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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Better than beautiful



NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard reports about the emerging area in Seattle, dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. 

The area, spanning several city blocks, is being held by protesters after police vacated the area earlier this week.

We must connect the issues

Listen to "Saying NO to the Militarization of Space" on Spreaker.

Connecting the dots between black liberation protests and Space Force.....

Karl Grossman and Bruce Gagnon interviewed by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou on their weekly radio show.

Friday, June 12, 2020

BS Alert! Phony Mea culpa



General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he regretted participating in a photo opportunity with President Trump at a historic church that was damaged during protests last week.

The arrogant bully boys got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  The fascists want to extend the Pentagon's 'control and domination' army and ethic onto the home front.  They got hard push back from the public.  Good going folks.  Keep it up.  It's only our survival that is at stake.

Because of computerization, mechanization, robotics and out-sourcing of corporate manufacturing jobs overseas (so the fat cats can maximize profits without environment regulations) growing legions of the American people are superfluous.  Not wanted or needed anymore.  Lock em up and throw away the key. Better they be dead than turn socialist.

The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,833 state prisons, 110 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,134 local jails, 218 immigration detention facilities, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

As of July 2019, the United States had the highest number of incarcerated individuals worldwide.

Where will the $$$$ come from to really change the life of poor people in America - of any color?  Which federal agency has a literal stranglehold on the national pot of gold?  Who are the real pirates here?  

The current protests against the racist 'criminal injustice system' at some point will have to additionally call for the defunding of the Pentagon if people want real change.  

It is great that the current movement is concentrating on the demilitarization of local police departments that have been turned into Army forts on the reservations.  We are all a target of the endless war machine now.

We have no economic future, nor the ability to deal with climate crisis, unless we wake up the nation by consistently demanding a massive cut in military spending. 

Currently the Pentagon's share of the national discretionary budget (the part of the budget that Congress votes on) is between 54-60% of every dollar, depending on how you add things up.  For example, nuclear weapons are not in the Pentagon budget, nukes are in the Energy Department budget.  Homeland Security and many other intel and military agencies are hidden in other departmental budgets.

So both parties in Congress pay a shell game in order to keep the public ignorant about just how much corporate looting there is going on in Washington.  They are the big looters and they will grab from anyone around the world - thus the need for a big military bootprint on people's necks in the seven or more war zones the US is operating in at this moment.

Shut this shit down now!  All of it!  Keep connecting the dots!  No half-steppin acceptable!

Bruce

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wow - can you hear this truth?





On Saturday May 30th filmmaker and photographer David Jones of David Jones Media felt compelled to go out and serve the community in some way. He decided to use his art to try and explain the events that were currently impacting our lives.

On day two, Sunday the 31st, he activated his dear friend author Kimberly Jones to tag along and conduct interviews. During a moment of downtime he captured these powerful words from her and felt the world couldn’t wait for the full length documentary, they needed to hear them now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

We ain't cheering


America
has gone nuts

Are the cops
militarized?
Hell yes

Do we need to defund
local police departments?
Hell yes

They were supposed
to protect & serve
the people....

But instead
they are
the heavily armed
goon squads
for the rich
and corporate elites

Why do they need
battle armor
flashbang grenades
M-16
MRAPS
Night-vision goggles
bayonets
airplanes
Armored vehicles
Tear gas
and a shit load
more?

Why are the cops
at war
with the public?

Could it be
because
corporate America
don't need
us anymore?
Too many
'superfluous'
people around

Lock em up
throw away the key

We are not
safer
We don't have
real rights to gather
and protest
as long as we face
a litteral army
on the streets

This is how
the military boot
has been on the necks
of poor people
around the globe
for many years

The chickens
have come home
to roost,
and we ain't cheering...

Bruce

Dangerous US military presence in Poland & Eastern Europe


More US troops arrive in Poland - they are told that their mission is to stop Russia's takeover of Eastern Europe

Washington is upping the ante on Moscow.  The message appears to be ‘surrender to western capital or we will continue to militarily encircle your nation’.  A new and deadly arms race that could easily lead to a shooting war is underway with the US leading the pack.

The US has chosen Poland as the perfect location to sharpen the tip of the Pentagon’s spear.  

