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, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Friday, March 30, 2007


We interrupt this broadcast
to bring you a special message
from the president of the U.S.

My fellow Americans.
It is with great humility
that I come to you tonight
with a message that weighs
heavily on my heart.

As you know, I come from a long line
of men who have served this great country.
My grandfather served in the U.S. Senate
and my father, as you remember,
served the nation as president.
It is in our blood to do everything
possible to further our cause around the world.

I know not everyone is happy with the job
I have done on behalf of the American people.
It is true that the gap between rich and poor
is widening.

It is also true that our nation is now engaged
in endless war.
I have long warned that you needed to be prepared
for a long, long war.
That warning has now come true.

Some say I have no heart, feelings,
or conscience.
Some say that I am ruthless and a pirate.
Some maintain that I have made decisions
solely to benefit the wealthy and powerful.

Some even have said that I am a captive
of the religious right.
They have said I am trying to create
Armageddon so that Christ will return.

To all these charges I have only one thing to say.
They are all true.

You must know that since a child
I have been programmed to take over this nation
on behalf of those who profit from hunger,
poverty, drug addiction, violence, and endless war.

My own family is an agent of these powerful forces.
You might recall that President Eisenhower
warned us about the unbridled power
of the military industrial complex
when he left office in 1961.

He knew better than to speak those words earlier,
as he would have been killed.
Shot down like others have been who dared
cross those who run this country.

I know I am now a marked man for saying
these things to you.
Expect that I will die an early death
in the days to come.
But I have decided that I cannot live with
myself any longer if I maintain silence.
I must speak up.

I used to believe the constitution
was just a piece of paper.
But then I went on my recent tour
of Latin America,
where there were major protests
at every stop.

While at a Mayan ruin,
you might have heard,
a spiritual leader
purified the site after I left.
Little do they know that as a result
of that purification
I have had an epiphany.

I have come to ask forgiveness
of you, the American people.
I have come to offer my resignation
as president of the U.S.
I shall leave office immediately
and turn myself in to the local authorities,
to stand trial for my crimes against humanity.

I do not ask for your sympathy.
I know full well what I have done.
I only ask you for your prayers.

And let me ask of you,
one more thing.

I ask that you take back your country,
from my family,
and from those other deceivers
who have corrupted this democracy
and led this once great nation to ruin.

Please don’t hesitate another day
to seriously question anyone
who tells you that U.S. foreign policy
is about protecting “our interests.”
Please learn to define the word “our”
as meaning the interests of the pirate class.

Please make this nation what it should be.
Please take back control of the helm of state now,
before it is too late.

“Bruce, wake up. You fell asleep at your desk!”

Thursday, March 29, 2007


So the question on people's minds is "what do we do now to stop the occupation of Iraq?"

After the House Democrats passed their very weak bill last Friday, and the Senate just passed an even weaker one, should the peace movement continue to press the Democrats? What is the alternative strategy? Give up and move onto some other issue?

Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies has just done an analysis of the House bill. Here are some key points she makes:

  • Congress is not the peace movement. So the peace movement must stay unified on our principles and our demands, in the face of congressional waffling and "realistic" pragmatism, unfortunately promoted by one influential part of our movement [MoveOn]. Whatever they do, we must stay consistent on demanding an end to the U.S. occupation: de-funding (not re-funding) the war, and bringing home (not redeploying) all (not just some) of the troops (including the mercenaries). The longstanding AFSC slogan has it right: "Not one more death, not one more dollar." That means STOP funding the war. STOP allowing Bush to send more U.S. troops to kill more Iraqis and be killed in the process. Just stop.

  • The Democratic leadership in the House claims the $125 billion supplemental is the way to end the war. Something passed in the Senate may include some of the same claims. Aside from setting a date for bringing home troops, the House version included a number of items many in the peace movement would ordinarily support -- veterans' health benefits, Katrina survivors' assistance, children's health insurance ...So if there's a time line, what's the problem with the supplemental? Why shouldn't peace activists support it? Because it gives President Bush another $100 billion to continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it doesn't end the occupation or prevent expansion of the war to Iran.

  • WHAT IT DOES: It calls for pulling out some troops from Iraq by August 2008.

