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: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

AN ACTIVIST IN INDIA

This man's name is J. Narayana Rao and he lives in Nagpur, India. He works with a group called All-India Peace and Solidarity Organization. He is a retired railway worker and union activist. He and his wife live on a very tiny pension each month and they share a small apartment with his son's family. He rides around Nagpur on a small scooter.

Rao has been on the mailing list of the Global Network (GN) for many years but it was not until last year, when he organized the India speaking tour for Mary Beth and I, that we first met. Almost immediately he handed me several copies of a newsletter he had put out over several years, at his own expense, where he took space issues articles and reports that he had received from the GN and reprinted them and distributed them to his fellow activists.

We were able to help Rao come to Germany last spring for our annual GN space organizing conference. We've also added him to our Board of Directors.

Just yesterday I received an email from Rao saying that during the up-coming Oct 4-13 Keep Space for Peace Week he has organized an India tour for himself that will take him to six cities during the week. He has scheduled 2-4 talks per day with students at colleges, meeting with peace groups, union organizations, and women's groups. He even has a couple of talks set up with Lions Clubs in a couple of cities.

The U.S. is now trying to drag India into the Star Wars game. While there last October I noticed an article in a local newspaper saying the U.S. was encouraging India to form a Space Command. The U.S. knows that Star Wars will be so expensive that even after they cut social programs in our country they still can't pay for the whole program - thus they need to bring India, and other allies, into the scheme to help pay for it. India, with 300 million poor people, hardly needs to be spending its money on Star Wars. But logic never prevails with the military industrial complex.

So we are incredibly blessed to have a man like Rao helping us spread the word about the dangers of the weaponization of space throughout India. It reminds us that there are good people everywhere doing the work of the angels.

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