The US already has roughly 4,000 troops in Poland. Warsaw has signed an agreement with Washington that provides for setting up storage of Pentagon heavy military equipment in its territory.  The Polish side provides the land and the US-NATO are supplying the military hardware that is being deposited at an air base in Laska, the ground troops training center in Drawsko Pomorskie, as well as military complexes in Skwierzyna, Ciechanów and Choszczno.



U.S. officials have also announced plans to place heavy military equipment in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and possibly Hungary, Ukraine and Georgia.

A recent report indicates the US intends to remove 9,500 troops from Germany in the months ahead, with at least 1,000 of the personnel going to Poland.  The right-wing Polish government signed an agreement last year with Washington for a modest troop boost and has offered to pay for more infrastructure to host American troops – once offering $2 billion to help pay for a big permanent US base inside their nation.

American F-16 war planes land at Krzesiny air base in Poland

Some NATO members see these actions as unnecessarily provocative. Moscow has repeatedly objected to this escalation in Eastern Europe saying that NATO is an aggressor and threatens Russian sovereignty.

US-NATO respond that increasing the logistics and transportation capabilities in Eastern Europe allows the alliance (always looking for enemies in order to justify its existence) to increase the speed of movement of NATO forces toward Russia. 

The National Guard has partnership programs with virtually all Eastern European nations. The National Guard rotates their US-based troops in and out of these countries allowing the Pentagon to claim that ‘permanent’ troop levels in the region are small.

The US agenda already includes a rotational Army armored brigade, a US-led multinational NATO battle group positioned near the Russian territory of Kaliningrad and an Air Force detachment at Lask. The American Navy also has a contingent of sailors in the northern Polish town of Redzikowo, where work continues on a missile ‘defense’ site that integrates with systems in Romania and at sea on Aegis destroyers.

Outside Powidz, one of the largest airfields in Europe, a swath of forest has been cleared to make way for a NATO-funded $260 million storage site for tanks and other US combat vehicles.

 
A munitions bunker and rail-head improvements are also in the works, said Maj. Ian Hepburn, executive officer for the Maine National Guard’s 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, part of the task force at Powidz.

The US anti-missile site close to Poland’s northern Baltic Sea coast, when complete this year, will be part of a system that stretches from Greenland to the Azores. The Missile Defense Agency, a unit of the Pentagon, is overseeing installation of the Lockheed Martin built ground-based ‘Aegis Ashore’ ballistic missile system. Included in this 'Aegis Ashore' program, the US switched on a similar $800 million site in Romania in May 2016. 


From the Romanian and Polish ‘Aegis Ashore’ missile launch facilities the US could either launch Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors (to pick off Russia’s retaliatory response after a Pentagon first-strike attack) or nuclear-capable cruise missiles that could hit Moscow in 10 minutes time.

Mateusz Piskorski, head of the Polish party Zmiana claims that the US-Poland intergovernmental agreement on placement of US bases for heavy military equipment in Poland is a part of the US provocative strategy in the region. 

"It is a part of the new aggressive confrontational policy of the United States in Central and Eastern Europe, the policy which is aimed at containing theoretical ‘Russian threat’ for these countries and which responds to the requests of the political elites of these countries which ask US authorities to place new military bases and infrastructure in the region," Piskorski said.

"The agreement between the United States and Poland is one of several similar agreements which have been signed lately between the US and different Central and Eastern European countries, for instance, the same goes for the Baltic countries which will have the US military bases there," Piskorski added.

"One must remember about the agreements between Russia and NATO made in 1997….which guarantee that no permanent military presence of US will be allowed on the territory of new member states of NATO, which means on the territory of the Eastern European countries. So this is a direct violation of international law, of the agreement of 1997," Piskorski said.

Parts reprinted from Stars & Stripes and Sputnik

Bruce      

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Hope: a requirement for action



Dr. Cornel West at Harvard Divinity School to discuss James Baldwin's legacy.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Signers of Support Statement for Lisa Savage U.S. Senate



Dear Friends,

We, the undersigned, are writing to you in support of Lisa Savage’s US Senate campaign in Maine against Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).  The November election in Maine for that seat will be a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) race.  There will be no ‘spoiler effect’ this time.