BUT: It exempts whole categories of troops from the withdrawal ...Troops "training the Iraqi military" can stay -- currently 6,000, perhaps as many as 20,000 (no limit in the supplemental). Troops engaged in "special operations" can stay -- the Marines say they want 20,000 for Anbar Province alone, perhaps as many as 40,000 for the whole country (no limit in the supplemental). Troops "protecting diplomatic enclaves" like the huge Green Zone and the US Embassy, the largest in the world, and maybe including the numerous US bases established in Iraq, can stay -- 20,000 is a conservative number (no limit in the supplemental). That means Bush could keep unlimited numbers, perhaps 60,000-80,000 troops, permanently in Iraq -- and still be in compliance with the bill. And the bill does not require that the troops withdrawn from Iraq be sent home; they can be immediately deployed to Afghanistan, or to bases in surrounding Arab countries, or to ships in the Persian Gulf -- or be used to attack Iran.

  • WHAT IT DOES: It imposes restrictions on Pentagon deployments, prohibiting the deployment of troops not fully trained, not adequately equipped, and not adequately rested between deployments.

BUT: It includes a waiver for President Bush to simply state his intention to override those restrictions, allowing him to send in as many untrained, badly equipped and exhausted troops as he wishes.

  • WHAT IT DOES: Prohibit construction of new permanent bases in Iraq.

BUT: It does nothing to close the existing permanent bases the U.S. has built across Iraq and includes billions for "military construction" presumably for those existing bases.

  • WHAT IT DOES: Require Iraq's government to pass a new oil law.

BUT: The law being debated in the parliament abandons Iraq's long history of maintaining control of its oil resources in favor of allowing international (especially U.S.) oil companies to take control of large sectors of the vital oil industry.

  • WHAT IT DOES: Cut 10% of the funding for private military contractors.

BUT: It allows 90% of the 100,000 or so mercenaries who fight alongside the U.S. military to remain in Iraq.

  • WHAT IT DOESN'T DO: The supplemental does not prohibit an unprovoked attack on Iran. The supplemental does not end the occupation of Iraq.


So I can only come to the conclusion that the job of the peace movement in Maine and beyond remains the following:

  • Continue to escalate non-violent public protests calling on Bush and the Congress to bring the troops home now and to cut all funding for the occupation.
  • Continue to organize Congressional office occupations of Republicans and Democrats who keep voting to fund the war.
  • Keep writing letters to the newspapers and name those politicians (from both parties) that keep funding the occupation.
  • Understand that creating positive non-violent conflict in our communities over this issue is just what we need to do. When "liberals" start publicly complaining that the peace movement needs to stop "picking on" our local Democratic congressman, who says he is against the war but keeps voting for the funding, that means we are driving the necessary debate in our community. That is a good thing and should be continued.

I am preparing to reenter my congressman's office in coming weeks to once again do a sit-in. His vote last week to fund another $100 billion for the Iraq occupation is unacceptable. And now we learn that the Democrats in Congress are preparing legislation to fund the occupation by $150 billion for 2008 and another $50 billion in 2009. So I have no doubt that the Democrats are planning to continue the occupation even after George W. Bush is out of office!

I maintain that it is wrong for peace activists to be loyal first to a political party - and thus do the bidding of the Democrats. Real peace activists are loyal to the grassroots struggle to end the war, cut the funding, and utilize the $8.5 billion a month that is now wasted in Iraq for social spending and job creation back here at home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


The banner in the photo above was brought to Darmstadt, Germany by our friends from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition who organize to oppose a U.S. space radar spy base called Pine Gap in the outback of their country.

On the right side of the photo, in the distance just above the banner, you see five round gray big golf ball looking radars. During our conference last weekend in Darmstadt we held a vigil on the outskirts of town at a US spy station, which is part of the global Echelon surveillance system. (While we were protesting at this facility a reporter from the U.S. military newspaper Stars & Stripes took photos and interviewed several of our folks. Click on the link in the headline above for the article.)

These U.S. space radar facilities are now scattered all over the planet and are being upgraded for participation in the Star Wars program. The radar facilities will communicate directly with military war fighting satellites and direct U.S. attack around the world. Much of the growth in membership of our Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is coming from communities around the world where these installations are built.

During our conference we learned more about how these military space networks, now called Operationally Responsive Space (ORS), are being set up to expand U.S. ability to launch preemptive attack around the world.

