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 23, 2019

College football delayed by Climate Catastrophe protest



ESPN reports:

The start of the second half of Saturday's Harvard-Yale game was delayed by nearly an hour after a number of spectators rushed the field to stage a climate change protest.

The field was ultimately cleared, and the game resumed at 2:48 p.m. ET.

Some protesters held banners asking their colleges to act on climate change and Puerto Rican debt relief, including one sign that read, "Nobody wins. Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice."

"Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go," some protesters chanted.

Caleb Schwartz, a Harvard student and spokesman for the group Divest Harvard, said Saturday's protest was the result of months of coordination.

"This is a very deliberate choice of targeting this specific [game] to get our action out there," Schwartz told ESPN's Paul Kix.

In a statement, the Ivy League referred to the protest as "regrettable."

In its own statement, Yale said that while it "stands firmly for the right to free expression," it had issues with how the protesters went about their demonstration.

"The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events," Yale said in a statement.

Saturday was the 136th edition of "The Game" between Harvard and Yale. The Bulldogs clinch the Ivy League title with their 50-43 win in double overtime.

The delay created by the protesters presented a potential problem for the game's finish as Yale Bowl lacks stadium lights and the double-overtime conclusion forced the game to be completed in near darkness.

Where is the sand going?



Denis Delestrac made his debut in non-fiction filmmaking in 2001 and scored a number of hits including IMAX blockbuster "Mystery of the Nile" and "Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space", his first feature award-winning documentary.

His latest feature documentary, "Sand Wars" is an epic eco-thriller that takes the audience around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: we are running out of sand!

In his talk he explains to us where sand comes from and where it ends up. Our perception is that the resource sand will always be available for us but thanks to his investigations we realize that this is not true and that sooner or later we will be running out of sand - and consequently won´t have beaches anymore.

The ecological results of loss of sand is staggering.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The origins of the Ukraine story.....



There is much confusion these days about the Ukraine story.  That confusion sadly also widely exists within the 'progressive community' as well.

It never ceases to amaze me how many so-called enlightened activists fall victim to the non-stop lies and distortions that daily come to us from NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and more.  The truth is out there if one is willing to search for it and allow yourself to be skeptical of the same media outlets that sold us the Vietnam War and the 2003 'shock and awe' in Iraq (among many other recent regime change wars).

This video is a must watch.

Hear Victoria Nuland's (Hillary Clinton's Asst. Secretary of State for European-Affairs) phone call to Obama's  Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in a 'conversation' that was leaked to the news media on February 4, 2014.

'Fuck the EU', says Nuland as they discuss who the US will accept as the 'new president' of Ukraine following the coup d'etat that Washington led in 2014. Then Nuland talks about bringing in a United Nations guy and V-P Joe Biden to give their blessings for the 'new' government in Ukraine.  A complete Washington orchestration.

What's really important here is the level of planning for the coup that overthrew the elected President Viktor Yanukovych, which brought to power (as heard on the recording) a group of selected puppets described as 'moderate democrats.' In fact, most of them, including Oleh Tyahnybok (just below whom Nuland insists the new head of state consult four times weekly), are a far-right nationalist faction with overt and long-standing ties to the neo-Nazi movement.


Meet the characters in the story that led to what's called 'the worst crisis since the old cold war' and which Russia experts describe as a new cold war more dangerous than the first.

Both parties (Repub and Dem) are complicit in this Ukraine mess.  They created it and are doing this fake impeachment circus act in Washington to distract and confuse the public.  If you fall in line behind either corrupt party you are just being used.

Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.....

Bruce

Thursday, November 21, 2019

the funnies......


The American dream has turned into a terrible nightmare for most of the people and our Mother Earth.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What does the opposition party stand for?



Comedian Jimmy Dore pushes back on impeachment/Ukrainegate, Hillary Clinton’s smear of Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian asset, the DNC’s 2020 gift-wrapping for Trump, and more.

These are all important questions as we rush head-long into the 2020 elections.

Aaron Maté interviews Jimmy.

Jimmy is more courageous than many 'commentators' out there today and he is funny as well.  One could call it 'political entertainment'.

I'm a big fan of Jimmy Dore and watch all of his videos.  His viewing numbers are growing and recently he's being interviewed by 'serious' journalists which shows that he's become so popular that they want to be associated with him - hoping his popularity will rub off on them a bit.

It is quite a statement about life in America that you have to listen to a comedian to get your news - or at least a real honest take on the news.

But we take what we can get these days.  

Bruce 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Digging up the 'Deep State'



Chris Hedges talks to author Stephen Kinzer about the CIA’s quest for mind control through its experiments in drug and torture during the 1950s and 1960s, both domestically and internationally.

