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.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Tensions inside NATO



Talks were held in Paris between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emmanuel Macron before the recent NATO summit in London.

They discussed the issue of arms control in Europe as well as whether it can be said that there's a crisis inside the Alliance.

These are interesting developments inside NATO - growing pressures by the European business community on the US to end sanctions against Russia and to get the US-NATO war machine to talk with Russia about arms control - something Washington now refuses to do.....

Next year NATO will be carrying out what are now annual huge military war games, entitled 'Defender' across eastern Europe, to be aimed at Russia.  None of this is likely to bring peace and security to citizens in the NATO states nor across the globe.

I've never been impressed by Macron but glad he is showing some movement toward more dialogue with Russia.  What could be wrong with talking?  FDR, Nixon, Reagan all talked with Soviet Union leadership during the height of the Cold War.

Isn't negotiation better than war?  Why are the Democrats in Washington today so strongly opposed to talking with Moscow?  Makes no damn sense - unless of course one dreams of 'control and domination' of the world.  How is that likely to turn out for a bankrupt America?

Bruce

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Washington Post quotes Global Network in pro-Space Force article


I got an email yesterday from Washington Post reporter David Montgomery with an advance link to his coming Sunday Magazine story on Trump's Space Force proposal.  You can find it here.

He had called the office while I was on my recent month-long trip overseas and Mary Beth had him reach me by email.  We went back in forth several times with me answering his questions about the Global Network and our position on Trump's proposal to further enable U.S. 'domination of space'.

Over the years I've been through this kind of drill many times with major corporate media outlets.  I never expect anything from the exchange with such a reporter.  Usually they just are mining to see what we think but hardly ever use any of our words.  When my words are used they are often placed into an article out of context.  So just say I was not holding my breath.

Let's remember that the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.  He has big aspirations to help 'privatize' space in order to turn it into the next 'high ground' for maximum profits.  Thus the U.S. sees the Space Force as a military unit to control the path way on and off Earth on behalf of corporate interests.

The United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says that space, and the celestial bodies, are the province of humankind and that no nation, no company, nor any individual can claim ownership of them.  But the  rich guys who are dreaming of fortunes from space - Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and others - don't care about space law.  In fact they are spending big money now to attempt to rewrite U.N. space law in order to neuter the treaty and usher in space privatization.

So it was no real surprise to get the link to David Montgomery's article today and find it was a huge pro-Space Force puff piece - a cheerleading article.  But the astounding thing is that he gave the Global Network's position on this madness quite a bit of space in a very 'prestigious' corporate publication.  More than I would have ever expected.  For that we are pleased to say the least.

I do think though that most good-hearted people will see right through all the blather about the Pentagon preparing to 'protect space and ensure that no war is fought in space'.  That is all just pure public relations.

The Pentagon has been saying since Ronald Reagan introduced 'Star Wars' in the early 1980's that the US will 'control space, dominate space, and deny other countries access to space'.  It was all spelled out early on in the Space Command's Vision for 2020.  See it here.

But I am grateful that my words made it into the article.  See just below and decide for yourself if what the Global Network has been saying since our founding in 1992 makes any sense.

If you'd like to learn more about all of this I highly recommend this award-winning documentary Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space.

Bruce

Of course, if you’re generally skeptical of the military, even blue-water optimism about the Space Force may not sound particularly idealistic or appealing. That’s the view of Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Based in Brunswick, Maine, the network of about 150 affiliated groups was founded in 1992, just when military space power was taking off after the first Gulf War. It organizes international conferences and protests against the militarization of space.

“As the day comes near where it will be possible to ‘mine the sky’ for profitable resources, the Pentagon long has planned to develop the capability to control who gets on and off the Earth,” he wrote to me in an email. “So the Space Force is part of an effort to create a ‘military front gate’ allowing the U.S. to determine which nations, which corporations, which wealthy individuals are allowed to go out and mine the sky. This is part of the ‘privatization’ of space.” He continued: “So the U.S. is moving to re-create [the] 15th-century global war system where the European powers were sending their ships around the world to secure resources and markets in the New World. Before long they were fighting one another, and we live today with the legacy of that reality. I call this the ‘bad seed’ of war, greed and environmental degradation that has been planted into the depths of the soil and consciousness of the Earth. The Space Force would be the planting of the bad seed in the heavens.”