We also talked extensively how the U.S. program of expanding Star Wars facilities into Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary is part of a strategy to surround Russia. One of our members told us about a Rand Corporation plan now in circulation to break Russia into three separate countries so the oil corporations can better control their resources. (This is the same strategy taken to bust up the former Yugoslavia and which is today underway in Iraq.)

One of our major aims coming out of the conference is to expand our contacts with emerging peace movements in Eastern Europe that are opposing construction of U.S. and NATO Star Wars facilities in their countries - under the guise of "missile defense."

One last thing of interest from our conference. Tim Rinne, Coordinator of Nebraskans for Peace, reported on how the Strategic Command (StratCom) HQ in Omaha is now making efforts to get the University of Nebraska to become a major center for the creation of new space law. Tim recently attended a conference at the university, sponsored by StratCom, and reported how Pentagon officials told the assembled that those who try to use international law to prevent an arms race in space were practicing a new form of warfare. The Pentagon spokesman termed it "lawfare."

So there you have it. Anyone who wants to use the "rule of law" to create global stability is akin to a terrorist. Remember that one - lawfare.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Got home from Germany on Sunday evening and was waiting for a photo to arrive before I posted something here on the blog.

Our annual Global Network space organizing conference, and two protests, were a wonderful success. The photo above is from an early morning vigil at the gates of the European Space Agency Operations Center in Darmstadt. We handed out quite a few leaflets to people as they arrived to work. It was cold and raining while we were there but it was an effective protest that got covered the next day in the local newspaper.

In the photo you might notice a few people with white canes and black patches on one of their eyes. (Click on the photo and you will get a larger version of it.) The leaflet we handed out was called The Military Use of Space: Take off the blinders! The European Union is now developing a civilian reconnaissance satellite system called Galileo that is going to also have military applications. The European Space Agency (ESA), just like NASA, was created as a civilian space agency and was not to be dragged into military space. But also like NASA, the ESA is now going "dual use", meaning space technologies are being developed for both civilian and military purposes.

What this ultimately means is that the aerospace industries are pushing their governments all over Europe to increase funding for space militarization. At our space organizing conference we heard that in Sweden, for example, their government is rapidly funding growing efforts to pull the country into military space technologies. Same story all across Europe. And in each case they are cutting social spending to pay for the development of space warfare technology.

During the time in Darmstadt I was on a panel that was live on a local German community radio station talking about ESA and the militarization of space. A representative from the ESA was on the panel and maintained that ESA was against the militarization of space but he said several times that "Europe must defend itself." This ultimately translates to 'We can't let the U.S. control and dominate space. We must respond and if that means ESA develops military space technologies then so be it.'

I'll write more in coming days about the conference and post some more photos from the events. But despite the bad news from Europe, something we've known about for years, the fact is that opposition is growing in Europe as our contacts expand and more peace activists begin to understand the issue and do more work on it. One activist from Sweden asked me to do a speaking tour of Norway, Denmark and Sweden next year so this is evidence that folks are paying attention and taking action.

We met in Germany in hopes that we could give energy to European grassroots activists around the space issue. I think that happened.

At our conference we also decided that next year our meeting will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in order to shine an international light on the Pentagon's Strategic Command (StratCom) that is now in charge of Star Wars, satellite surveillance and reconnaissance, nuclear weapons, and planning for global preemptive war.

We hope you will join us at a future Global Network event and become a part of this effort to keep space for peace.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I leave on Monday for our annual GN space organizing conference in Germany. Will be back on March 26 and not likely to do any updating of this blog during that time.

Yesterday 100 local vigils were planned here in Maine as part of the national/international protest to stop the occupation of Iraq. We had a snow storm Friday night and Saturday it turned into a cold rain but here in Bath eleven of us still went out onto the steps of city hall for an hour-long vigil at noon. We got cold and wet and invited folks back to our house for soup afterward. We had our wood stove going which was a nice way to warm our hearts and cold fingers and toes.

This morning I've been surfing the Internet looking at some of the coverage of the DC demo. It is striking to see the attention given to the counter-protesters who reportedly turned out in "large" numbers to "protect" the Vietnam war memorial from anyone wanting to "deface" it. A rumor went out over the Internet that anti-war people were going to trash the memorial so these motorcycle guys all came down to defend it. If this isn't part of the Rove-Bush plan then I don't know what is. The war machine knows that their support nationwide is rapidly sliding so they are now working vigorously to round up all the help them can muster by creating false issues like this. As I watched video of these counter-protesters screaming at the anti-war marchers I couldn't help but think of the chaos in Baghdad.