Kinzer’s new book is titled Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Remembering the Aztecs: Live by the sword, die by the sword

Bob Dale, 95 years old and member of Veterans For Peace, and me standing together before one of our weekly Friday vigils in Brunswick on the town green.  The vigils have been happening each week since just after 9-11 in 2001.


On Friday I was back at the PeaceWorks vigil in Brunswick after being gone for the past month.  Bob Dale, his wife Jean Parker, Rosie Paul and others keep it going - rain, snow, sleet, sunshine - what ever the weather might be.

It is dark now as we gather at 5:00 pm on the busiest corner in Brunswick (population about 20,000).

As we were standing with our signs my first thought was how glad I was to be here again with our good peeps - sucking exhaust fumes.  (I often wonder what almost 40 years of regularly doing this has done to my lungs?)

We got some honks which is normal for these parts - but rarely does anyone stop and chat nor hardly ever is anyone so inspired that they come stand with us.

I started thinking about the collapse of the Aztec civilization in the early to mid-1500's.  There were many reasons for that empire's fall (including disease brought by conquering European invaders and their superior weapons technology) but an additional one was that violent nature of the Aztecs.

Aztec-history.com reports:

There's little doubt that the ritual Aztec sacrifice contributed to the fall of the Aztec Empire, and in more ways than one. First, killing thousands of people, whether you or your neighbors, simply can't be good for a society. The loss of people is a loss that can't be calculated. Who knows how it would have been different if these people and their children had swelled the ranks that fought the Spanish, not to mention the other contributions they would have made.

And although the Aztecs certainly weren't the first people ever to sacrifice humans, the fact that they did and the incredible number they sacrificed led to the hatred of some of the surrounding peoples. The powerful city-state of Tlaxcala was one of these. Many of their own had been sacrificed, and in the end they joined the Spaniards to fight the Aztecs. It may be that the Spanish simply were an excuse to start what was already an inevitable civil war.

While admittedly this is not an exact comparison - as I stood there on the corner I saw myself standing with a sign in Aztec land calling for the renunciation of violence and empire.  Few were impressed (in my imagination) and it was a bit dangerous to take such a political and culture position during that time.

Fast forward to 2019 and we stand in a nation that is addicted to violence - domestic and international.  Killing on a grand scale making the Aztecs look like amateurs in a sense.  Each week another school or mall shooting occurs here in the land of the free and home of the brave.  Seven wars are going on today where the US uses extreme violence to steal resources and topple governments.

No one was ever held responsible for the 2003 'shock and awe' criminality that George W. Bush and Tony Blair unleashed in Iraq.  Those were pure mass killings - war crimes to be certain.

The vicious invading Spaniards put the final touch on the close of the Aztec civilization with their own brand of 'regime change' wars.  The last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc, surrendered to Spanish commander Hernando Cortes in 1521.  It's been non-stop mass violence ever since with the US now the most 'efficient killer' on the planet.  
 

Our economy in America is dedicated to what the Pentagon calls 'security export'.  I call it addiction to war and violence - like a drug needle in the arm.  We 'gotta have' more war - it keeps the production lines humming in virtually every state in America.

What is the cure?  How about a 12-step program where we all stand up and put our hands on our hearts and repeat:  "Hello, my name is America, and I am addicted to war and violence"?

So I continue to join my other dedicated friends holding our signs, sometimes getting arrested for stepping over some 'property line' or blocking traffic - just to interrupt 'business as usual'.  Hoping to trigger some thought, some reflection by this American culture that drips in blood.

Am I optimistic?  No.  Do I think the US imperial project is in collapse mode?  Absolutely.

What comes next?  Who knows?


Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Bruce

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Obama calling......


Sunday song



THE GREAT MANDALA (The Wheel of Life) -  Peter Yarrow


So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth

And do his job like a man.

And he answered "Listen, Father,

I will never kill another."

He thinks he's better

than his brother that died

What the hell does he think he's doing

To his father who brought him up right?

Chorus:

Take your place on The Great Mandala

As it moves through your brief moment of time.

Win or lose now you must choose now

And if you lose you're only losing your life.


Tell the jailer not to bother

With his meal of bread and water today.

He is fasting 'til the killing's over

He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.

But he's a coward, he's just playing a game

He can't do it, he can't change it

It's been going on for ten thousand years

(Chorus)

Tell the people they are safe now

Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.

Death has gagged his accusations


We are free now, we can kill now,

We can hate now, now we can end the world

We're not guilty, he was crazy

And it's been going on for ten thousand years!


Take your place on The Great Mandala

As it moves through your brief moment of time.

Win or lose now you must choose now

And if you lose you've only wasted your life.