Lisa is running as an Independent Green. In her long-time peace and climate change activism, she has specialized in linking the Pentagon’s carbon footprint and our climate crisis. She founded the Maine Natural Guard to do just that important work.  As an educator, Lisa has experience as a public school teacher and former union negotiator.

In Maine, Lisa has also led efforts to convert the Bath Iron Works shipyard away from constructing lethal Naval Destroyers and toward creating sustainable technologies that help us deal with climate crisis.   Lisa advocates converting to commuter rail, tidal power and other much needed systems.  Studies show that such a transformation would create more jobs for people in Maine.   Imagine having a national voice in the U.S. Senate calling for the entire military industrial complex to be converted – unless we do so quickly we will not succeed in dealing with our greatest threat, the threat of what we’re doing to our own environment.

Of course Lisa also strongly supports Medicare4All, erasing student debt, a $15 minimum wage and many other issues that are vital to the survival of working and poor people across the country.  She’s lately spoken out against the recent massive bailouts for Wall Street under the guise of virus relief while many people have yet to receive their promised $1,200 check.

Speaking about the recent murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota, Lisa said, “People are fed up with unaccountable policing that targets Black men, women, and children and deals out injury, death, humiliation, and destruction of lives without meaningful consequences. Hundreds of thousands have rightly taken to the streets in all 50 states, including here throughout Maine. We have seen countless examples of militarized police forces instigating violence as these crowds of frustrated and angry citizens seek to peacefully assemble and express themselves, as is protected in the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

We hope you will join us in doing what you can to help support Lisa’s important campaign.  Rarely do we see such a vital opportunity to impact the national debate as Maine’s Senate race will be one of the most watched in the nation.

You can learn more about Lisa at her web site www.lisaformaine.org.  Many of us have donated to her campaign.  We hope you will share this letter widely across your community so that others who share our deep concerns may learn more about Lisa. Twitter: @LisaforMaine  Facebook: LisaforMaine

We are at a crucial moment in world history.  We must work in every possible way to bring these issues to the public.  We are grateful for Lisa and her team for their good work on all our behalf.