In Baghdad the Bush team has successfully turned Shiite against Sunni to the point they are killing each other like crazy. I fear that Bush, if left to his own devices, would do the same in this country. Turn American against American as a way to maintain control.

I am utterly convinced that the corporate globalization pirates, that Bush ultimately works for, are out to turn the world into a 21st century feudal order. While preparing for the GN space conference in Germany I read several stories from space industry publications calling on European countries to cut funding for social programs so that they can join the U.S. in building a "missile defense" system throughout Europe to protect themselves from Iran. Iran today has zero nuclear weapons. And why would Iran fire nuclear weapons at Europe?

The corporate militarists are out to defund social progress globally, to maximize their profits internationally, and are out to militarize the entire planet. Why?

Resource wars.

With oil and water (and other important resources) diminishing on our strained planet, those who have the biggest guns will control access to these resources. And it will be expensive to have endless mobilization for war and fund social progress at the same time. Something has to give.

A friend of mine here in Maine said it well to me the other day. He said the Democrats have an ideology that says capitalism and economic growth will create a system where all boats are lifted - meaning that if fairly administered the capitalist system can provide for everyone. But that philosophy, he says, requires constant access to raw materials that ensure an ever growing economy. Thus the Dems, he says, must support resource extraction wars like the occupation of Iraq. In other words, empire is supported by both parties. Maybe each party articulates their reasons a bit differently, but in the end they both support empire and endless war.

I was watching Democracy Now via the Internet and I heard the mother of a dead soldier tell the story about how peace folks began lining up at 6:00 am the other day so they could get into the House Appropriations Committee hearing where they voted to give Bush $124 billion for Iraq - fiscal year 2007. (If you click on the link in the headline above you will see an excellent analysis from Military Families Speak Out on the bill that was passed.) She said the Democratic Party politicians came by and saw them standing there and the next thing she knew a large number of congressional staffers showed up to take the seats in the hearing room. That meant many of the citizens in the hall way could not get in. Usually the staffers do not attend these meetings in large numbers and if they do they sit behind their bosses on the dais. This story shows me what the Dems think of the peace movement.

We are in for a period of rough sledding ahead. The sooner we end our illusions about our political system the better off we will be. As I have said so many times on this blog - we have to run peace movement folks for office as Independents or Greens so that we can challenge these two corporate controlled war parties. Please have a meeting locally to discuss this. We must give the public a real alternative. Use the campaigns in 2008 to offer another vision of our future while we still have a chance.

As the Native Americans used to say, put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.

Friday, March 16, 2007


The Democratic Party controlled House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to recommend $124 billion for the Iraq occupation for fiscal year 2007 (recall that Bush only asked for $93 billion). It goes to the full House next week for approval.

While Congress is hashing out 2007 Iraq money, the Bush team of pirates have also submitted their 2008 budget request to Congress.

  • Bush has requested $622 billion for military spending in the 2008 budget. This is an increase of $40 billion over the previous year.
  • Pentagon spending has increased 48% during the Bush reign.
  • Bush is asking Congress to approve $145 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008.
  • The Pentagon requests $16 billion in 2008 for Star Wars research and development

To pay for these major increases in military spending and more tax cuts for the rich, Bush proposes more severe cuts in human needs programs in 2008.

  • Cut Medicare by $66 billion over the next five years.
  • Cut Medicaid by $11 billion over the next five years.
  • Cut other domestic programs by $114 billion over the next five years. These programs would be head start for kids, veteran's health care, environmental protection, scientific research, low-income housing and health assistance.

Now is it just obvious to me that you can't have guns and butter at the same time? The Democrats claim that you can. Some real hard choices have to be made here and at this point it is quite apparent what is getting cut and what is not.

The Dems just handed Bush more than he wanted for Iraq in 2007. What makes us think they will suddenly change course in 2008?

Those who believe we will see change just because the Dems have taken control of Congress are fooling themselves. You are riding a sinking ship. The sooner you get off and start swimming the better chance we have of saving lives before we all drown.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The word has just come down from Washington.
The Dems have got a bold new strategy.
It was to be called “head ‘em off at the pass”.

The idea was to outflank Bush and his team,
To come up with a plan to get out of Iraq.
To end this nightmare once and for all.
To bring the troops home
and stop wasting our national treasury
on a senseless and illegal occupation.

