop western sabotage of Ukraine.

  • Russia has three million economic immigrants from Ukraine since 2014.  Two hundred thousand political immigrants have escaped to Russia from Ukraine since 2014.

  • France and Germany want to bring Russia back into the fold.  Europe without Russian trade is a weak competitor with the USA.  That is why more EU states are pressuring President Zelensky to make peace with Russia.  Washington opposes this plan.

  • The Kiev government is not safe from the Nazis.  It only took 2,000 trained Nazis to force the coup in 2014.  They have now 200,000 who have experienced war in the Donbass against the two republics (DPR & LPR) and they have no moral barriers. [Many of the Nazis have been trained by the US Army Special Forces from Ft. Carson, Colorado.  See here]

  • Trump is not committed to the Ukraine war, western Europe is not either, but the Democrats still are.

  • Russia won't let the DPR & LPR dissolve which would create even more instability inside Russia.  

  • Neither side (DPR & LPR nor the Nazis) can advance beyond the current 'line of contact' in the Donbass unless Kiev is ready for great losses.  It is like the front lines of WW I.  

  • Russia has given passports to about 70,000 Donbass citizens.


  • The US hopes Russia will bend like it did when NATO attacked and broke up Yugoslavia.

U.S. supported fascists take over Bolivia



(START AT 2:00, the discussion begins there. Pardon the technical issues.)

Pushback LIVE: Aaron Maté discusses the right-wing military coup in Bolivia with Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton.

Ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused the US-headquartered Organization of American States of making a political decision in backing the right-wing opposition, saying the coup continues to wreak havoc after his exile.

Speaking from Mexico a day after he fled Bolivia, Morales said: "The OAS is in the service of the North American empire."

Morales said he “could not understand” how his military commanders could show such “disloyalty.”

“That confirms that my great crime is to be indigenous. It’s a class problem,” he said.

The exiled president said that after freeing itself from the International Monetary Fund, the Bolivian economy was doing better.

"We had big plans in the field of exports." Yet, the coup plotters “do not accept the nationalization of natural resources,” Morales said.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Built in Bath?



China is experiencing a breakthrough in high-speed rail. China Railway High-speed trains (HCR) close the 1,318 km distance from Beijing to Shanghai in just 4 hours and 18 minutes, reaching up to 350 km per hour. Since its high-speed rail program started in 2007, new lines have been sprouting up all over the country, which already boasts the largest high-speed network in the world by far.

A young journalist from Belarus travels for work with RTD on the new Fuxing, or Rejuvenation, train while a rural Chinese pensioner takes a much-anticipated pleasure trip on the previous generation Hexie or Harmony trains. RTD also visits a plant where the trains are built with one of its technicians and hears from a designer about the challenges involved in building a train for the 21st century.

Imagine if these were built in Bath, Maine at the current naval shipyard.  Instead of 'destroyers' we could build something useful that helps us get out of carbon spewing automobiles.

It's a fascinating video.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Coup in Bolivia directed by Washington



The Grayzone's Anya Parampil took over an Al Jazeera interview to provide a point-by-point rebuttal of major myths surrounding the coup in Bolivia and placed the ouster of Evo Morales in proper historical context.

You know this fascist coup was directed by Washington just like they have been trying to do in Venezuela - and like they did in Ukraine in 2014.

See a much more detailed video that digs further into the Bolivia coup here

Sunday, November 10, 2019

NATO's foiled grab of Crimea



One of the people from Germany who attended the Crimea conference in recent days wrote me this morning the following note - asking me if I had heard this story.  I replied that I had but not in such detail.  Then I responded with an addition of my own that follows below. 

Two months ago I visited a friend of mine who lives with her family in Crimea all her life. At some point I found myself asking about the Crimean crisis [in 2014].

The father told me the following: his brother works on the airdrome of Sevastopol [location of Russian air force and naval bases that were under treaty with Ukraine since the fall of the former Soviet Union.  Russia paid big money to rent the facilities that allowed them to have 20,000 troops stationed there. Thus there was no Russian invasion of Crimea.] and in the most critical night of the crisis he got the message that within 10 minutes an attack helicopter of the NATO is about to land there. Within this 10 minutes Putin in person could mobilize a Russian helicopter that was able to arrive a few moments earlier on the field. According to him this was the most critical moment - if the NATO would have been able to land, there would have been war. Everyone was prepared they told me by the way, I even talked to house wives about this who said that they all organised themselves a weapon to protect their families...

Here was my response:

When I first came to Yalta one year ago my guide was taking me back to my hotel after a day trip to Sevastopol.  We passed by a huge apartment building, new, and all lit up.  I asked what it was.  She said, “It was supposed to be a NATO barracks after they took over Crimea.  But the referendum [to rejoin Russia] foiled their plan.  Now it is just apartments for regular people.” 
I asked her what would have happened if NATO had grabbed Crimea.
"We’d have war," she replied.
Maybe you can understand how proud the people of Crimea are that they quickly organized the referendum that overwhelming declared that the predominately Russian-ethnic population of Crimea wished to be reunited with mother Russia.  In doing so they also averted a war on their peninsula that today lives in peace and security.


It is at least obvious to me that the coup in Kiev, Ukraine (and the attempted NATO takeover of Crimea) was long in the works.  One should remember that it was during the presidency of Bill Clinton that the US promise to Russia (after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) not to expand NATO one centimeter eastward toward Moscow's border was violated.  (Interestingly there is a photo of Bill and Hillary on the wall in the lobby of the hotel I am staying in.)
  
Bruce

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