For people, planet and peace,

(Organizations listed for identification purposes only) 
 Signers of Statement of Support
  • Dawn Neptune Adams (Penobscot activist) Bangor, Maine
  • Peggy Akers (Nurse practitioner, VFP Maine) Portland, Maine
  • Nathan Albright (Writer, Maryhouse Catholic Worker) New York, New York
  • Doug Allen (Professor, peace and justice scholar, and activist) Orono, Maine
  • Jim Allen (Alabama Veteran for Peace) Lanett, Alabama
  • Nancy Allen (Activist, Green Party member) Brooksville, Maine
  • Ashley Bahlkow (Currently nurturing family, working on land access & food justice initiatives and sharing garden space) North Yarmouth, Maine
  • Ajamu Baraka (National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace) New York, New York
  • Ellen Barfield (Phil Berrigan Memorial VFP chapter) Baltimore, Maryland
  • Elizabeth Barger (Freedom Press publisher, artist, poet, CODEPINK activist) Summertown, Tennessee 
  • Medea Benjamin (Author and codirector of CODEPINK) Washington DC
  • Frida Berrigan (2019 Green Party Mayoral Candidate & author of ‘It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised By Radicals and Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood’) New London, Connecticut
  • Justin Beth (Green Party of the U.S. Co-Chair, MGIP SC Member, PGIC Co-Chair) Portland, Maine
  • Toby Blome (Drone resistance organizer) El Cerrito, California
  • Commander (Ret) Leah Bolger (President World BEYOND War, past president Veterans For Peace) Corvallis, Oregon
  • Francis A. Boyle (Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, College of Law) Champaign, Illinois
  • Meredith Bruskin (FNP, Peace & Justice Group of Waldo County) Swanville, Maine
  • Chris Buchanan (Owner, CBC Carpentry) Searsport, Maine
  • Dr. Helen Caldicott (Anti-nuclear advocate) New South Wales, Australia
  • Jonathan Carter (Director, Forest Ecology Network) Lexington Twp, Maine
  • Ralph Chapman (Retired Applied Physicist & recent member of Maine's Legislature, the only Green Independent party member during his last term) Brooksville, Maine
  • Judy Collins (Peace-justice advocate/singer/songwriter, Vine & Fig Tree Community) Lanett, Alabama
  • Gerry Condon (Veterans For Peace) Clearlake, California
  • Priti Gulati Cox (Artist, activist) Salina, Kansas
  • Stan Cox (Scientist, writer) Salina, Kansas
  • Bob Dale (VFP Maine, PeaceWorks) Brunswick, Maine
  • Barry Dana (Native educator, past chief Penobscot Nation) Solon, Maine
  • Ellen Davidson (Activist & photojournalist) New York, New York
  • Joseph de Rivera (Senior Research Scholar, Clark University) Brunswick, Maine
  • Christine A. DeTroy (PeaceWorks) Brunswick, Maine
  • Jacqui Deveneau (Chair of the Maine Green Women's Caucus) Portland, Maine
  • Denise Dreher (Catholic Peace & Justice activist) Biddeford, Maine
  • Reginald A. Dunton (Grassroots activist) Freeport, Maine
  • Leonard Eiger (Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action) North Bend, Washington
  • Pat Elder (Military Poisons Project) St. Mary’s City, Maryland
  • Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon papers, Senior Fellow PERI, UMass Amherst) Kensington, California
  • Catherine Erdman (Peace activist) Temple, Maine
  • Jodie Evans (Co-founder, CodePink) Venice, California
  • Margaret Flowers (Co-director Popular Resistance) Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bruce K. Gagnon (Peace & justice activist) Brunswick, Maine
  • Manuel Garcia, Jr. (Climate blogger & retired physicist) Oakland, California
  • Ann Garrison (Independent Journalist) Oakland, California
  • Betsy Garrold (Retired Nurse Midwife, former Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair, President of Food for Maine’s Future, homesteader, lobbyist, Mother) Knox, Maine
  • Carol Gilbert, OP (ICAN) Washington, DC
  • Starr C. Gilmartin (Licensed Clinical Social worker) Trenton, Maine
  • Holly Graham (Singer/songwriter, activist) Olympia, Washington
  • Chris Hedges (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author) Princeton, New Jersey
  • Susan Hellewell (Artist and retired science teacher) Bingham, Maine
  • Dud Hendrick (VFP Maine) Deer Isle, Maine
  • Eric Herter (Filmmaker, VFP Maine) Brunswick, Maine
  • Matthew Hoh (Marine Corps Iraq war veteran, 100% disabled veteran, Senior Fellow at Center for International Policy) Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Fred Horch (Green Independent Candidate for Representative to the Legislature) Brunswick, Maine
  • Tamara Hunt (Family & Child Welfare Advocate, Public Policy USM Graduate Student) Portland, Maine
  • Connie Jenkins (Catholic peace and justice activist) East Blue Hill, Maine
  • Ken Jones (Retired USM educator) Swannanoa, North Carolina
  • Kyle Kajihiro (Board Member, Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice) Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
  • Tarak Kauff (Editor in Chief of Peace & Planet News) Woodstock, New York
  • Kathy Kelly (Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence) Chicago, Illinois
  • Lynn Kelley (Retired physician) Mankato, Minnesota