Reward the loyal voters from the last election.

But somehow the wires got crossed.
Somewhere between Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
things got turned around.
No one knows for sure how or why.

Maybe it was a young intern who messed up,
or maybe a lobbyist from the war machine
intercepted the transmission and changed the message.
Possibly it was complicity and slavishness.

A news conference was organized,
all the cameras and microphones were turned on,
lights shining brightly on Pelosi’s make-up,
Uncle Harry was punching the imaginary shadows again.

The intros were made.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we welcome you to this important
Democratic Party news conference
where we will now unveil our new strategy
to deal with the president’s surge.

First, we passed the non-binding resolution.
Then we considered for just a second
cutting the occupation funds,
but that is a radical idea and
we have to take care of the troops,
and our corporate donors,
so that was ruled out.
Impeachment is also off the table.

So we are doing the next best thing.
We will do what we do best,
what we are known for here in Washington.

We are pleased to announce that
our new strategy will be,
not to stick our necks out
as the public requests,
but instead to stick our heads
up our collective small “d” ass.

Remember us in 2008.

We are the opposition party.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space will be holding its 15th annual space organizing conference in Darmstadt, Germany on March 23-24. The group is made up of over 140 peace groups around the world who are working to oppose the introduction of weapons and nuclear power into space. The theme for the annual meeting will be The Role of the European Union in the Militarization of Space.

The Darmstädter Friedensforum, the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP), and the Pressehütte Mutlangen will cosponsor the annual space conference.

Activists will come to Germany from as far away as the U.S., India, Australia, England, Romania, Hungary, Sweden, and other European countries. Of particular interest this year will be discussions about Bush administration attempts to put “missile defense” systems in Poland and the Czech Republic in spite of massive public opposition in those countries to the deployments. Russia is particularly alarmed as they see the U.S. continually expanding military outposts eastward and has promised to respond in kind to U.S. military moves.

According to conference organizer Regina Hagen of INESAP, "Militarization of space is a vicious circle. The more one country depends on military use of satellites, the more others do the same as can currently be seen with the European Union’s development of the Galileo reconnaissance system. And when the military depends on space systems, the next logical step is to protect these systems with weapons. This brings war to space. This must be stopped."

Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon stated, “One key obstacle to international disarmament is U.S. determination to move the arms race into space. With U.S. efforts to create full spectrum dominance other nations are saying that they must maintain their existing nuclear forces, or develop new nuclear arsenals and military space systems, as a deterrent to U.S. plans for control and domination via space technology.”

The Global Network contends that the administration of George W. Bush has taken international cooperation off its foreign policy agenda. “Current U.S. nuclear forces have essentially become an arsenal of hypocrisy as Bush lectures the rest of the world about the evils of weapons of mass destruction while the Pentagon builds more nukes, space weapons programs, and plans for preemptive attack on Iran,” Gagnon said.

Full conference details are available at the Global Network’s website

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I heard a story the other day
about a Bangor Daily News (BDN) media official
telling peaceniks they had not covered their recent protest
because it was old news.
Redundant....old hat.....
stuff like that.

One peacenik thought about it
and wrote the guy back
and wondered if the BDN
was going to judge car crash stories
and murders and fires
by the same journalistic standards.

I'm certain the BDN scribe was insulted by such audacity.
How dare you say such things to me he must have thought.
I am the creator of the community reality
I am the maker of fortunes and careers
I am the breaker of hearts and lives
I am the one who does as his corporate bosses tell him
I am the chief lackey around here.
Who are you to challenge me?

I remember many years ago
a media gate keeper telling a friend and me
not to worry our pretty little heads
about informing the public on a particular concern.
The newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, had a plan.
They were on the case and had it under control.

The media was the message
the media is the god.
A democratic debate was not needed
activism was not needed
the public was not needed
agitation was not needed
ideas from the great unwashed were not needed
the media boys were on the case.......
Go home and find something useful to do
with your otherwise wasted lives.

And so it goes today
from Iraq to Bangor.
The pages are filled with all the news that is fit to be printed.
Whole sections of the paper are left blank for me now
as I rustle though the daily rag
passing the big adverts,
the color pictures of men in orange suits
in handcuffs
on their way to trial
for another sensational murder
or driving under the influence
of a crazy society.