I pressed Gagnon on the Air Force’s contention that civilians and the military depend on space, that our space assets are vulnerable, and that China and Russia are already moving ahead with exploiting and weaponizing space. He responded in part: “The China threat is the new fear-making strategy to justify massive U.S. funding for ‘domination’ of space. ... China and Russia have warned for years that they will not allow the U.S. to be the ‘Master of Space.’ Thus we are off to a new expensive, dangerous and destabilizing arms race in the heavens. But let’s not let Washington put the blame on China. Any objective analysis of the space militarization issue since the Reagan years has to note that the U.S. has been, and still, leads the pack.”

Gagnon also suggested that the United States should take seriously proposals by China and Russia to ban the weaponization of space. Currently, the only treaty on the subject goes back to 1967 — the Outer Space Treaty, adopted by about 100 countries, including the United States, China and the then-Soviet Union. It forbids the placement of nuclear weapons in space but is silent on other types of weapons. China and Russia have proposed banning the placement of any weapon in space. The United States has rejected their approach, saying that there is no verification mechanism and that it would not forbid the stockpiling of antisatellite weapons on Earth.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Public event to share Russia trip stories


Playing in the snow


MB caught me shoveling snow around our car this morning - making a dent in it but much more on the way.

My dear friends in Florida will like this photo - but yes I still enjoy playing in the snow!

More than five inches are expected in Brunswick - other parts of the state are getting much more.

Bruce

Militarizing the U.S. university system



Video produced by Global Network board member Will Griffin from Philadelphia, PA.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Carrying aid and love to Palestine


While in the Donbass (Russian ethnic population in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border) last month I was given a book by an activist from Belfast, Ireland named Fra Hughes.  We were in Lugansk and Donetsk along with a few others.  We were led by a wonderful labor leader in Lugansk by the name of Andrey Kochetov.

Fra gave me a copy of his book entitled An Activist's Tale, My Walk with Palestine.  I loved reading his stories.  I always cherish activist writings - their lives are so rich in spirit by meeting inspiring and determined people in struggle around the world. Giving support comes natural when you see through the corporate media brainwashing about people like those in Palestine.

Fra is no ordinary guy.  He's made several trips to Gaza and the West Bank over the years - bringing aid and tremendous solidarity.

He tells an inspiring story about an 18-month campaign where he and others handed out 70,000 flyers about the boycott of Israeli products which were produced on stolen Palestinian lands.  The boycott effort was concentrated on the Belfast Castle Court Shopping Mall.

That is what I call stick-to-it-iv-ness.

Some times the convoys that Fra participated in reached into Gaza - other times Fra tells us harrowing stories about failed attempts to cross the border into the 'forbidden land'.

It's obvious that the US and Israel have been working together for years to remove the Palestinian people from what is hailed in Tel Aviv as the expansion of 'Greater Israel'.  It's part of a larger ploy to do regime change in Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Turkey and Egypt.  Saudi Arabia (the head-chopping monarchy) is allied with Washington and Tel Aviv in this operation.

While in the Donbass (where Fra has visited several times) he impressed me with his love for the people and complete rejection of fascism.  He sees fascism in both Israel and in Ukraine as the US puppet government in Kiev attacks their own citizens near Russia's border.

Fra ran a guest house in Belfast for many years but never put money above service to those who have Mr. Big's boot on their necks.

Wouldn't it be nice to shift some of the current corporate media 24/7 coverage of Hong Kong protests (being orchestrated by Washington and London) onto the Palestine and Donbass genocides?  Sadly, it is not in Mr. Big's news script to oppose those two neglected struggles.  Mr. Big wants their lands for 'strategic' reasons.

Fra ends the book with seven pages of revealing quotes from top Israeli officials - from the founding of Israel to the present.  Here is one of them:

We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us.  Allon repeated his question, 'What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'
    ~ Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times.
Bruce

Please meet Fra in the video below.


In Focus: Fra Hughes from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Don't forget it....




Patti Smith - People Have The Power

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people have the power
to redeem the work of fools
upon the meek the graces shower
it's decreed the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste in the dust
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

The power to dream, to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
Listen
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power

The people have the power
The people have the power

The power to dream, to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
we have the power
People have the power
we have the power...

Sunday song