  • Ed Kinane (Upstate Drone Action, anti-militarism activist) Syracuse, New York
  • Thomas Kircher (Interfaith Chaplain) Biddeford, Maine
  • John Kiriakou (Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer & Former Senior Investigator, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) Washington DC
  • Pat LaMarche (Former Maine gubernatorial candidate & 2004 candidate for V-P) Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • Nydia Leaf (Granny Peace Brigade) New York, New York
  • Debbie Leighton (PeaceWorks) West Bath, Maine
  • Richard Brown Lethem (Artist, VFP) Brunswick, Maine
  • Sass Linneken (Community organizer) Bangor, Maine
  • Stan Lofchie (VFP Maine) Brunswick, Maine
  • Alfred L. Marder (US Peace Council) New Haven, Connecticut
  • Betsy Marsano (Working to overthrow the duopoly for over 30 years) Belfast, Maine
  • Kenneth E. Mayers (Major USMCR ret’d, VFP) Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Natasha Mayers (Editor in chief of Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly, Union of Maine Visual Artists) Whitefield, Maine
  • Kelly Merrill (Activist, journalist, organizer) Portland, Maine
  • Karl Meyer (Coordinator Greenlands Catholic Worker community) Nashville, Tennessee
  • Peter S. Morgan Jr. (VFP Maine) Raymond, Maine
  • John Morris (Retired teacher, VFP Maine) New Gloucester, Maine
  • Chris Nelson (Chico Peace Endeavor) Chico, California
  • Tom Neilson (Singer, songwriter) Greenfield, Massachusetts
  • K. J. Noh (Scholar, Journalist, Peace Activist) San Francisco, California
  • Jon Olsen (Former co-chair MGIP) Jefferson, Maine
  • Koohan Paik-Mander (Coordinator, Just Transition Hawaii Coalition) Hanokaa, Hawaii 
  • Mike Michalski (Former Marine opposed to war) South Portland, Maine
  • Rosalie Paul (Peaceworks) Brunswick, Maine
  • Ilze Petersons (Peace & justice organizer and activist) Orono, Maine
  • Sam Pfeifle (Vice-Chair, MSAD 15 School Board) Gray, Maine
  • Cecile Pineda (Author) Berkeley, California
  • Ron Placone (Comedian & YouTube host) Pasadena, California
  • Ardeth Platte, OP (ICAN) Washington, DC
  • Doug Rawlings (President of VFP Maine chapter) Chesterville, Maine
  • John Rensenbrink (Professor of Government Emeritus, Bowdoin College, co-founder Maine Green Independent Party & US Green Party) Topsham, Maine
  • Richard Rhames (Family farmer, Public access TV activist) Biddeford, Maine
  • Kim Rich (Water District Trustee) Portland, Maine
  • Judy Robbins (Let Cuba Live), Sedgwick, Maine
  • Coleen Rowley (Retired FBI Agent, former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel and Whistleblower) Apple Valley, Minnesota
  • Robert Schaible (Chairperson, Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights) Portland, Maine
  • Gladys Schmitz, SSND (Retired RN and Retired teacher) Mankato, Minnesota
  • Ginny Schneider (Maine WTR Resource Center) South Portland, Maine
  • John & Carrie Schuchardt (House of Peace, Ch. 45 Veterans for Peace) Ipswich, Massachusetts
  • Alice Slater (Board, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space) New York, New York
  • Ursula L. Slavick (Deering High teacher, former Portland Teachers’ Association president, Haiti School fundraiser), Portland, Maine
  • William H. Slavick (Professor, retired Pax Christi Maine coordinator; 2006 Senate candidate; social justice, Palestinian rights activist), Portland, Maine
  • Gar Smith (Author, editor, and cofounder of Environmentalists Against War) Berkeley, California
  • Robert Shetterly (Americans Who Tell the Truth) Brooksville, Maine
  • Dr. Jill Stein (Two-time Green Party presidential candidate) Lexington, Massachusetts
  • Herschel Sternlieb (Peace activist) Washington DC
  • Mary Beth Sullivan (Social worker) Brunswick, Maine
  • David Swanson (Author & peace activist) Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Pat Taub (Blogger, writer, teacher, peace & justice worker) Portland, Maine
  • Ann Tiffany (Upstate Drone Action, anti-militarism activist) Syracuse, New York
  • Dwayne Tomah (Passamoquoddy language keeper) Perry, Maine
  • Jesse Ventura (Former Independent governor of Minnesota) Dellwood, Minnesota
  • Karen Wainberg (PeaceWorks) Brunswick, Maine
  • Morgana Warner-Evans (Workers' rights advocate & mental health professional) Portland, Maine
  • Janet Weil (Activist, climate & militarism) Portland, Oregon
  • Steven Welzer (Co-editor, Green Horizon Magazine) East Windsor, New Jersey
  • Barbara West (Women's International League for Peace & Freedom) Bath, Maine
  • Tom Whitney (Let Cuba Live) South Paris, Maine
  • Russell Wray (Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats - COAST) Hancock, Maine
  • Colonel (Ret) Ann Wright (Former US diplomat) Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Kevin Zeese (Co-director Popular Resistance) Baltimore, Maryland   
  • Violet Rose Zitola (former National Co-Chair, Green Party of the US) Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Johnny Zokovitch (Catholic peace and justice activist) St. Louis, Missouri

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Sunday song