Pages of stories about oranges looking like grapefruit
and birds singing in winter
while Baghdad blows up again
and people cry invisible tears
and Washington burns our health care money
as politicians tell us they are almost there.

The news is twisted
and turned
and flattened out
and squeezed
and bled
and contorted
and changed
and shortened
to fit the tiny spaces
between the ads for women's underwear
and cars
and SUVs
and hummers
and big stories about violent video games
and returning heroes from a war far away.

A letter here and an announcement there
keep alive the illusion
that all is well here at home.
That democracy and the old ways are sound.

But the truth lies with the rusty scissors
as fewer pages are clipped
and stored
in our scrapbooks
where the stories of our lives
used to be collected
to pass on to our children
so we could teach them
about the good work that was done
to keep the fires alive.

Somehow the spirit rages on.
The Russians learned to read between the lines
of Pravda
and today we turn the Times upside down
trying to learn the same lesson
so we can be free again.

Friday, March 09, 2007


It was a very cold day in Bangor, Maine two days ago when our friends in the peace movement walked from their Congressman Mike Michaud's office, to Sen. Olympia Snowe's office, and then finally on to the office of Sen. Susan Collins. They went as part of the occupation project, the third such action in Maine in the last couple of weeks.

Rep. Mike Michaud has voted against the occupation funding the last two times and says he will do so again. The two Republican senators, Snowe and Collins, continue to vote for all things military - in spite of their finely crafted and deceptive national reputation as moderates. Susan Collins has steadfastly refused to meet with anyone from the peace movement, particularly in a public meeting, saying she does not like big crowds. (Then why is she in politics you ask?)

Once the folks got to the federal building that hosts Sen. Collins office, only six people were allowed up to her inner sanctum. They went up and stayed. Come 5:00 pm they were arrested for not leaving. Six more, sitting in the lobby downstairs, were also arrested for refusing to leave at the appointed hour. All 12 were taken to jail where they paid a bail and were released. (Click on the link in the headline above for excellent photos from the action.)

Last night in the Washington Post I read that the Democrats in Washington have crafted a "compromise" that says they would agree to leave the troops in Iraq til August of 2008. So the earlier talk of bring the troops home by the end of 2007 has now shifted to 2008. And with the election coming in November of 2008, don't hold your breath waiting for anything to happen before then.

I hate to say it, but I think the Dems want to just sit back and watch the Iraq quagmire fester til 2008. There are 21 Republican senators up for reelection in '08 so the Dems strategy appears to be - "just hold on, sit tight, let it get worse and the voters will have no where else to go except to vote for us".

This is a cynical and ugly reality and people should now begin talking in their local communities about lining up Independent or Green Party candidates to run against both these two mainstream war parties in 2008.

How much longer will you support this good cop - bad cop game they play in Washington? Time to break free of this electoral slave system the corporate parties have created.

Wake up and be free!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


This is the time of year we remind our friends and supporters to pay their annual membership dues in the Global Network. Your donations help keep us doing our peace work. Without you we would not be able to do what we do.

Instead we'd be out hauling wood in the Maine countryside or washing dishes at a local joint. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's honest work but I'd rather be organizing.

We ask individuals and organizations to pay what they can best afford within the sliding scale of $10 - $100. That way we try to make it fair for everyone - spread the burden around evenly.

We like to think we get more out of a dollar than most organizations do. It's pretty amazing that we can run an effective and highly visible international network on about $75,000 a year. But somehow we manage. Thank the gods for the Internet!

The Global Network is a non-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible. You can send a check in the mail to Global Network, PO Box 652, Brunswick, ME 04011 or you can use the red Donate Now! button in the column to the left - just scroll down - to make a credit card donation on-line.

Either way we deeply appreciate your support. And if you need any wood hauled, you know who to call.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Mr. Gonzales:

We are writing out of complete frustration and embarrassment about how our nation is treating Dr. Sami Al-Arian.

We have been following his case for many years and were quite surprised to find that after he was essentially found innocent by a jury in Florida, our government continues to pursue and prosecute him. We've read that he is now being taken from jail to jail, often under horrible conditions, and is being made to endure even more prison time.

It appears to us that the U.S. justice system has become a mean spirited and vindictive system. Rather than recognizing the ruling of the Florida jury and letting Al-Arian go free as should happen, he is being whipsawed by continual judicial harassment. This is un-American and must stop.

We have sent word about his current treatment to everyone we know and have contact with because we think that people in this country, and around the world, should know that justice in America is a thing of the past.

We hope that you will prove us wrong. We hope that you will find the courage to stop this never-ending persecution of a man who has been tried and found innocent in a U.S. court of law.

Bring justice back to America now. Give us a reason to believe that America is in fact different from other repressive totalitarian regimes around the world that ignore the rule of law.

Stop using Dr. Al-Arian as a tool to increase hatred and fear of Muslim people.

We eagerly await your reply.


Bruce K. Gagnon
Mary Beth Sullivan
Bath, ME

(Click on the link in the headline above for the full sad story.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Congress is now preparing to vote in the next few days on Bush's request for $93 billion more for Iraq occupation for fiscal year 2007. It will pass and the Democrats are saying, instead of cutting the request, that they want to raise it by $5 billion.

But what is even more mind blowing to me is that at this very same time Congress is also starting to work on the fiscal year 2008 Iraq occupation request. Bush is requesting $142 billion for 2008. North Dakota Democrat, Sen. Kent Conrad who is the Senate Budget Committee Chairman, just said that "Our caucus feels strongly that we should go with the president's numbers" on 2008 war costs. "We are going to provide actually more funding, because we think the president's budget has understated the war costs over the five-year period," Conrad told the media.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) told reporters that cutting the Iraq occupation funding was "nothing that any of us are considering."

"There's a fine line that I hope will not be blurred between micromanaging the war and assuring accountability," said Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-South Dakota). "I don't think we should be overreacting to public opinion polls."

Reading this really burns me up. The Democrats are actually getting worse as time drags on. Hard as it is to believe that they could get worse, they are now doing Bush's bidding for him. And they are basically saying, hey let's not get too wrapped up listening to the public!

All of this comes at the very time that new statistics are showing major growth in the numbers of American people moving into deep poverty.

Any anti-poverty, human services organizations, worth their weight in salt should be screaming about this utter waste of our tax dollars on the occupation of Iraq. Where are those voices today?

Sunday, March 04, 2007


March 4, 2007

Representative Tom Allen
57 Exchange Street, Suite 302
Portland, Maine 04101

Dear Congressman Allen:

We, the undersigned, are thirteen citizens who were arrested on February 21st, 2007, while conducting a peaceful demonstration at your constituent office in Portland. At the time of our arrest, we all received “Criminal Trespass Notices” from the Portland Police Department, indicating that a request had been made to the Department – ostensibly from you or your staff – for an order barring us indefinitely from the premises of your Portland office. The primary purpose of this letter is to inquire whether it is indeed your position that we are no longer welcome at your Portland office.

We thirteen are people of conscience. We share an abiding love of our country, and a deep concern for humanity. The peaceful action that we undertook on February 21st was both considered and deliberate, and we have no cause for regret. Our attempt to get through to you on that day, to move you in mind and heart, was our way of honoring those who have suffered and died in Iraq and at home as the result of ongoing U.S. aggression and occupation.

The views we have vigorously attempted to communicate to you about U.S. involvement in Iraq, through every peaceful means available to citizens in a free society, are a matter of unwavering conviction. We recognize that you do not currently share such views, particularly as they relate to the moral urgency demanding an immediate end to all funding for the Iraq War and Occupation. However, we expect that you do share our devotion to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of speech, assembly, and petition for redress of greivances which are designed to breathe strength and vitality into American democracy.

Consequently, we thirteen are both puzzled and disturbed by the order your office has requested from the Portland Police, banning us from the premises of your “constituent” office at any time for any reason. For better or worse, we live in a representative democracy, and you are the individual who has been duly elected to represent us in Congress. When you cast your vote time and again to finance this immoral and illegal war and occupation, you do so on behalf of the citizens of the First District of Maine. For that reason, we consider our rights of speech, with you as the audience, to be fundamental and indispensable. The order you have requested from the Portland Police Department, which has been issued to each of us in writing, is an unconstitutional restriction on our First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. For that reason, we request that you contact the Portland Police Department immediately, asking that the orders be rescinded. We also ask that you formally respond to this letter, confirming in writing whether we thirteen are, or are not, welcome at your Portland office.

We thank you and urgently await your reply.

Bath-Brunswick Occupation Project Affinity Group

Susan Andersen

Stephen Carroll

Kathe Chipman

Carolyn Coe
Blue Hill

Christine A. DeTroy

Mary Donnelly
Peaks Island

Bruce K. Gagnon

Mair Honan

Dexter Kamilewicz
Orr's Island

Natasha Mayers

Mary Beth Sullivan

Karen Wainberg

Rhonda Wilson

cc: Maine media outlets
Maine anti-war activists

Friday, March 02, 2007


The Global Network's annual space organizing conference for 2007 will be held in Darmstadt, Germany. It is being coordinated by GN board member Regina Hagen (pictured above) who lives in Darmstadt. Regina has been one of our most loyal and active leaders on the space issue for many years now and was able to find full-time work as the director of the International Network of Engineers & Scientists Against Proliferation.

Having our meeting this year in Europe could not have been better timed as the U.S. moves to encircle Russia with so-called missile defense systems by establishing new bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. (Tony Blair has joined the club by requesting that the U.S. also consider putting these son of Star Wars systems in the UK as well.)

We've always maintained that "missile defense" is a Trojan horse. These systems have never been intended to serve as a defensive shield because any honest review of them indicates that they could easily be overwhelmed or tricked in a real world situation. But they would have value in two other significant ways.

One, by claiming to be defensive shields, they help bring massive amounts of research and development dollars into a program that is really about creating offensive space weapons technologies. Thus, the Trojan horse claim.

Secondly, if used as part of a first-strike attack scenario, then these systems would not have to worry about picking off every missile that comes toward it because their job at that point would be to offer the threat of only having to take out a couple lone missiles that might get launched in retaliation after a U.S. attack.

Now some might find it hard to believe that the U.S. would launch such a first-strike attack on another sovereign nation. That would be against international law you say. But international law does not seem to stop the U.S. militarists and recent history shows the U.S. quite willing to invade Panama, Grenada, and Iraq without provocation. The Pentagon now annually wargames a U.S. first-strike attack on China - set in the year 2016.

One goal of our March 23-24 conference in Germany is to help make contact and offer support to those in Poland and the Czech Republic who are organizing opposition to the U.S. plan for Star Wars bases in their country. In that regard we've just heard from Dave Webb, the convener of the GN's board of directors, that he has made contact with a Green Party leader in the Czech Republic and has invited him to come to Darmstadt for the conference. Dave, who lives and teaches in Leeds, England, has been doing extensive work like this throughout Europe in hopes of expanding outreach to those not yet connected to our growing international network of communities that are resisting Star Wars.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I spent nearly 8 cold hours on the street yesterday from 2pm til 10pm in downtown Portland holding a sign and handing out literature just outside the office of our congressman Tom Allen. There were over 30 of us on the street.

Inside the office sat six of our friends who were risking arrest while calling on Allen to vote against Bush's $100 billion request. They entered the office at 3pm and when we left at 10pm they had still not been arrested. We found out this morning that the police arrived at midnight and took them away. They paid $40 and were released from jail around 3am.

The reason Allen's staff waited til midnight to arrest them was because Channel 13 in Portland was sitting outside the office from 6pm till 11pm waiting to film the arrest. They did live broadcasts out on the street at 6pm, 10pm, and then again at 11pm. On their 11pm broadcast the office occupation was their lead story and then they followed it with a wonderful piece showing in detail just how much money has been spent on the Iraq war each year since the 2003 U.S. invasion.

The news yesterday reported that the Democrats, now in control of Congress, have come up with a brand new strategy to end the Iraq fiasco. No, they don't want to cut the funding. No, they are not calling for the troops to immediately come home. It is something bigger, bolder, more effective! The Democrats are going to embarrass George W. Bush. They are going to shame him into ending the war!

Brilliant! Fantastic! Incredible you say? So amazingly astute. They are going to embarrass Bush!

Just exactly how this embarrassment of Bush is going to end the war they have not yet spelled out. It reminds me of Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam war. But don't laugh, the Democrats have come up with a whopper I am certain.

The Democrats have stumbled onto something none of the rest of us realize. They have figured out that George W. Bush has a conscience. Bush can be shamed. Bush can be made to change course because he cares what the people of the world think of him.

This is the most absurd, idiotic notion I have heard yet. It just goes to show that the spineless Democrats have nothing left in their hearts and souls to offer the nation. They have no desire to end this war. They don't have the guts to stand up on behalf of the people. This is so sad and so childish that there is only one word to describe this new Democratic plan.

It is simply embarrassing.